Every day I hike with my dog in the fields, woods, and hills. It’s essential to our day to get a little bit of physical exercise and increase the peace in my life. This is where I reflect on my life and it’s where I decided to begin this new blog.
I’ve had many blogs in my past and always felt I was trying to portray something that isn’t really me. I was focused on readership (or lack thereof) and making my posts more interesting so I could bring in more people. It was a popularity contest and I got tired of it. This was supposed to be my creative outlet, and it was stressing me out.
So here I am. The real me. My life might seem boring by many standards, but it brings me joy.
On my hike yesterday with Indi, I was reflecting on some of the changes that have happened since my boys started public school after three years of homeschooling. My boys are 15, 14, and 12, so they are fairly independent. At this point I feel I am slipping into more and advisory role, rather than a teaching and serving role. Not that I don’t ever do things for them, but I have stepped back a bit to allow them to grow more independent in preparation for their adult roles.
Homeschooling was a magical time for me. I wish they had enjoyed it as much as I did, but the truth is that they missed a lot about public school.
So when they went to school, the house felt very empty. It was as if I had been fired from my job. I had to find a new purpose and new focus during the hours they were away. It’s taken two years, but I’m finally finding my way.
It’s been said that loneliness is unchosen solitude. But solitude, when it is chosen, can be very sweet and brings with it some lovely benefits.
So I began treating my daytime hours as a retreat from the world of clutter, noise, and activity. A suburban hermitage.
I don’t turn on the radio, watch TV, and keep computer time to a minimum.
The silence has changed me. Joy takes me by surprise frequently. I am completely overcome when it happens. The walks every day are part of that joy. We are too disconnected from the natural world nowadays. But silence is another thing that’s missing from our lives. I was surprised, again, by how stretches of silence have calmed me, centered me, and help me to focus on my priorities.