Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's more than just a hippy thing

I smiled tonight as I slipped my key into the front door lock.
I knew what would be behind the door.
My beautiful, hardwood floors were covered in muddy dog paw prints. My white kitchen floor, even worse. My backyard after a solid day of rain yesterday, would be a muddy and unkempt looking, and the holes the puppy I've been fostering had dug would be mud holes. None of this would not stop me from taking my dogs out to play. The sun was out again, and the temperature a perfect 58-ish degrees.

As the youngest child of a large family, I was rarely ever alone. Someone was always taking me somewhere, picking me up from somewhere, watching me, in charge of me, or just plain with me. My mom tells me that I used to be really good at giving friends in the cul desac the slip, and slipping into the house and retreat to my room. Once there, I'd bury myself in a book. I still remember that room in the house on Bing Court, the little room at the top of the stairs with the pink rose wallpaper (this was not my choice, blame my sister, Karen). I'd curl up on my twin bed with one of the Chronicles of Narnia and read..and nap. On many occasions my friends and family would be in an outright panic, trying to locate me once the street lights came on (the get your butt home alarm in my family) and only my mom would think to check my room. It seems even in grade school I was looking for my little space in the world. The one without noise or drama, and apparently, other people.

My first place on my own was an efficiency apartment-thing on a horse farm. It was one room and a bathroom, one closet, one sink, one microwave, and a two burner stove. I was deliriously happy there. It was there I learned that phones are a convenience I pay for, not you the caller, me, the callee. (hush). Here I answered the phone when I was okay with being interrupted. This place was far enough out in the country that there was no such thing as unexpected, drop in visitors.

This expanded when I moved to a condo. In condominiums everyone comes to your door, neighbors from up or downstairs, across the hall, or across the street, kids selling cookies, or kites, or titanium screws, mail and package carriers, Jehovah's witnesses, people looking for "spanish speaking members of the household", you name it. This exacerbated my behavior to include, "if I wasn't expecting you, I didn't answer the door" even if you saw me in my house, through the giant sliding glass door before you knocked on my door. Ever.

The people in my life that love me, they get it. A few told me they couldn't possibly sit through the ringing of their phone and not get it., but they understood enough to know I wouldn't if I was reading, or talking to a friend or watching a good movie. I always return calls.

All these years later, I am much the same, with very few exceptions, I answer the door and phone when it suits me to do so. I return calls when I know I have the time and attention to dedicate to the caller that they would want me to.

I love to lay on my bed in my self painted yellow bedroom on a sunny day and listen to whatever I can hear. Controlling the external static in my home gives me great comfort and yes, peace. I know it's a temporary state. I know sooner or later I will have to deal with all of the things I am putting off, and I will. Just not now.

Right now, I will revel in the peace that I create.

Wherever you find peace in your own life or whatever you have to do to create it, for yourself and for your loved ones, tend it well, never take it for granted, one glance at any internatoinal headline will tell you how blessed you are. Anyone who has survived a home filled with domestic violence can tell you how lucky you are to have a space to feel safe in and everyone, everyone deserves a little more Peace.


Mojo said...

As usual, you've floored me. Maybe if we could all just dial it down a notch we'd have the time and the inclination to recognize the "other guy's" point. If we took a step back from the insanely accelerated world we put ourselves in, we might just see the person we would have missed who could really use a kind word right about now. Or maybe turning down the static doesn't do anything but give us that moment of reflection that stops us from doing something hurtful.

Peace, after all, begins in each of us. In our own ways, and by our own definitions.

Wonderfully put JC, and thanks for contributing.

kenju said...

Yes, very nicely put!

justrun said...

Most definitely. :)

Doctor Err said...

just perfect.

rennratt said...


I now keep my cell phone on vibrate at all times, unless I am expecting a call.

It's my own version of "call waiting". People call, leave a message, and wait for me to call back.

tiff said...

I hear ya on the phone thing. Often, even at work, I'll just let it ring and pick up the message when I am ready.

Finding peace is a noble and completely worthwhile effort. It's worth far more than its weight in gold.