I have learned over the past few years that I love to have quiet times.
Times where I sit and no one is talking to me. There is no TV blaring. There is no music playing. There is just the ambient noise of the world going on around me. The low hum of my humidifier. The traffic outside my window.
I didn’t use to be this way.
I used to fill my world with noise. I always had music playing or the TV on. I had a noise machine that helped me fall asleep. I couldn’t exist without some sort of noise in the background.
But for the last few years, that has been changing.
Because I have been changing.
Years ago, I started to feel like I was never going to get organized. And if you know me, I am an organizer at heart. So, I began to change. I built systems to hold all my stuff. Bought bins and stacked them high. Labeled everything. Still felt overwhelmed.
I saw a bunch of reviews for a book called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and it felt like something I needed to read. I got a copy for my birthday about 3 years ago, and it really did change my life. That book started me on my journey to minimalism. My journey to quiet.
What I realized when I started to implement that book was that almost none of my stuff was “sparking joy”, the test you use to determine if you want to keep something. I was buried under a bunch of junk that I didn’t really like and in the end, that was making me feel overwhelmed.
And I got rid of stuff. I am still getting rid of stuff 3 years later. This is a journey that has taken me a long time. Getting rid of stuff brings up all kinds of emotional issues for me, and I generally have to work through them before I can move on to the next step. Right now, I am on the last step in the book of going through all your memorabilia and keeping only what sparks joy. This takes me forever. I usually do one marathon day, and then I can’t look at it all again for weeks. But, I am getting through it, and it makes me feel so much better when each box goes away, and I am left with empty space.
Because I am finding that empty space equals creativity. Empty space equals room to grow. Empty space equals thinking. Empty space equals quiet.
And I am finding that quiet is where the magic is. I think there and write there and create there. My brain can expand and learn there. Quiet is magic.
I am writing this today because I needed to be reminded of all of these things. I have been living with a roommate who does not share these values and the clutter that has invaded my world has been immense. Yesterday, it overwhelmed me and so today, I am reminding myself of the quiet and the beauty of space. I am willing my mind to remember, so I don’t feel that overwhelm again.
And I am writing it down, so I don’t forget why I am going down the path of minimalism. I don’t want to forget why I tidy.
I am enjoying the quiet.