Turning down life’s volume

I don’t know about you but most of my days are pretty scheduled.   During the work week, I am up early and out the door on time; I usually work through lunch and conference calls don’t often end until well after the quitting hour.  The funny thing is, I love a schedule. I enjoy the nuances of my work and the fact that some weeks have me traveling one day and in the office the next.    The company I work for is changing, morphing, growing;  keeping a schedule and helping my team know what to expect is critical to our success.

But, when Saturday rolls around, I still arm myself with a big list of things to accomplish.  You know what I mean: clean the closet, organize that stack of medical reports, wash the floor, etc.

I know from where it comes: my parents and Grandparents.  Hard work was expected but good work was praised. Growing up, they didn’t have time to pursue extra interests so what attributes were commented on?  Work ethic. “Oh … he’s a good man, that one, a really hard worker.” Or “Oh that guy, kind of a slacker, be glad you didn’t marry someone like that.”

So there’s a certain genetic marker in me that is programmed to work. To be useful. Effective. Organized.

But also living inside me is the dreamer, the creative one, the one who wants to play.

Some Saturdays you’ll find me going after the house like the White Tornado.

Remember Ajax's "White Tornado?" google images

Remember Ajax’s “White Tornado?” google images

And other Saturdays finding me doing just the opposite.

Today, I did something I don’t often do: I slept ’till I woke. It was 8:08 when my eyes opened … not late, really, but choosing to snooze till my body said “wake” felt like a gift.

I could have slept longer, but I didn’t.

I could have immediately started laundry and put away the dishes and and and.

But I didn’t.

Instead, Frankie and I stood in the doorway to the yard and watched the snow fall.  He sniffed and I sipped and we both smiled at the robins flitting about.

Yes there are things to get done but, more than anything, we’re pushing the off button.

“Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it. – Amir”  – Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Are you able to lower the volume on your life?  Do you have that same genetic marker that tells you work-work-work?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Home, Life, Opinion, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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28 thoughts on “Turning down life’s volume

  1. Goodness me! I awoke at 808 this morning, as well! I’m usually up before 7 on Saturday.
    I’m a scheduler, too. I like organization, sometimes a little too much 🙂

    • Must’ve been the magic time to wake today 🙂 I like to be up early .. without the alarm blaring … to savor the day. I’ve learned that being organized and structured let’s me handle life’s dips & turns much more fluidly than if I were not 🙂 Cheers! MJ

  2. Today started with a lot of chores completed and then…..something came over me and I have been vegging since lunch. I have learned to take some me time (as long as it isn’t too much) along with the chores and of course, playing on my blog! The weather here never lived up to it’s warm prediction (not complaining though — there’s no snow and it is in the 50s). Hoping to work outside tomorrow!

    • Good for you, Kate! Yep, I have learned to do the same … and I seem to vacillate between “all systems go” on cleaning/cooking/scrubbing and completely becoming one with the recliner & my books!

      It snowed this morning and now the sun is out — odd weather 😉

      Have a great day,

  3. When you’re retired after 8 is always the magic time. I love the image of the snow falling and the robins hopping around, its that kind of spring.

    • It was an odd image for sure — but you’re right, it has been that kind of spring so far. Snowing again today but highs near 58 later? odd.

  4. I used to create a “to-do” list every day that I was off work, and it would get done. Yes, I had time to play and enjoy. But since I had my son (and I’m a stay at home mom), it’s all changed. I am slowly getting back into being more productive. But these days, there is often too much time spent on this computer, (often due to the months of rain we get- so I’m not drawn to be outside). And it snowed here today too.

    • It’s all a balancing act, I think, and one I’ve never quite perfected. A messy house doesn’t seem to bother anyone else quite like it does me, however!

  5. Yep, those genetic markers were hard wired into me for the same reasons they were passed on to you. 🙂 (family, growing up on a farm, etc) I think we’ve talked about this before, so I won’t repeat myself here… took hitting the wall emotionally for me to learn how to shut off the task master/ work-a-haulic- voice in my head. Today was a full day around here, (taught a grafting workshop, sold some rabbit hutches on craigslist, looked @ a job I want to bid on), yet was still able to squeeze a nap in mid-afternoon. Sleeping in is such a treat and simple pleasure 🙂

    • Yep – farm living = work, and plenty of it. Good for you for squeezing in a nap; I did that last Saturday and it felt completely decadent to do so 🙂


  6. I don’t keep as rigid a schedule as I used to. I would max out my to-do list and rarely had time for “fun” things. Now I try to schedule some of that into my week.

