Speaking of Verbal Vomit …

verbal abuse

verbal abuse (Photo credit: iamsongs)

Here’s my rant. Not that you asked but I feel the need to share it anyway.

This week has been crazy. Crawl in the bed and curl up in fetal position kind of crazy. You know, the moment where you think:  “I hope no one asks me for anything because I have nothing left to give.”

Read my lips before I spew unnecessary (and possibly inappropriate) words on you:  NOTHING.

In the midst of the back-to-school process; figuring out a new routine (which have I mentioned I hate the change); attending open house and parents night; I’ve also had a sick dude. Strep throat. So, the past three days, my husband and I have been juggling schedules to make sure one of us is home to care for and comfort him.

But wait, there’s more …

My inbox keeps filling up with things that I need to do or respond to, both personally and professionally. Being out of the office doesn’t mean the world stops (although it would be nice if it did). This is one of my busy seasons. I was buried before my little guy needed the extra tender loving care.

Couple that growing work pile with an urgent and disturbing situation that I should have been outraged by but was surprisingly nonplussed. Shameful how desensitized we can be to truly poor behavior, attitudes, and opinions that are put in front of us. I wish I could share more on this topic but the details are confidential and my outrage, I think, is a slow burn.

All of these things together have eroded my patience. My mind wanders. I’m distracted. Hopefully, I’m not too mean. And I’m emotionally drained. It’s eating up all my energy.

But that’s not all …

I haven’t had any personal time to just be still. Solitude to rejuvenate. Silent time to think through it all. If I could just be separate and apart for a time, I wouldn’t be here hurling on you.

My writing has suffered too. When good ideas come I write them down in my notebook. I do my best to capture them … but I mean even finding the time to write a 500-word blog post has been difficult. Forget novel writing. My novel sits collecting dust on my mind’s bookshelf. An important part of writing, I’ve found, is time to just sit and think about writing. I need the “me time” to gather my thoughts.

“Calgon take me away.”

Do you remember this slogan? It’s sad when such a statement becomes your anthem.

Thankfully, someone took pity on me. A beautiful beacon of light. My dear friend and writing partner let me verbal vomit details all over her. She spared you the worst parts of the rant I have churning in my mind. Plus she sent me home with a cure for all that ails me … a box of tea bags and permission to have a quiet moment. Vanilla Caramel Chamomile sounds delicious but the Sleepy Time is what I am craving. I’ve reached my breaking point. I am scheduling a moment’s peace right now. Tonight I will recover.

I will lay my head on the cool tile floor of conversation, hugging the porcelain bowl of language while hoping I can just keep my mouth closed.

That is all … now my retching, I mean my rant is done.

My smile is back in place. My teeth serving as a stop-gate to any more blah blah blah blech.

Practicing Silence

Solitude is a spiritual discipline. Solitude and silence go hand in hand.

“Without silence there is no solitude. Though silence sometimes involves the absence of speech, it always involves the act of listening. Simply to refrain from talking, without a heart listening to God, is not silence.” ~ Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster

That’s not all. Silence is a powerful communication tool. My husband recommended I end the post here followed only by blank lines, for effect. But I haven’t mastered silence yet, obviously, because I always have something to say. Words bubble up inside of me waiting to pop out of my mouth at any given moment.

I’m one of those people who thinks every conversation is about me. As a writer and avid reader I tend to have random tidbits of information to share or interesting tales to tell in hopes of adding to the flavor of any conversation.

It rarely occurs to me (usually after the interaction is over) that others may not find my tidbits and tales worthy of conversation. Walking away is the point where I realize I did all the talking and the other person was gracious enough not to call me a conversation hog even though I was …

Sorry, just being straight. I can’t help myself. But I am working on it.

When my husband started seminary 4 years ago, I was a little panicked. The pastors’ wives that I knew seemed to have this wonderful ability to know when to share and when to keep quiet. In my case, there are enough incidents of “open mouth, insert foot” that I couldn’t imagine being a pastor’s wife.

As I attempt to figure out what it means to deepen relationships, I find myself biting my lip to hold in the words. I make an effort to just let the other person share and not act on my need to tell my equally (if not more so) amusing story. Better yet, I am working on staying in the moment long enough to hear what the other person has to say instead of thinking about what I will say next or introduce into conversation.

I realize there is a need for relating, connecting, or identifying to deepen relationships. However, if my focus is all about me I will miss the real opportunities to connect.

  • Dramatic Pause
  • Pregnant Pause
  • Pause Expectantly
  • Waiting with Bated Breath

Silence can be a powerful way of expressing emotions ranging from anger and contempt to love and concern. I am learning the power of silence as a key to deepening relationships. Trust me it is hard work; especially for a self-proclaimed talkaholic who used to say, “I like to hear the sound of my own voice.” Okay, maybe I still say that. But I am thankful that my focus is shifting to others for a change.

If you have ways that you make people feel like the most important person in the room or in a conversation please share. This is a quest like none I’ve ever experienced.