Yesterday was a long day. Not bad, just long. And filled with voices. Lots and lots of voices beyond my own. The day started out quietly–which is really why I get up at 4:15. Disregarding the meowing cats and whiny dog, my day began with 2 hours of blissful quiet. Then came the teaching, the parenting, the phone calls, the emails, and neighbor visits. None of it “bad”, just non-stop. I felt bad I had little energy left for my husband when he returned from work. I was still teaching at 7:30. By 9 PM, my head felt squeezed by the echos of the day. Clenched teeth didn’t help. There was simply no room left for my own voice, my own thoughts, my own solitude. I tried to write and, ironically, couldn’t find the right words. My daughter, still working on homework, called to me from the other room. I heard only mono-syllables that sounded something like Charlie Brown’s teacher; “Wah-wah-wah-wah-wah.” I didn’t respond. At that point, I didn’t even want to hear my voice. I looked at my husband with pleading eyes. He responded. I had passed the saturation point.
I knew it was past time to “pack it in” for the evening, but I couldn’t stop the voices. I played excerpts of the day over in my head. I jotted notes in my planner. I mentally responded to unanswered emails. I closed my eyes. And there, in the darkness of my own eyelids, I heard another voice. It was my Ya-Ya in Kansas. While talking about home decorating, she once said there should always be a place where “you can rest your eyes” in a room; a place void of pictures, or knickknacks, or anything else that made the eyes work. Exactly what I needed last night; a place where I could rest my eyes… my ears… my brain.
So, I went to the place I always find peace. I stayed on Colorado, but I went to the beach (via the power of digital photography.) And with the help of my imagination, the sounds of the surf, the warmth of the sun, and the feel of the sand between my toes gave my brain the perfect place to rest the voices.
With gratitude to my Ya-Ya, once again, for her shared wisdom and the rest it gave me last night.
How do you turn off the voices at the end of a long day?