    • That’s smart. I think we need to be purposeful about doing nothing at least some of the time – for me, that creates peace in my life! MJ

  7. My inner workings are so similar to yours in this way. When the house is messy or dirty, it weighs on me, always hanging there in the back of my mind that there’s something I should be doing to improve it. And so most Saturdays begin with me in the kitchen, cleaning. I move my way around the house from there until things are presentable again. BUT… there are times when my inner demands give me a break and allow a less hectic, slightly less thorough job to be done so that I can enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures.

    I’m glad you and Frankie had a chance to sleep in, wake up lazily and enjoy watching the snow. It’s exactly how Lucy Pie and I started our day today! 🙂

    • Yes! I hear you there — I don’t particularly enjoy the cleaning part but I do like the results so when the house is tidy and smells fresh, I appreciate the energy that creates for me. On the flip side, sometimes my inner dreamer stomps her foot and demands I give in to her desires which equals to several hours of quiet reading or listening to music. Whatever it is that brings balance and joy I think we need to do it. Frankie has mastered it 🙂 Cheers to you & Lucy Pie!

  8. I agree that I love to be up early – 8:00 seems like I’ve wasted all morning! I wouldn’t say that I’m always doing what I should be doing, but if I’m having “fun” and the house is a mess, I feel the guilt. If I could just teach Sundae to vacuum the kitty fur she sheds, that would help a lot!

    • Yes if we could only teach the pets to vacuum we’d be way ahead! I like to be up early even if I’m not doing anything in particular 🙂 MJ

  9. Snow?! Glad you could “sleep in” until 8:08 and enjoy the day with Frankie. I had to laugh at your “washing” the floor… Your weekend sounded relaxed… you deserve it! Our floors didn’t get “washed” this weekend. Spontaneously on Friday, husband called the kids and informed them we were going to watch the Masters with them. By 8:00 we were there and I was with grandbaby again to see him at 7.5 mos! At home T-Bob wakes me up by 5-5:30…but at daughter’s I slept in until 7 something. It was wonderful!

    • and it snowed yesterday, too — was a white out for a while and then about 50 later in the day – odd. My Grandma pronounced it “warshing” the floor. HA! I’m glad you got to see the kids & esp. that grandbaby! 🙂 MJ

  10. You had snow? It has been so warm and sunny here that I think I would have paused to watch the snowfall too.

    • not once but twice this weekend — then rain — and 50F and sunny in the afternoon. 60 today with lots more rain. We’re having an un-spring 🙂 MJ

  11. Oh, I’m very much a victim of this…built to manage my lists! But I do appreciate the luxury of a day or two just puttering around…doesn’t happen often enough! ~ Sheila

    • We are the list-makers aren’t we? Puttering … what a great word. That’s what Frankie and I did that Saturday morning (which feels so very long ago now….) Happy Day! MJ

  12. I’ve been pondering this blog, and….I must have some sort of structure to be happy. Even my “easy, relaxing days” have a list that I try to follow or accomplish…even if that list is “coffee & devotional; wash truck, hardware store, nap, dinner and movie with C.” If the work is different from my normal work, then I find pleasure in it.

    • That is very true, if the schedule/work load is different than the “normal” load I think we tend to enjoy it more 🙂 MJ

  13. I like to know what is expected of me, and my hope is that I will exceed the expectation. That said, I like a ‘rough’ schedule for the day. I thrive during the week due to the routine. Weekends throw me for loops, because there is no real structure – no real plan – sure, I’ll do housework, but I prefer to do that type of thing during the week, working from home, when the boys are in school.
    Sundays are my peaceful days. After church, I will sit and just soak in the day. I turn off, and I let things go. So I look forward to the work weeks and Sundays. Saturdays can make me anxious.

    • I’m sure you always surpass expectations, including your own! I know what you mean, I like a “rough” schedule, too, for too much time is really just that … too much time. Having said that, I’d sure like a stretch of time with nothing to do so that I could get sick of it. Not happening anytime soon.

      You and I are much alike about our treasured Sundays; I really work hard to keep Sunday as quiet and as peaceful as possible 🙂 MJ

  14. I very much look forward to my quiet times — just reading, or playing at the piano. They’re sort of like a reset button for me. I get cranky if I don’t get a little respite from the cacophony of the daily routine.

    That said — I am a “vegetables before dessert” person, meaning I have to finish my to-do list (or most of it) before I let myself off the hook for the day. Too much inner-German.

    • I like that “reset button” and may steal it! 🙂 And I know what you mean about vegetables before dessert … so true. It goes against my genealogical footprint to goof off FIRST! 🙂 MJ

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