The Sound of Silence

Woman standing at a seaside listening to the sound of silence

(3 minute read)

A few pieces of insight that may resonate:

  • I am one of the parents who excitingly raise their hands to the air when I think or talk about school restarting.
  • I have done the lions share of ‘home schooling’
  • I (we!) have a 6 and 8 year old
  • I am self employed and regularly ‘worked from home’ pre-covid.

I sat down with my kids yesterday and got them to answer some questions created on a template about their return to school. As someone who studied (and champions) positive psychology I wanted them to explore their feelings about their return, their experiences of being at home: we chatted about what they loved, liked and missed…it was brilliant.

However, this post isn’t about them, or their wonderful ability to explore their emotions and experiences, it is about mine – and ours, as parents. The moments after asking them to rate their time led me to explore my own reflections. Straight away a powerful, almost move like montage, came into my mind as a reel of moments; cycling, exploring, playing, reading, laughing, throwing, catching and watching most of the Disney+ library. Then it dawned on me, this was ending.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some very tough moments of having to work around the kids at home as I bribed, blackmailed and negotiated my way through zoom calls, walking chats and the dreaded ‘home schooling’. (For the record, it was not homeschooling – it was instructing! PDF’s are not how you educate children. Teachers are skilled, creative, developmental experts – and quite clearly, have the patient of a Saint.) Never before had an interlude on tech seemed so worthwhile for the kids (and me!) but overall the experience was immensely pleasurable, and I would go as far to say I really enjoyed it, a genuine moment in life where parenting could be seen, felt and heard as a 3rd person viewpoint.

And this is where the mood shifts. I am an out and out extravert. I am not overly great in my own company for long, and the constant stimulation over the last 6 months has something that went from being strange to ingrained. The concept of silence is a foreign notion at this moment (school actually starts tomorrow!). The noise, background chatter, intrigue, questions and demands will be something I miss. I have to take time to appreciate this and plan my time and day to benefit my new found windows of time, energy and focus. I will no longer be able to discuss what the current situations means for ‘us’ – but experience it first hand for ‘me’. The difference in society has seemed distant as I had my own bubble to care for, but my role has now changed, the bubble has popped, and I need to prepare for it.

I have created an ideal day template of which I will be using daily, to plan, prioritise and creating outcomes which I happily encourage everyone else to do (get in touch for a copy). Digital calendars are fine for diarising, but they don’t give the ability to think around the inputs – so the 30 minutes I start my day completing the PDF are the most creative, even more so post exercise!