Cutting Out the Noise

We had the strangest week. It started out feeling like we were in the groove, ready to go, happy-go-lucky. By Tuesday, sh-t had hit the fan in a spectacular manner, Wednesday was utterly exhausting, and Thursday brought stupid but intense misunderstandings. By the time Friday arrived (thank Christ), I was down with a stomach bug and spent the majority of the day in bed.

I’m in a TV rut. I’ve finished The Morning Show (I’m still processing this show weeks after finishing), Truth be Told, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and I’ve even watched some movies as I wait for more of my shows to release new seasons. I was home, in bed, with no real interest in watching anything. I decided to read. A book. On paper. I don’t read actual books very often anymore. I listen to them constantly – every time I’m in the car, doing dishes, folding clothes, or eating lunch. But I rarely make the trip to the bookstore to buy physical books to read. I always feel too busy. Because when I listen to a book I can multitask like a mofo. When I read an actual book I’m stuck doing just that.

I finished a 700 page book on Friday. And it was glorious.

I spent the day in bed, with no other humans, reading. And even when my people came home, I wasted time with them for a few hours, but when they went to bed I went straight back to reading. Tuning the TV my husband was watching in the other room right the f-ck out.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, stomach bug mostly a memory, it was like a heavy winter fog had cleared. When that happens, the trees look like they’re covered in crystal in a winter wonderland. It’s beautiful. The time reading a real live book, with quiet around me (even when I was creating my own quiet in a house full of my family), cleared the fog of the previous several days. And like the trees after a winter fog has lifted, I could feel beauty and resolution left over from the ugliness of our week. With no lingering ugliness at all. I felt total peace and calm.

We’ve spent the past two days doing what you do with teenagers on a weekend. Picking up and dropping off friends, making meals for them and their friends, going to the gym, running errands, and – in the midst of all of this – I ran back to the bookstore to buy another two books. One of which I’ll finish when I crawl into bed tonight (my GoodReads 2020 reading challenge is going to get its a-s kicked this year!!!).

People who are in great physical shape are often better able to recover from injury because their bodies are already so fit. Our ability to cut out the noise from the week, recover quickly (and acknowledge how much better we are at this now – as opposed to even a couple of years ago), and find ways to decompress and refocus on what is important is something worth celebrating.

It’s also a lesson on how to proceed going forward. Reading for the past few days has been such a joy – something I kind of forgot I loved so much. Even just 15-30 minutes of reading is enough to calm my brain, and get rid of the nonsense that surrounds everyone in their day-to-day lives (let alone the really stupid sh-t that can go wrong in a bad day, week, or month). Forgetting how to take care of ourselves is surprisingly easy. We can be idiots when it comes to doing what is necessary to maintain our balance, focus, and peace. Things we know are vital – but that normal adult responsibilities sometimes make really difficult.

Here’s hoping we can better remember what it takes to get ourselves back on track when the fog and external noise of life sidetrack us or bring us to a standstill.


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