Getting Quiet, Part 1

The other day, I was working in the yard and I popped my phone in my vest pocket, thinking I might listen to music or a podcast.  I never pulled it out of my pocket.  I went for a walk yesterday and, again, thought about listening to music or a podcast.  I left my phone on the kitchen counter.

In both instances, I chose quiet.

I love music and there are a few podcasts that I love as well, but sometimes I need for nothing new to enter my ears or head or heart.  Do you know what I mean?  I’ve mentioned this podcast several times to you (because it’s such a good one, and is my go-to) but, even though I gain something from every single episode to which I listen, sometimes I need not to listen.  Sometimes I need to set aside other people’s thoughts (even the really good ones) and just be with my own.  Sometimes I need to refrain from people’s melodies (even the really good ones) and just be with silence…or maybe a little birdsong.

About five minutes into my walk yesterday, I was thinking how glad I was that I wasn’t listening to music or conversation; instead, I was listening to the birds.  The sun was shining and it was a beautiful spring day.  As I walked, face lifted to the sun, I felt present and fully content.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with listening to music or a podcast while you walk or run or clean the house or whatever…because there’s not.  I love listening to a good song with the volume cranked (just ask my kids when they get into the car after I’ve driven somewhere without them); I love a deep and thoughtful conversation.  All I’m saying is that sometimes it’s nice not to add anything to the equation.  I’m saying that sometimes it’s nice to welcome in the quiet.


This isn’t earth-shattering, I know, but it’s something to consider.  As with so much in life, it’s about making choices.  And those choices will vary from day to day, from circumstance to circumstance. Sometimes cranking the tunes in the car is the way to go.  Sometimes sitting in the quiet is surprisingly pleasant.  You get to choose what feels good for you.

I simply invite you to consider, at least sometimes, the quiet. In our world, which is hyper-everything, it’s okay to skip the latest podcast recording (even the one that a friend told you was so good), it’s okay not to read all the blogs and all the articles, it’s okay not to view every post on Instagram or Facebook. Certainly, it’s okay to do any of those things.  It’s also okay not to do any of those things. You choose.

And here’s a tip:  It helps to get quiet when making an important choice.

Sending a little love your way, m

19 thoughts on “Getting Quiet, Part 1

  1. hmm, I take walks in silence all the time! I cannot imagine not hearing the birds :) I do have some podcasts that I listen to but I only listen to them when I’m knitting. I love silence and my husband goes nuts because he has to listen to music (all the time..).

  2. Like Grace, I am a seeker of quiet {although the irony of me sat here typing this now with my son drumming is not lost 😉}. I too am a huge music lover, but when I am walking I love to be present with all my senses and birdsong is such a delight, isn’t it.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend, Michelle ❤️

    1. I smiled, imagining your son’s drumming in the background as you were reading/writing ;)
      And the birdsong…definitely a delight, I absolutely agree!

      Hope you have a lovely weekend too, Jane!

  3. I just visited a friend who chided me for not being up-to-date on my technology. In her exuberance she insisted I install a podcast app on my phone and set me up for several well-recommended podcasts. I know she loves me and only wanted to share what she loves. But, I thrive on simplicity and try to ask, “will this make my life more complicated? ” If the answer is yes, I typically don’t join in. I love the quiet in my car on a drive, the quiet in my head on a long walk, and the quiet in my home as I write and process photographs. I might be missing out . . . but there is joy in missing out, too. Thank you always for your thoughtful words and sincere photographs. They do not go unnoticed.

    1. It’s sometimes harder to filter through experiences like this…when someone who loves us just wants to share! It’s lovely and well-intended, and yet…
      The question that you ask yourself – that touchpoint – is so very important. I like that you check in with yourself in that way. So Good. I’ve no doubt that in “missing out” on something you (me/we) are gaining in other ways. Here’s to touchpoints and checking in with ourselves. Here’s to the quiet…

      {and thank you for that last part. so much}

  4. I love music, and have it playing most all the time. Except when I don’t. Because I need the quiet. Sometimes, quiet is the way to find yourSELF again. Balance. XO

  5. You already know how much I love quiet so I don’t need to tell you how much this post resonated with me {even though I just did ; ) } I love the On Being podcast as well and have begun listening to Super Soul Sunday. As tiresome as it can get, seeing Oprah everywhere, she does do wonderful interviews. Have a lovely weekend, Michelle! xx

  6. Michelle,
    This was really good. It is important to have Quietitude. It is good for my well- being. There are times I feel I can not function properly without it.

    1. I feel the same way, about it being good for my well-being and that I cannot function properly without some amount of it in my life. It is so very necessary.
      {and thank you…I’m glad you enjoyed the read} xo

  7. I am all in with this. I often get in my car and think I need the quiet today. I used to run with music. Now I walk with silence/birdsong. Because my brain is creating. I am working out hypothesis or synopses or recipes. And I am always aware of my choice. It’s a maturing mindset to choose your own process over distraction. It’s about trusting your brain.
    Love to you,

    1. It’s definitely a maturing mindset to choose process over distraction. I wish I’d learned this (or even thought of this) when I was younger. Yes to the trust…

  8. Lovely magnolia, is that in your garden? I do quiet a lot, I love listening to birdsong, and though I live in an urban area there’s a lot of birds tweeting here :)

    1. Isn’t it gorgeous?! No, not in our garden (darn!). I have to walk a bit to enjoy the magnolias in other people’s yards!!
      And it’s so good to know you find quiet too. I have more thoughts on quiet (which maybe I’ll share next week). As for birdsong…I find it sweet, and sometimes even comforting. So glad you have birdsong in your urban area.


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