I begin this post today with a fresh perspective and renewed joy. Over the past year it has been incredibly special to be living a slow, quiet life. For the whole of the years I have lived, the world has celebrated extroverts, lively and flamboyant. As an introvert it has felt like I have been swimming against the tide. I find a lot about modern life tricky. Noise. Lots of people. Busyness. Noise. Expectations. Noise. I am introvert through and through. I don’t know that I have always known this. I remember being loud and raucous at school. But not comfortable. Never one hundred percent comfortable. The only time I was fully at Peace was when I was alone. I have always loved being alone. I find it calm, peaceful and oddly energising.
During the lockdown, a wonderful calm has rested over me. Even in the ragged storms of illness and the pain of broken dreams, inside my spirit feels in harmony, closer somehow to God, without the busy noises of modern life. This lockdown I am more authentically myself than I have ever been before. Our days are slow. Our routines designed to incorporate every person’s needs. There are eight in our little cottage. Only Gary has been going out of the house to work. Thomas works from home mainly, whilst Lil, Charlotte and Ads study from home and the littles and I work steadily at our usual daily chores, combining book work with delight learning and a little bit of project work blended in for fun.
And as I spend less and less time away from society as a whole, the more at home and at Peace I feel. Modern life is a life well suited to extroverts; it is not as familiar or homey to us introverts. Lockdown has been a small gift to me. No rushing. No internal battles about whether to socialise or not. No need to turn friends down because of a deep need to be alone. Instead I greet each day comfortably and completely at home in our beautiful old cottage. Finding joy in the simple chores around the house, in snuggling with my little ones as I read aloud to them or they read poetry to me and in the complete privilege of having the adult teens in the house seek me out for a chat or sharing their ideas, their enthusiasm for another new project. I love this uncomplicated life full of simple tasks and meaningful living.
I wonder how I can, not just preserve these days, but bring them forward and live them as life opens up once more and frees us from the clasp of lock down. I appreciate what and who I am more than I ever have before. Living without the expectations of anyone but my own self is extremely freeing. I want to cling on to these days of tranquility and harmony, and never let them go.
So I make a silent, hidden promise to myself to find those moments even in the busyness to come; to allow myself to gently close my door and breathe in the quiet of my home; and maybe most of all to be gentle with myself. I am me as much as you are you. For maybe the first time ever I appreciate the core of who I am. And I realise that maybe just maybe being myself is enough.
Enjoying the simple things life has to offer and choosing to shut out the noise of twenty first century living is okay.
God has made us in all shapes and sizes and with all sorts of wonderful and varied personalities. Maybe Peace comes not just from accepting who we are individually but from fully embracing that individuality? ❤️