Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Finding quiet amidst the chatter


We were with friends recently, who have two young children like us, and got to talking about the noise in general that little ones make. The other mother said to me that as she's not a loud person herself, she often finds it quite exhausting with her two girls being so loud and so full-on all the time.

I knew exactly what she meant. Both she and I are soft-spoken and more introvert than extrovert. Whilst we like to chat and socialise, we find constant chatter a little wearing and we need a bit of peace and quiet. I imagine even loud people need some quiet too ;-).

When I think about the moments I savour in any given day, I have to admit it is those when I am alone and surrounded by silence. Lately it's been sitting outside in the garden for a few minutes during nap time, enjoying the sunshine with only the sound of the birds singing . When my son is at nursery and my daughter is sleeping, I sit down with a cup of tea and soak up the silence, feeling annoyed if it's interrupted by a phone call or knock at the door. The quiet time for me is a way to recharge and in that respect, even five minutes (maybe even less) helps me through my day.

Don't get me wrong, I love the chatter of my little ones, the funny conversations with my four year old, his enquiring mind asking me all sorts of obscure questions and my 18-month old making any attempt at communicating! The chatter is a sound of joy, a sound of life and I wouldn't want any less of it. The incessant chatter of little children is a precious thing and I wouldn't want anyone to think I don't appreciate it.

Finding some quiet in the day is more about regaining some balance for my own personality. Like I said above, it's my way of recharging, breathing and renewing my energy levels. I guess there are always opportunities whether it's after they are in bed, whilst they are at a playdate, at school, or maybe out with their father on a weekend.

How do you find your quiet moments? Do you feel you need them or are you the kind of personality where the constant chatter is what keeps you energised?
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photo credit

12 comments:

  1. Yes, you know I agree (as you read my blog and left a comment -thank you so very much). I saw this quote today and saved it for you: "We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls." > Mother Teresa

    It's all about finding a balance. I need to be out in the world and I need to be alone and quiet. They both feed my soul. I'd say though that I'm 35% out and 65% in. I need a lot of quiet. :)

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    1. Lovely quote - thanks for saving and sharing it with me. Perfect for this post :-). Yes, I agree with you that it's all about finding the right balance.

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  2. I love chatter but I really need quiet time too. My head is so busy trying to keep everything going (appointment and social diaries for the kids, to do lists, work, house etc.) and I only realised last weekend when I went away for a bit just how destructive the business of my mind was. I am/was an avid reader (and it's a big part of my job too) but it didn't even occur to me until the second day of my trip that I could read one of the books on my Kindle. I am finding it so hard to concentrate or relax these days.

    So quiet time for me is very much a work in progress. I've spent much of the time fearing letting go of things (even for a few minutes) because I'm worried about the wheels falling off. But as my weekend away has shown me and your lovely post reinforces, rest, no matter how brief is both energising and vital. I'm working on it, anyway!

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    1. You bring up a good point about quiet time not always coming easy, even when people need it. Sometimes we just keep going on auto-pilot and it really does take a conscious effort to stop and take a few moments to not do anything. I'm pleased to hear you are working on it and that your weekend away was a good reminder of how energising some quiet time can be :-)

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  3. Oh gosh I'm the same, by nature a quiet person, so little people's noise has been a huge adjustment to me. I wish I could offer so pearls of wisdom as to how I find quiet. But I don't have any, as I am still searching for that Holy Grail.
    I do chat away to my children, as I believe this is the best way for them to learn.
    I will keep checking back to see what others suggest xx

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    1. It is an adjustment, isn't it? But yes, I too chat aplenty to my children and they do so love a nice chat :-). Thanks for reading and commenting. xx

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  4. Firstly, I love that quote from Mother Teresa, just sums it up beautifully, and the reason why I certainly need those quiet, down times. My husband would call me an extrovert - I thrive on being busy and connecting with people, but I soon run out of steam if those quiet, peaceful moments aren't scheduled in. Lovely post and thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Great to hear from someone who would be described as an extrovert! It's really interesting to hear how quiet time works for you, to keep you going as a busy, very social person. Thanks so much for your comment!

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  5. I'm an introvert too, and yes, I need the recharge and have often likened myself to my smart-phone with it's rubbish battery that constantly needs a plug in and a rest! I certainly feel drained when I've done anything sociable, which I have found myself doing more and more over the years.

    I like to escape into a book, and I love music, but for true relaxation I too just sit. There is nothing like silence to work a bit of restorative magic before you have to leap into action again x

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    1. Oh yes, I know what you mean about feeling drained after doing something sociable. Music is a really nice way to relax. Since having children, I don't listen to near as much as I used to... xx

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  6. I'm getting much better at enjoying silence, when the 9.5m old calms down for a bit... I usually use the time to dive online and catch up with blogs, but increasingly i'm just relaxing and doing nothing at all. Getting away from all sensory inputs for a while really works wonders!

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    1. Indeed, doing nothing really is a lot more relaxing! It's definitely tempting to spend time catching up online but like you say, escaping the sensory inputs is certainly worthwhile.
      Thanks for reading and commenting :-)

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Thank you for reading. I'd love to have your comments and thoughts!