Quiet. Sometimes you get all caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget what quiet sounds like. But peacefulness is something that we need to treat ourselves to on a regular basis. Surrounding ourselves in stillness gives us time to reflect, not just upon our lives in general, but the paths we have traveled, and the direction we may be heading.
I had the pleasure of spending time in the country yesterday at our RWA annual writers retreat. The event lasts a full weekend. Unfortunately, other obligations only allowed me to devote a day, but those few hours were enough to fill my bill, and gave me energy to recharge, contemplate, and move forward.
Once I left the semi-metropolis of Waco, Texas and entered in the “open” zone, the pressures in my life and the stress depleted. Work duties, (I’m in a new position, and I’m playing catch up which is causing me to panic at times), faded away. The fact my house always needs cleaning, I should watch what I eat, and everything else that bothers me, disappeared as I drove across the near-deserted, hilly highway.
Only me, the open road, and the radio as I happily hummed along with the Thompson Twins. (I like 80’s music, sue me). While many perceive Texas as flat, this ranch is located in the midst of rolling hills, and I even enjoyed the tad bit of autumn, which was a pleasant surprise since we get so little of the season. By the time I reached the cabin, my creativity was in full bloom and I was ready to write.
It was a pleasure catching up with my friends and fellow writers, overindulging in unhealthy snacks, and because of lesser distractions, I was able to get a good deal of edits completed on my upcoming release, Afraid to Breathe. The added bonus was the peace. Only sounds of nature invaded the tranquility.
But I couldn’t remain indoors the whole time. I took frequent walks to not only refresh and revitalize, but to marvel at the beauty and silence around me. The warm, fall breezes blowing against my skin felt amazing, and the scents of crunching leaves and cedar added a blissful reminder of the approaching holidays and generated that little kid excitement inside me.
It wasn’t long enough before it was time to head back to the real world, but I came home in a much better frame of mind. The sad thing is, I toyed with not going this year, but I’m glad I decided to make the trip. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make a huge difference, and for me, enjoying the peacefulness was just what I needed.