#AtoZchallenge Q is for Quiet

Q

“Our culture is biased against quiet and reserved people, but introverts are responsible for some of humanity’s greatest achievements.” –Susan Cain

Famous Introverts-

  • Albert Einstein
  • Bill Gates
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Rosa Park
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • JK Rowling
  • Al Gore
  • Mahtma Gandhi
  • Michael Jordan
  • Meryl Streep
  • Charles Darwin
  • Frederic Chopin
  • Emma Watson
  • Courtney Cox
  • Laura Bush
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Candice Bergen
  • Roy Rogers
  • Joe DiMaggio
  • Elton John
  • Lady Gaga

and the list goes on and on.

I consider that an impressive list and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m very quiet. I can sit at a meeting and never feel the need to speak. I hear things that no one else does because they are all talking. There is strength in being quiet and I think it intimidates those who are not. When I point out something that I heard, people appear shocked, as if my ability to hear and think is directly connected to my participation in the dialogue. It is interesting what you hear when people are talking and they think no one is listening. (I know, why are they talking if they don’t want to be heard? Well, maybe you can tell me!) I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard a comment, not meant to be heard by the entire group, uttered loud enough to be heard. Now, I’m talking about a meeting setting where a group of people are sitting around a table, with multiple conversations taking place at once. Almost always, people are talking over each other and as I look around the room, I wonder if I’m the only one listening. It’s draining and probably a good thing that no one expects me to talk- except sometimes I do have something to say…

“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly – spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.” -Susan Taylor

And then there is the other quiet. In a world that is filled with chaos, craziness, and sensory overload, I cherish my quiet time. I especially find myself seeking quiet places since so many of my days are filled with an energetic, talkative two year old! There are times when I find myself in complete silence, no tv or music, no talking- just quiet time. And although music is like an instant anxiety reliever, the silence around me really energizes me and gives my batteries the recharge they need.

I’m sitting in my family room right now, my Netflix show having been paused for a half hour now, listening to Ari’s breathing getting deeper and more relaxed as she settles into her nap, hearing the wind blowing,making a whooshing sound down the fireplace. The ice maker just whipped up a fresh batch of cubes and they clattered into their bin. There is ticking from the clock and creaks and groans from the house as it settles, although I’m not sure why it’s still settling after standing here for over 70 years…

I have approximately an hour before my two year old buddy awakes from his nap, and then it’s back to building block towers, pounding out tunes on the xylophone accompanied by singing and dancing, and all the noise and energy that little guy brings. And my quiet time will come to an end until later tonight, when it will be much needed- AGAIN!

Hope your day is filled with quiet or chaos or both- it’s up to you!

-Kat

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

#AtoZChallenge P is for Peace

P

“Peace is not something you wish for. It’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.” – John Lennon

peace
pēs/
noun
  1. freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
    “you can while away an hour or two in peace and seclusion”
    I not only desire peace in my life, I NEED it. I function best in a peaceful environment with a peaceful mind. Having peace in my family is key to everyone’s happiness.
    IMG_4337And it doesn’t happen overnight or just because I say it is going to be- it takes work. Not everyone wants peace or even thrives on it, like I do. I’m aware that there are people who crave chaos and disorder and noise. And that is where they are happiest. I’m just not one of those people.
    In order for me to be at peace, I need peace. 🙂

    How about you? -Kat

 

 

#AtoZChallenge O is for Oddball

O

As I searched for quotes for this challenge, I came across some that I really liked but they just didn’t fit in any specific category that I was looking for. And when I began looking for quotes for the letter O, I found that I wasn’t really feeling any of my O options. So- O is for Oddball Quotes:

  • “Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.” -Emma Watson
  • “Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
  • “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” -William Shakespeare
  • “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi
  • “No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.” – Sheryl Crow
  • “Never apologize for being nerdy because unnerdy people never apologize for being assholes.” -John Barrowman

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Have a great day!

-Kat

 

#AtoZChallenge M is for Music

M

“Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

I’m not sure I agree with this statement. I know that although I love music, I would rather write while listening to music than make the music. My youngest child, Andy, is blessed to be both a gifted writer and musician. His eloquence with words, innate humor and endless imagination could have easily led him to a career in writing.

In middle school he took part in a solo competition, where he played his trombone accompanied by a pianist in a room where he was judged by a music teacher he did not know. He was around 12 years old at the time. The only people in the room besides the judge were my husband and me. As always, my husband was video taping.

His solo began without incident but as he went to turn the first page, we saw a look of panic cross his face. While the pianist was playing, he mouthed to us, ‘Missing a page!’ I bent down to search through his belongings, not even sure what I was looking for. He completed the song without the missing music and with my husband whispering, “Does he have it memorized?” I kept my facial expression positive and supportive as I hissed back, “No clue.”

