Once upon a time there was a girl who awoke each day to the feel of sunbeams all warm on her face, or the calming sounds of raindrops on her roof. She lay there, still and quiet as the sweet chirping of birds outside of her bedroom window made her smile with delight. She lay there as thoughts meandered aimlessly through her mind. Not rushing to pick up a phone to check email or read up on the latest news or Facebook headlines. Simply, she breathed in deeply and then out again, her mind quieted and her body still. And there was nothingness, and quiet and stillness. Peace. And it was there in the empty space, she felt more fully alive than she’d ever felt in all of her days filled with hurried distraction that flashed by in a blink.
She spent her days choosing to embrace the empty spaces of life over the noise.
And she lived.
Most of us would have to admit this sounds must like a far-fetched dream, anything but reality.
I am not this girl, I am however working to become her. I catch myself reaching for my phone as my eyes awake each morning. It’s one thing about myself I wish to change. Such creatures of habit we are.
I may not know everything that makes a life full and good, lives worth being written of in books – but I do know that a life lived with each day beginning with an endless stream of news, media and Facebook statuses don’t create lives worth writing of.
Our world is loud. Too loud. Still, it is only as loud as we have let it become.
I don’t care who you are, not being consumed by all the shouting and noise takes real intentionality. Real effort. A plan.
So this is where we are.
One day last week I had this moment of sobering realization that our family lives far too much of our lives in front of screens. I’m not sure one can truly call the moments adding up to the years of our lives we give away to a screen, true living.
I mean, when was the last time I lived a day? I mean really experienced an entire day? Honestly, I can barely recall. I’m not proud of this, but it is honest truth.
In order to quiet our minds and create an empty space in our lives, our family is trying out a new thing in which we unplug our children from all forms of technology Monday through Friday of every week with limited use on weekends.
For us this means no TV, video games, movies or internet use (except for school purposes.) I know it’s a bit extreme, but we are all a bit addicted so at least for now this is what we need to do. We may change things up as time goes on but we are already noticing a MUCH sweeter, calmer atmosphere in our tiny home on wheels.
I’m trying to figure out the best way to join the kids on this journey despite the fact that I do write and manage two blogs, still I know their little lives aren’t the only ones in need of a good quieting.
I want to change how this story is being written.
I believe we can.
While it is true we would never want to go back in time and erase all of the good that technology has added to lives, it’s just that I’m wondering if the exchange of all that it has also subtracted is leaving our lives in the negative.
I’m not the smartest girl in the world but I do know that I desperately want to quiet the noise so I can hear. And to stop the rushing so there is more time for this. This quiet, calm, full living of life.
What if, just what if we spent less of our priceless days observing the busy, hurried, noisy lives of the rest of the world and more time living our very own?
This is the question I’m asking myself.
I want our children to be free to run and play. To be loud and crazy and wild. There is a time for that.
I also want them to have time to embrace the silence, to learn to be still in the quiet and discover opportunities of imagination and thought within the empty spaces of their own minds.
We spend far too much effort and money filling up our families’ lives with distractions – good things. Forgetting that sometimes we find that the life we are striving so desperately is held within the quiet places, discovered in the simple.
Despite what our culture is always shouting we should do, this is our little family whispering for you to join us on this journey to empty our lives a bit….so that we may find it.
Let’s just slow down together, stop the rushing – and take a little time to clear away the clutter and let the silence rush in.
Tiny home, big life.
How have you found ways to balance all the noise in your own family life? Please share with us in comments!