On Chasing Quiet

On Chasing Quiet

29th Jul 2022

When I was about to become a mother for the first time--to twins--I had one major worry. It wasn't the sleeplessness I was about to be subjected to. It wasn't the work of diapers and nursing and food prep. I was worried about noise. I am a pretty quiet soul, and I had observed that kids are… loud? Kinda seriously loud. A lot of the time. It's not their fault. I was loud, too, I'm sure. And I imagine I continue to be loud in ways I don't even realize. And the world is also loud, so they're not doing anything the rest of us aren't. But noise can be a serious hazard to thought and concentration, and I worried, in bringing kids into existence, about the interior headspace I might be sacrificing. If you want to know how it's going, last night as we were driving home from swimming, Josh looked over at me in disbelief and noted that the kids were all talking--simultaneously--about entirely different topics as if they were in conversation. Except they weren't because none of them could hear each other. It's absurd. 

Quiet is a precious commodity, don't you think? There is so much incessant noise in our world (not all of it attributable to my kids) that I sometimes feel like I can't think straight. So yesterday, when Josh came home so that I could work in a more dedicated fashion, I didn't work at home. I didn't work at the shop. I marched myself to our public library, ensconced myself in one of their small study rooms, shut the door, and sighed in utter relief. It was a blissful box of quiet, and I felt instantly more clear-headed. And it made me dream up a new business idea: a space full of quiet pods with an espresso bar (sound-proofed of course) on site. Each pod is a small, comfortable room with a desk, maybe a small couch for napping, and a panel with buttons where you can wordlessly order coffee or tea and a fresh and lovely snack. Someone, again wordlessly, comes and quietly knocks on your pod door and leaves what you need. Everybody wears slippers. 

I think this is a roundabout way of saying that it is late July, and I continue to adore my girls with every fiber of my being and also am officially in need of a little more headspace. School of course is really right around the corner, and little Phoebe is off to kindergarten this year (!), so it's coming. But silence is a bit like sleep, I think. You need a healthy amount every day or you start to become a bit unhinged. 

Remind me when it comes time to plan out next summer that I should perhaps schedule a silent retreat for myself smack dab in the middle.