Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Finding Peace

Sitting in the dentist chair today I had an moment of clarity, an epiphany if you want to call it personal world is too damn loud.  Siting in that chair all I wanted was just a few minutes of peace and quiet (not to mention information about how to fix or replace my broken nightguard).  Unfortunately quiet was not to be found.  Next to me, literally 12 inches from my head, was a wall mounted flat screen television blaring the latest financial information of the day.  Overhead the XM radio station was playing songs that were best left in the 70s while behind me the receptionist and hygienist were talking.  Next door to me a drill was making that zumming noise that strikes fear into the heart of most people.  I found myself getting really agitated.

Let’s examine where in life it is possible for me to find peace and quiet.......
I do not live in a rural location where the buzz of cicadas and the croaking of bullfrogs can lull me to sleep.  I live right off the I95 corridor, about a mile away in fact from both interstate 95 and Metro North Railway.  Our town calls itself a town but we have a Mayor which should designate us as a city?  Anyway it is a large town with two high schools, two middle schools and seven elementary schools.  Throughout the day I hear the sounds of fire engines up and down Main Street, and at times the sound of military helicopters will shake the walls of my house.  I chose to live here and I actually find solace in hearing the train announce “Daddy’s home!” to us just a mile or two away.  It is strangely comforting.........

But I live with two children, two dogs, two frogs (who are quiet but their tank is not) and the lone peaceful occupant, a beta fish.  I live across the street from four VERY loud dogs who bark on and off throughout the day.  Quiet is elusive....

I am sick of going to pump gas and having a flat screen stare at me above the space to insert my credit card.  I am sick of watching television at the bank, at my favorite restaurant, at my doctor’s offices, and even in the back of a yellow taxi!  I have had enough.  

Where can you go for peace and quiet?  If the auditory loudness does not overwhelm you, the visual loudness of our society certainly will.  I know I sound old and cranky and perhaps I am both, but I am tired of being bombarded by advertisements on city buses, subways, trains and electronic billboards.  This is a bit of a contradiction for me because I do love my three bumper stickers (a Mom’s Drive the Economy sticker from the Mitt Romney Campaign, A USMC sticker in support of my brother and a No I Am NOT in School Today sticker for my girls).  Those are okay and can stay.  
Whenever I feel this way I can’t help but recall a conversation with my friend who feels like this age of tattoos, piercings, bright hair dye and loud behavior make her feel like people are yelling at her.  I completely get it.  I want to carve out a place where I can have quiet and stillness and not be yelled at.  Often the place I find this is in church.  There I am away from all that society is force-feeding to us and making us digest.  There I find my one hour of solitude even though I am surrounded by many.
What do you do to find peace in your day to day life?  I am decluttering...again.  I am deep cleaning with the intent on beauty.  I want each room in my house to be a place that beckons to me and wraps me up in an invisible warm blanket.  I play classical music more often than my favorites playlist.  I am trying to cook beautiful balanced healthy meals.  I look for the beauty in the color green of my smoothie.  I find quiet in concentrating on the crickets chirp.  I ask my girls to watch less and less television.  I have enlisted their help in this quest for calm.  
Today I hit a wall.  It was like I threw up my arms and said that I felt totally and completely overwhelmed by the noise of life.  I need headphone, but I don’t want to block out what I need to hear.  Like the sound of my girl’s laughter and the whimper of my dogs while they enjoy a belly scratch.
How do you find your quiet? Your still? Your peace?  Do you ever feel the need to escape the loudness of daily life?  Where do you go?  

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