There are weeks where our house is loud and full of energy and noise — and there are weeks where our house is still and quiet. Last week was a quiet one.
My husband has 50/50 custody of his children and years spent in the rhythm of kids going back and forth while we juggled school drop off, work, extracurriculars, appointments, etc. had become our normal. We have yet to find coherence in this new “normal”. The weeks when the kids are with us, he works less, we cook more, we laugh more — our house feels full of life. The weeks when they’re at their mom and stepdad’s, he works more, I work more, and our house becomes so quiet. Productive, but quiet.
Sometimes the quiet is peaceful and sometime’s it’s unnerving. I find myself alone with my thoughts a lot, not able to silence them with a trip to Costco or a night out with my girlfriends. I’m making an effort to sit in my feelings more — the good and the uncomfortable.
My quiet days at home last week were broken up with a few trips in the car — to the post office down the street to drop cards and letters in the mail, to the drive-thru pharmacy to grab some prescriptions, and to Target to pick up an order (where I looked at Target longingly from the parking lot and whispered, “I miss you so much.”).
Over the past month, a new habit has emerged — my dogs and I take a daily walk around the neighborhood (sometimes multiple walks on sunny, warm days). Now they watch me every afternoon with intent, waiting for me to reach into the top drawer of my dresser, pull out a pair of socks, and then grab my sneakers from the closet — because that sends a signal to their little dog brains that says, “YAY! It’s time to GO!”
I really wrestled with the quiet of last week. I missed the noise of our kids. I missed being needed. I missed not having the time or capacity to feel things as deeply as I do when I’m alone with my feelings. But I leaned into those feelings, letting the sunlight warm my face while I sat in my car. I noticed the flowers blossoming and the birds singing while my dogs’ paws click against the pavement. I let the light in, and used its momentum to push me into a new week, full of hope. After all, light and rest are needed for new growth.