I am alone at home for the first time in weeks. Today, the silence feels like emptiness. I have planned, risked, and worked for this, and now it’s here and I’m a little afraid of the stillness. I miss structure. For two months, we’ve been in crisis mode. We’ve rushed from one thing to another, doctors appointments, family commitments, and busyness buffered me from the sound of the clock ticking, and the hum of the refrigerator.
In this quiet place, I have some work to do in my house, and in my life. My house is definitely worse for the wear. The windows and floors could use a good scrubbing. I’m not sure what is growing in the downstairs shower. But, even that is probably just hustle. This quiet place is about more than dust bunnies. It’s about purpose and value. It’s about reconsidering the pieces of my life and determining the shape of the next season.
In this quiet place there are certainties. I am clear about who I am, about my skills, and passions. I feel pretty clearheaded about what I bring to the table, and where my weaknesses lay. I know that faith, community, serving others, and gathering people are among my greatest values. I am surrounded by people who love me and want my very best. It feels like I have a bucket of experience and a handful of gifts to use. I am certain there is meaningful work and purpose ahead.
But there are also a lot of questions. I am unsure about how these things fit together now. For the past few years, I have been drawing everything I ever learned (and a whole bunch of new skills) together in a job that while impossible, was also invigorating and gratifying. I never imagined I could lead, serve, partner, work, and commit with that much focus and energy. I loved the sense of having all the oars in the water pulling together for a shared goal. Being part of a team working together is among my greatest joys. I hope that part of my life isn’t over forever.
The quiet gives me space to explore. I am thinking about new possibilities and considering new options. It feels like anything is possible, but I’m a little afraid of that anything feeling. I am a planner and an organizer. I like to know where we are going and then make a plan to ensure a good outcome. This lack of direction feels vulnerable. What if I choose the wrong things? How can I know which way to go? Where will the next path lead? There are too many open-ended questions for my taste.
I usually try and skip over this part. I like to line up my next goal before I’ve quite finished the last. That way, I am clear about what needs to happen next and miss this middle part. I hate this murky middle space between the end of the old and the beginning of the new. Maybe that is part of my trouble, I need to allow for this space too. Maybe I shouldn’t just run from one thing to the next, and the next… maybe, there is something here in the quiet for me.So, I’m going to hang out here a bit. I might wash a floor, or wipe a window if I get nervous, but I want to explore for a bit before I move on. I might just learn something about myself here in the quiet.
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