I don’t like really loud noises. Of course, my former DJ husband after years of loud club speakers blaring in his ears, tends to like everything a bit louder than I prefer. He has decided that his hearing is fine and I have bionic hearing. Maybe I do. It sure did come in handy when my kids were preteens and whispering with their friends in the back seat on one of the many chauffeur opportunities I had with them in those days. A loud television, a blaring radio, sirens, fireworks – they all do a number on my ears.
But lately, I have found my life filled with a completely different type of noise. It is the noise of chaos. The “loudness” of disorganization and figuring out “what comes next” in trying to move from one home to another; the “loudness” of negativism so prominent in social media; the “loudness” of political fodder online, on television and amongst people that once were friends; the “loudness” of violence and hate we have in our country, once again, so flagrantly witnessed in the past couple of weeks.
The noise keeps me awake at night, distracts me during the day and, honestly, makes me feel like I want to just go crawl into a hole for a few months. But that is not the worst part.
The noise, I find, is affecting my mood, my productivity and my glass-is-half-full mentality that I enjoy while wearing my rose-colored glasses. Come on people, SOMEONE TURN THAT NOISE DOWN (my daughter once told me that when you write in caps it means you are really excited or you are yelling at someone)!
But the burning question here is HOW do we turn the noise down? I have seen a multitude of attempts by those around me and, as my SHE-friends know, I am not the person to assume I have “the answer” to anything. But I’d like to share a few observations I have made of those around me in the last few weeks also attempting to turn down the noise.
One friend has stopped watching all news shows on television. She shared with me that “news in the morning starts my day off wrong and news in the evening keeps me up all night.” I love the idea. Maybe that is why Scott and I watched cartoons all morning on this Father’s Day instead of any news?!?!?
Another friend has begun his annual “Wednesday night ritual” that he does with his adult son and son-in-law. They head out to a nearby lake every Wednesday after work and sail the lake for a few hours. No TV, no social media, no chaos. Just the open water and great camaraderie.
As for me? I find solace on my quiet little island better known as my yoga mat (although I have neglected my ritual lately with this crazy move). On my mat, I am alone with me. I don’t see those around me and as my breath deepens and my body moves with that breath, I feel as if I am soaring on a flying carpet…at least for an hour or so. I also am a prayerful woman, so I do spend of my noisier moments shutting down my mind, stilling my body and saying a prayer for peace, grace or whatever is needed at that moment.
My other struggle with the noise has been in the middle of the night. Granted, since it is my 50th year, hormones might be playing a part in my lying awake many nights. But stress and fear don’t just creep into my head at those times, stress and fear stomps very loudly in tap shoes in my head. I don’t count sheep and I try desperately NOT to make lists in my head. Rather, I have decided to “count my gratitude” to turn down the noise and bring more peace to those awakened hours.
Yes, GRATITUDE (that is an excited caps, not an angry caps, by the way)! Gratitude in my solitude brings me happiness. Gratitude calms my mind and gives my body peace. Gratitude fills my cup back up. Gratitude makes me smile. Gratitude makes my heart sing with joy.
So, on this day, June 19, 2016, I am grateful.
Since it is my Mom’s 39th birthday again, I am thankful she was born, thankful she is my Mom and thankful she continues to stay busy, healthy and cooks the most delicious Lebanese meal a girl could ask for!
Since it is Father’s Day, I am thankful for my Daddy who took great care of me by teaching me independence, many of the “how to’s” in life when it came to cars and finances and the fact that he, too, enjoys his retirement years with happiness and good health.
On this Father’s Day, I am most thankful for my husband, the “instant Dad” to my kids when they were 11 and 13 (who in their right mind marries a girl with kids that age????) and who will enjoy his next 40 years as my kids’ only Dad and Granddad to their children. That makes me smile.
I am so, so grateful for my two precious, beautiful children. Their paths are becoming clearer for them as they emerge into adulthood and I could not be more proud. They went thru a lot as kids and it wasn’t always pretty. But these two continue to amaze me in every way. I miss them today, but feel such gratitude that I was given the blessing of being their Mom.
I am grateful to be blessed with a rich spiritual life, family and so many loving friends, some of them as dear as family.
I am grateful for all of my jobs (I can’t seem to pick just one) and to approach my 50th birthday doing the things I love most with people that mean so much to me.
I am grateful for the adventures that lie ahead. Another big smile.
I am grateful that you, my SHE-friends from all over, are reading this today and hope that you will take a moment or several moments after you read this and practice gratitude. I hope that when you do, you find the peace that I feel right at this moment.
Do you practice gratitude? What are YOU grateful for?
Note from the SHE files: GRATITUDE…the fastest way to turn down the noise!