Afterward while the judge worked on the score, Andy spoke briefly with his pianist, we thanked her and then we awaited his results. Andy shared with us that he had improvised a good part of the song, making sure he was back in place when he reached the part where he had the music once more.

That day Andrew received the highest rating, with impressive comments from the judge. We never knew if he realized that Andy had been winging it. His ability to think quickly on his feet and improvise served him well. If he had been giving a speech and that happened, I’m not sure if the words would have come that quickly.

But he chose music. And that’s where he should be.

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kat

 

 

#AtoZChallenge L is for Lennon, Love & Life

L

For today’s (okay, I admit I’m behind and this is actually Friday’s) post, I’m letting John Lennon’s words speak for themselves.

lennon atoz

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Have a great day!

-Kat

#AtoZChallenge K is for Kindness

K

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change. Kindness that catches us by surprise brings out the best in our natures.” -Bob Kerrey

In the fall of 1995, my oldest child, Michael was five years old, just beginning kindergarten. Middle kid, Kris, was two and a half and baby Andrew was freshly born. Michael was in the afternoon class which meant that I was dropping him off right after lunch- at the very time I would normally be putting Kris down for a nap. Drop off at his school was not as simple as pulling up in front of the building and letting him out of the van. No. Parents were required to park their cars in the lot and walk up to the front of the school and stand there with their child until they let them in and the children had to be in line before they could enter. Because Kris’s nap time was delayed that meant that when it was time to pick up Michael, I had to wake up a cranky toddler. And then I had to add a very miserable newborn baby into the equation. And Andrew was quite miserable- crying most of the time, when I wasn’t holding him.

One day stands out in my mind as clearly as if it were yesterday. It was the day Michael needed to bring a pumpkin to school to decorate. Michael unbuckled himself and climbed out of the van. I unbuckled Kris, bringing my energetic two year old around to the other side of the van, reminding Michael to stay by the side of the van and got a red-faced screaming 3 week old Andrew out of his car seat. (This was during the transition time when infant car seats were just coming out with handles and being baby #3, Andy used his older siblings’ “old fashioned” car seat.)

We slowly crossed the parking lot,  me carrying Andrew in one arm, holding Kris’s hand in my free hand, Michael walking closely to my other side, struggling to keep hold of his pumpkin, which wasn’t that big but still a challenge for a five year old. Within minutes of reaching the line, Michael dropped his pumpkin which rolled away, causing him to have to lose his place in line. As he chased the runaway pumpkin, I turned to find Kris had vanished. Andrew, who had been quiet for the moment, let out his finest baby caterwauling. I was near tears as I called out for Kris, looking around, while trying to help Michael gather his folder and snack which had fallen out of his book bag when he bent to pick up the pumpkin.

And then a calm voice came from just behind me. “Here, let me help you,” my life saver said, as she bent down to help Michael. “Your little one is right there in the bushes.” And she pointed out Kris, whose head popped up from behind the bushes.

Once the kindergartners had filed in, she introduced herself, “I’m Denise. I have three kids too so I know how it is.”

I never forgot Denise’s kindness, even nearly 22 years later. She didn’t know that this kindergarten schedule was disrupting our daily schedule or how hard it was for my routine oriented kids to adjust, in addition to the new baby. She didn’t know that my recovery from Andrew’s birth was moving very slowly. She didn’t know that Andy cried a lot- more than my other two children combined. She could have stood by silently, like the rest of the moms out there.

All she knew was that she saw someone who needed help. That one moment- something that she most likely forgot by the time she got home, stayed with me. And I have tried to pass on the same kindness to others.

“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Have a good one!

-Kat

#AtoZChallenge J is for Joy

J

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” – Marianne Williamson

I don’t talk about my mother here on my blog. There is only one reason-  she is part of an elite group- the people I don’t discuss here. I can tell you that she is still alive. She lives nearby me. She is still part of my life. And she loves me with a fierceness that is not easily expressed but never doubted. She is a strong person who is quite private. What most people might not realize is that she is a fighter, with determination that could rival the toughest in town. She cares very deeply, but rarely lets those emotions bubble to the surface. Although I know she loves us all, we take it on faith, not expecting her to say those words out loud. beej gg

And it is because of all this that I have absolutely savored the time I get to spend with my mom when Beej, my little grandson is around. More than once my mother has expressed how much of joy he brings to her life. It fills my heart with joy to watch great-grandson and great-grandmother together. It brings back memories of the days when my firstborn, Michael, was young and all of the special times we spent with my mom then.

I know that this time is fleeting and I love being a part of the happiness Beej brings to her life.

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

TTFN

-Kat