I had looked forward to spending almost the entire month of December in New York, hoping to find some grounding time at home after being on the road for 10 weeks this fall. However, I soon filled this time with more and more commitments, busying myself with endless projects, appointments, and obligations. There was certainly fun and enriching time to be had, but by December 21st, before flying to see my family for the holidays, I reached a tipping point. I had a mysteriously swollen ankle and was continually breaking and spilling things in my home as I cleaned and packed. I knew these things were a call to listen, and the world around me was speaking loud and clear. I had been home for three much-anticipated weeks, and had yet to spend a single quiet night on my sofa enjoying my home…one of my favorite activities!
An over-booked, over-filled life had become my norm. How much did I really need to take on? What was wrong with an unfilled hour (or day!) on my iCal? There is fear of this quiet time…when the noise drops away, we are left to face what is really there. It looks different for everyone…how or what we use to distract ourselves, i.e. ‘keep the volume up’, and what we are ultimately distracting ourselves from. ‘Facing what’s there’ could sound a bit doomsday, but essentially it’s an uncovering of deeper insights of who we are, what is important, and what rules of life are we subscribing to. And sometimes it really just takes a brief moment of ‘no distractions’ to check-in and realign priorities. Other times, it takes a full-on swollen ankle and a couple broken vases and glasses. I’m happy it wasn’t more.
I’m also happy for all the things I’ve done this year–the new relationships I formed, the places I’ve traveled, the projects I took on. But it makes sense that as my ‘commitment’ cup runneth over, I’ve been instinctively seeking to read about minimalist living and Rilke’s writing on solitude, two meaningful things I’ve come across and am happy to share with you. As this year ends and a new one begins, I wish you abundant time for quieting down…as if to tune the radio dial in more clearly to who you are and how you want to spend your precious time in this world.