It’s Friday, April 10. I’m looking out my living room’s big picture window at smallish snowflakes. The spruce across the street have a dusting on the branches, and the ground is, of course, still covered in white as it has been since October. The overcast sky along and the bright white flakes makes the whole world appear grayscale, which, though it sounds depressing, is actually soothing.
In Kindred Mom Zoom meetings every week, one of the things we do real quickly at the beginning is check our numbers. The last month as we’ve looked at the stats for our newsletter, the open rate isn’t awesome and the unsubscribes are trickling in. Our content is solid, but people aren’t reading.
I’m not reading, either. I have 347 emails come in every day from school—zoom meeting reminders and assignments and enrichment activities and logistics and updates from the superintendent—and only one of my four is in “real” school. I get daily texts from DHSS telling me how many new cases there are and in which communities, along with hospitalizations and deaths. Every company I’ve ever given my address to is sending me emails about their COVID-19 strategies, which change regularly as mandates shift, prompting new flurries of emails. Influencers are sending me awesome deals on this e-course, but hurry! don’t miss it! You won’t see prices this low again! Any newsletter I’m subscribed to (including the one I am involved with producing) is sending me super helpful ideas to cope with sheltering in place and curated links to free content to keep my horde of hooligans busy and articles explaining why everything is so freaking hard. (It’s grief. Fight or flight response. Anxiety. All the things.) Social media is flooded with (admittedly funny) memes and rants and complaints and conspiracy theories and just a general record of what is going down in the world right now.
I’m tired. My already-sensitive brain has been overloaded for years now and a disruption in routine, health concerns, and economic worries are compounding the problem. I could keep myself busy twenty-four hours a day just reading the text accompanying all the helpful free content on the web right now. I can’t even quite wrap my head around the time consuming that free content would cost.
I need quiet.
I’m tempted now to send you to Headspace or to a helpful resting practice I found, but wouldn’t that just be adding to the noise?
So instead, I’ll briefly record my current moment of peace in hopes it helps you recognize similar moments in your world. Feel free to just close this tab now and stare out the window for a sec.
Snow is falling. My feet are cold. I keepe typing random Es at the ende of words, like I’m olde timey or somethinge. I put on makeup and a cute shirt to do a podcast recording at seven this morning because I want desperately to feel like a person today. But also, I’m wearing my workout clothes because that’s what’s coming next and I refuse to put on a full outfit complete with a bra and real pants in order to record audio and then change out of them to work out. I realize this is inconsistent. The heater just kicked on. My husband made himself coffee, then disappeared back to our room. In a minute he’ll sit beside me and we’ll work together on our sorta-matching apple laptops. Our kids are still in bed. The big girls’ room is reading in the massive and complicated multi-room fort they made with their beds and blankets last night (after they should have been sleeping) and the little kids’ room is listening to Sir Bernard, which is an musical kids’ audio drama. (I have no idea what order those adjectives should be in. I think this is close to right.) I am as grateful as I’ve ever been that we have rules about what they should do if they wake up before “get up time.”
I hope you find pockets of quiet today that take you by surprise. I hope you recognize them as the gifts they are. I hope they point you to the Giver of good gifts.