One day in June I found myself unexpectedly alone in the house. I went about my work, but it was SO quiet.
We have five kids and four pets. We are always busy, running here or there, tackling this or that. Somebody is on the phone. Somebody is listening to music or to Adventures in Odyssey. Sometimes someone is watching television or a video. People are always walking about. It is rarely quiet at my house, and it is even rarer that I am home alone.
My husband was away on business. The boys who live at home were at work. My daughters were chasing chickens and playing with friends. Isaac works for a farmer who raises chickens, turkeys, beef, and pigs naturally. Isaac asked if the girls could catch the chickens that were going to be processed. They, along with others, helped catch about 500 chickens in an hour. Apparently, they were quite good at it, so they were asked to come back to help move the next bunch to a new feeding area. This exciting and unusual summer activity came with the perk of playing with friends afterward. This is how I found myself in a quiet house able to attack my long list of things I wanted to accomplish.
I didn’t have any interruptions or distractions, which was nice but also a little disconcerting since I am used to them. Even all the pets seemed to be asleep. Suddenly deciding what to do first was a big deal. It was like going shopping alone.
After shopping with children in hand for years, going shopping alone also leaves an odd feeling like I am missing something—or more like someone. There isn’t someone to share an idle thought with or to ask to help find something or to just chitchat with.
Certainly one can work faster and more efficiently. It may take some time to get used to, but people are always adjusting to circumstances. It made me think of the empty nest syndrome. I have years to go before that hits, but if I feel like a fish out of water when my house is empty for a day, I may feel lonely and out of sorts for a while when my children have all grown up.
Oh, I won’t think about that now. It seems a long way off. Though of course, my oldest was just a newborn yesterday so it probably isn’t as far away as I think. I guess there is one thing we can always rely on: change.
Meanwhile when I get a quiet day to myself, I better use it to the best of my ability doing my thing to practice for when it becomes the norm. What do you do on your quiet days?