When I was quite small, but past the age of, “nap time,” my mother instituted the idea deemed by the phrase, “quiet time.” This was the replacement for nap time in which I could choose whatever quiet activity of my choice to engage in, but the rule was to stay in my room until I felt refreshed and calm. Little did I know at the time my mother was laying the foundation for an essential part of a healthy life. Finding balance is absolutely the struggle and key to leading a balanced life. Part of this balance for me, is engaging in some form of, “quiet time,” that brings me peace or joy for that day.
Now, as an adult, I cherish my quiet time. I love quiet solitude. Snuggling into the crook of the couch and reading is a favorite past time of mine. I used to read aloud stories to Cassie dog, and I still read to Bella cat. One of my favorite memories of Cassie, this past April was reading her a story earlier on in the week, and sitting quietly with her at my feet, the day we had to put her down. There is something to be said about sharing a story and letting words wash over you in a quiet hour of the day.
In a full day of teaching, there is no, “quiet time,” which, makes sense, however, with the exception of read to self or D.E.A.R. time (Drop everything and read J). This is probably one of my favorite times in a teaching day to share with students. My inner librarian emerges as I explore my classroom library with students to help them find a good fit book. The look on their faces is absolutely priceless when they are paired with a text of their interest and reading ability level!
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives as adults, where is our quiet time? I mean truly, what would happen in society if we provided ourselves, or dare I say, employers provided their employee’s with mandatory read to self time for 20 minutes a day *GASP*? Perhaps employers or companies would see massive improvements, not just in morale, but also in productivity?!
Six years of teaching has lend to many, MANY, memories of amazing students, but one moment stands out as aligning with this particular ramble. The school district provided a writing challenge for kids to; choose any topic of their choice to write a persuasive essay about, in the hopes of making a change in their school. I worked with a student who had a very dry sense of humor and once said to a friend, (which I overheard and later shared at their conference, but that is another story), “You know teachers aren’t in schools because they care about kids, they do it for the money…” Being me, I dramatically paused in my scan of the classroom, made eye contact and replied with, “Darling, don’t believe everything you hear.”
Anyway, I digress; the same charmingly hilarious child chose to write an essay about, “Why Naps Should be Required in School!” The writing was peppered with hilarious insights of the world according to a nine year old and their view of how this could help not only students, but teachers. Needless to say, this didn’t end up happening. However, the student made a profound impact on their peers when they shared their writing with the class and submitted it into the competition.
What about quiet time, peaceful breaks, meditation, or creativity? How do these fit into your life, or do they at all make an appearance? I find that when I have quiet time, I come back to socializing with a renewed and refreshed outlook on a situation; upon which I desire to share what I learned during my quiet time. I am an odd dichotomy of an extroverted introvert.
But, back to quiet time…
I’ve found that this summer time and with the blessing of a summer break, that I appreciate very, very much, I have experienced a lot of quiet time. It draws me back to being a little girl. I learned how to appreciate what being alone and finding a creative outlet in life meant to me. I would become lost in characters and places in far off lands, create performance opportunities for myself, or use my imagination. I worry about my students and our next generation of kiddos for a variety of reasons. But I am primarily concerned with the aspect of being able to unplug and have quiet time with themselves and a book, or a note pad, a musical instrument, a basketball, whatever it may be….quiet time can mean so many different things to each person.
I’m not really quite sure where I was going with this particular thought process, but merely sharing my thoughts. Perhaps, take a little quiet time for yourself today. Take ten minutes and engage in an activity that brings you joy or creativity. Feeding your mind and your soul is healthy for not only you, but also those in your life in whatever capacity that might be. Sparkle on friends.