I stayed home from church yesterday. I was grouchy and I felt a little like Matthew must feel when he gets mad and is unable to control the words that come out of his mouth. First, I found myself letting out a couple of very audible, exasperated groans at some of the kids' antics. Then, feeling like I wanted to clap my hands over my ears to stop the ruckus, the words "I am so tired of children who complain all the time" came out of my mouth in an unkind way and tone. I wished it was my mouth that I had clapped a hand over because the moment I uttered the words, Matthew left the room in tears, and Seth and Lizzie looked totally deflated. Ultimately, I was able to apologize and tell them (again) that I also make mistakes, and there was forgiveness all around. But I realized I needed to do something a little different, immediately. I needed quiet to regroup.
I generally lean more towards extraversion, but not by much; I'm right near the line that crosses over into introversion. What that means for me is that I draw energy from being with people, but that I also need time to myself to recharge my batteries. I haven't had much time by myself of late. I haven't been on a silent retreat for at least a few months; I have the kids with me almost 24/7; and since the new year began, my Thursday evenings out have been with friends. The balance is a little out of whack. So staying home from church was a taking-care-of-myself move.
Planning my Thursday evenings out is tough for me sometimes. I need my friends. I love my friends. I'd like to think that they need me, too...or are at least willing to hang out with me once in a while! :) I genuinely look forward to every chance that I get to spend with a friend and I come home from those evenings smiling and feeling refreshed and happy!
The challenge I have is that when I book a Thursday to be with a friend, I end up having no time on my own that week. Usually that's ok, but sometimes it's just not. Yesterday morning, feeling like I was about to lose my mind with all of the (mostly unhappy, complainy kind of) noise, and after I started to lose control over my words, I told Geoff that I just could. not. go to church; he kindly agreed to take them and give me a couple of hours on my own.
I puttered around the house for a while, doing odd jobs. But then I just sat. It was so quiet in the house that I could hear the fridge humming a room over as I sipped a cup of tea in the library. It was blissfully quiet. I thought about turning on some music, then I thought about having a chance to listen to CBC radio (which I love and don't often get to listen to), and then I put both ideas aside in favour of the silence. I put my feet up, pulled my coziest blanket over me, closed my eyes, and sat.
Blessed silence...just what the doctor ordered.