Thursday, December 5, 2013

Slow Down, shhhhh.

My favorite time of year is here. Advent. I'm hoping to blog more in the quiet times I have, or will make myself have, as we enter this season of intentional quiet and slowness. It's hard though, the culture tells us to rush, and be loud, and look in all directions. Even my driving time, which is usually a time to reflect (or get my to-do list in order), has become distracting with all the fun decorations. I love it of course, and we even purposely went driving around last night to look at the lights; but all these distractions of the cultural season just mean we have to be so much more intentional about making time for quiet and waiting.

It IS so hard though. This is the first quiet I've taken since Advent started on Sunday, and it's Thursday. But it's necessary. I know it's all just a little too much when I start criticizing everything in my head, and then I start messing things up: I burn the bacon, I get mad at the toddler for taking her hairbow out 8 times (um, just stop putting it back in dummy!), I pull-out in front of people. My mind is distracted and I have this longing to stay in and not talk to or see anyone. And then I realize I need to create, write, listen to music, go for a walk, knit, etc. As an introvert, these things are refilling my energy stores that have been depleated by daily life. By the exhausting task of talking to the grocery store check-out person, by Wednesday night church dinners, and by living with and loving on 3 young kids. All things I enjoy but things that wear me down. 

Trying to be better about the quiet and downtime with the kids too. Although they are quite a loud bunch. :)
These things are helping:
1.) No cable. We only use the Roku for tv watching now which means no commercials. Can I tell you how nice it is not to have commercials during this time of year? VERY.
2.) Limiting activities. We purposely didn't sign the kids up for too many activities for the Winter. H is done with golf and A is almost done with dance for the season. It allows us more time at home and together.
3.) Our advent calendar. I opted out of the "stuff" Advent Calendar this year. And went back to the envelopes with fun activities that we did a few years ago. This time though, A and H added their own ideas and they are really into it so far. Tonight's activity is to go shopping for the child we chose off the Angel Tree at church. 
4.) Following the Want, Need, Wear, Read guidelines for Chirstmas Gift ideas. It cuts down on the more, more mentality at this time of year. 
5.) Also, this new to us album and this old favorite. Good stuff. 

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