searching for quiet (#wholemama).

I suppose I’m a product of my generation.

A child of the 80’s, and a teenager of the 90’s, technology grew in me as it grew in its presence to the world. Computers didn’t enter classrooms until late elementary school, when good and obedient children earned a round or two of The Oregon Trail (fitting, I’d say, for a girl raised in the Beaver State). I didn’t learn how to type properly until my sophomore year of high school, but was grateful my fingers quickly acquiesced to the repetition and rigidity of the keyboard after all those years of piano lessons.

oregon-trail-game

I got my first cell phone my senior year of college, an old Nokia I nicknamed Zach Morris. With sixty minutes a month on the plan, it was for emergencies and for looks more than anything else. Bordering on hubris, I found picking out – and giving out, let’s be honest – my own phone number simply hilarious: 253-272-CARA.

For a long time, e-mail was my only form of communication when it came to technology, because it was the only form of communication when it came to technology. Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and Linked In – all forms of social media I regularly use now – were barely a twinkle in their creator’s eyes.

But then, social media came in like the tide, splashing over us, daring us to play Chicken with its waves.

Constantly connected, we’re never not available to our friends and acquaintances, past and current employers, strangers and followers. Information is available as long as I have a wi-fi connection, and guaranteed two-day delivery beckons me click “purchase” via the Amazon Prime app on my phone.

Technology is such a part of my life these days that I can’t remember a life without the comforts of All This Noise and All These Distractions.  

If I squint my eyes really, really hard I might recall checking the answering machine on the line I shared with four other members of my family – you know, the one we’d be away from all day long, wondering and waiting to see if anyone had called for us. Just like faint memories of classroom movies shown on the old film projector, I might remember a world in which we cracked open the Encyclopedia Brittanica, instead of opening a new browser screen.

And while I’m all for the advancement of technology, I’m against the fact that it tells me I can’t live in a world of quiet.

I’m against the fact that technology urges me into a life of more, of endless consumption and constant reels that tell me what I think I need, right here, right now.

I’m against the fact that it quickens my insides and makes me forget that breathing slowly and living slowly and entering into the moment slowly truly matters. 

So, today, tonight, this week – I want quiet back. I want to not fear quiet, but I want to embrace quiet.

Even if it’s scary.

Even if too much quiet feels deafening to me.

Even if I feel disconnected.

Even if it seems to go against the beaten path, straying away from social norms of who I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to do as someone who calls herself Writer. 

Because I don’t know about you, but I want to hear Life. I want to hear and see and find Beauty in the most unlikely of places: when I’m sitting in the backyard with my babies, and when we’re walking down the hill to the park on the corner of Lakeshore and MacArthur. When it’s nap time and feeding time, when we’re running errands and when the witching hour hits.

Because when the screaming starts – which it will – and the tantrums commence – which they will – I want to breathe deeply, in and out, in and out, and let ancient words of truth still me:

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me… 

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on…

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy…

Over and over again I’ll say those words, with eyes wide open and ears fully attuned.  And maybe, just maybe, as I inhale and exhale a prayer of lung’s air, a New Peace will find me. 

Or so I hope.

So, what is QUIET to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts – and otherwise, I invite you to check out the #wholemama movement this summer, including this week’s theme of quiet. We’d love to have you join us! 

28 thoughts on “searching for quiet (#wholemama).

  1. I’m also a child of the 80’s, a teen of the 90’s, didn’t have a cell phone until after high school, and only had a computer/email until I started working for the family company into my early 20’s. I’m a stay at home mom to two young kids and homeschool. Quiet to me is after my 4am alarm until the girls get up (anywhere from 7am to 8am). LOL. As for social media, even though it’s an important part of my marketing, I take breaks from it all quite often. If I don’t, I tend to get that eye twitch that makes me go batty. Usually, it’s just a few days, but I have gone a week without logging on. That was a pretty pleasant week. 😉

    1. Isn’t it amazing how much we DON’T miss it, even if it is a little weird at first? I go offline every time we travel – and love it. And we’ll be gone for two weeks later this summer, so we’ll see how that goes! 🙂 In this with you, Angela!

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com

      >

  2. So this is the second reminder that I’ve received online today about how I need quiet and a break from the online world. Add that to the nagging feeling that was already there. I think I need to pay attention. Thank you!

  3. Amen Amen Amen! This resonates so well with me… I used to have a once a week screen Sabbath and I think I need to go back to that. My kids for sure need to experience a technology break. Thanks for re inspiring me!

  4. This just made my heart feel lighter. Thank you.

    “Because when the screaming starts – which it will – and the tantrums commence – which they will – I want to breathe deeply, in and out, in and out, and let ancient words of truth still me:

    Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me…

    Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on…

    Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy…”

    Also, thanks for all the work you have put in this week. It is appreciated.

    1. Oh Chara, thanks for your encouragement. Here’s to tantrums …and seeing Beauty. 🙂 And hopefully we’ll have a vlog with Micha later this summer when she gets back from vacation. The evils of trying to record Skype just weren’t in our favor.

  5. My best quiet time is holding one of my kids, and they are all grown, so it doesn’t last long. 🙂 I think we associate quiet with no noise, which seems obvious, but it’s kind of like associate peace with quiet. There can be this kind of quiet moment even in the middle of storms. Maybe it’s God sitting with us while everything swirls around.

    1. Amanda, oh yes yes yes. Agreed. Quiet is stilling our insides, even if our outsides remain not-quiet (and for me, that means cutting down the distractions that tend to be a bit too noisy).

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com

      >

  6. Yes, yes, yes. I want to hear Life, too. Do you know that this is what my they-tell-me-is-going-to-be-published book is about? I went off the Internet for a year because of all this. My 80,000 words doesn’t say it better than these several hundred.

    1. I love it! And I figured that’s what your book was about. Can’t wait to read it and cheer YOU on!

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com

      >

  7. Oh wonderful! To hear life! Love this. My eight year daughter felt a need to remind me the other day that there are no actual lines connecting our cell phone calls. “Your Aunt Bugg’s on the other line.” …”What line?”…”The other line. On the phone.” …”Mama, cell phones don’t connect with lines.” Am I 90 yet? It’s all come on us so fast hasn’t it?

    1. Man, ain’t that the truth! I just deleted FB and Twitter off my phone. Again. For the one millionth time …and it’s felt pretty good so far. 🙂

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com

      >

          1. HA! First, can we be best friends? Second, could I do that after I go to Greece? By myself (seriously though)? I love me some Facebook when I’m sitting doing nothing for hours. 😉

          2. Well, that, my friend, is not for me to decide. I say take it off your phone so you can fully enter into the land of blue and white!

            Cara Meredith

            writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com

            >

  8. Cara, this is so good! I think it speaks of what we all desire. Technology is good in its place, but I don’t want it dictating my life. I let social media interfere far too much. I, too, want to hear LIFE. I’ve actually not been online as much lately because not only have we been out of town, our internet is super slow. It’s actually been pretty nice except for the fact that when I do want to read or comment on a blog it takes a long time to load up. Maybe I should take heed and take a social media break. But then I’d miss all this #wholemama encouragement. 🙂 Guess I’ll have to find a good balance.

    1. Gayl, absolutely. I think the balance has to – and will – look different for each one of us. But for me, taking FB and Twitter off my phone (and committing to not checking email there either) has been KEY over the past week. Here’s to you finding your quiet!

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com

      >

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *