As I type this, I’m pilfering through my daughter’s Halloween candy looking for the Milk Duds. If it were not for the candy wrappers scattered throughout my house, I might wonder if Halloween even happened; It all came and went so very quickly. I’m a bit frazzled by the fact that we are already over a week into November. Didn’t we just start the school year? Are the stores going to just skip Thanksgiving and jump right into Christmas? And then this week, a friend was so “kind” to point out that this is one of those years where there are only three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. (See, there, I did it for you. You’re welcome.) Some of you are reading this and your thoughts have drifted straight to panic surrounding the holidays and how in the world you are going to do…all. the. things.
This time of year always leaves me wondering if I can reconcile the pace and the excitement of all that November and December bring, with the calm and the peace I so desperately desire for my family. This year is no different – but I’m going to try.
I remember a December magazine cover from a few years ago that pictured a beautiful white dove with the word PEACE boldly printed on top. The pale blue background, the white dove, and my own desire for peace convinced me to dig deeper and read the articles. The highlighted articles were things like:
Quick fixes for a crowded fridge
How to wrap anything, even a bike
Relax your door décor
Modernize your mantel
How to create the perfect ponytail
I don’t know about you, but these things don’t bring me peace. In fact, I found myself more frustrated after reading the magazine. I started thinking about the presents I had yet to buy – and wrap!, and it left me wondering if my mantel was modern enough. I didn’t even consider trying to fix my ponytail. I’m sure the editors were trying to be helpful, but it wasn’t working for me.
The definition for peace is “freedom from disturbance.” I want that. Obviously, world peace would be nothing short of a miracle – who doesn’t want that! But coming from someone who can’t take an uninterrupted shower, I also want every day, attainable, freedom from disturbance, calm – peace. I don’t know if this is attainable, but I want more of it. I want more of it in my home, in my schedule. More importantly, I want it in my mind, in my heart, in my kid’s minds and hearts.
I recently read about a man who works as an Acoustic Ecologist. He came up with a list of the last great quiet places on earth – places that have at least fifteen minutes of uninterrupted quiet during daylight hours. At his last count, there were only twelve of these quiet places in the entire United States. Think about that. We live in the mountains. Some of you made sure you found a place “away” from town. Go outside and listen. If you’re lucky, you can’t hear 1-80 or 224, but chances are you will hear some sort of development or traffic noise, or an airplane.
The French Philosopher Blaise Pascal once said, “The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.”
You guys. Our lives are loud. So loud. You know what I’m talking about. “Noise” fills everything. Sometimes it’s actual noise. Sometimes it’s visual “noise.” Sometimes it’s our schedule because we don’t know how to just “be.” Sometimes it’s loud lies and filler in our heads that steal our focus and our joy.
Did you know that sound mixers in the film and music industries go through a process called “ear cleaning.” Before they enter a recording studio, they let their ears recalibrate through absolute silence. That way, they are completely ready for listening.
I don’t know about you, but I could use some recalibrating - in my schedule, in my home, in my head, in my heart. I need some absolute silence and some calm from the crazy.
I don’t know what it is for you, or if this even resonates with you. I do know that a little more peace sounds good to me.
As you head into the holiday season, don’t be afraid to “quiet” down your schedule. Maybe it means saying “no” to a few things or “yes” to other things. Maybe it means more family time around the fire – more family dinners or game nights. Maybe it means staying in your pajamas instead of hitting those Black Friday sales. You might need to quiet those voices in your head that bring you down instead of lifting you up. Create some space for the “sounds” that bring life and peace, and get rid of some of that destructive “noise.”
We will see you at the Distillery this week, and don’t worry, our speakers and workouts will be at full volume – we know that’s the “sound” you want and need when you’re with us.