Reading a book on meditation this week that suggested I invest in a dedicated quiet space in my home. What?? Is this guy crazy? I live in 600 square feet!, I thought to myself, and what house with two toddlers has any kind of quiet space, anyway? Wait. He might be onto something after all...
Living in a tiny apartment, I've already leared that dedicating spaces to different activities really does make the home run smoother. For example, Play-doh gets played with in the kitchen, where it won't get smooshed into the carpet. Crackers don't get eaten on the bed. Water play happens in the bathroom, to save everything else from getting wet. When each thing happens it its right place, home life is so much easier to manage.
Also, common sense will tell you that dedicating spaces to different activities will make those activities happen! It's been wonderful to see how often my husband has spent time playing music since we consolidated his instruments into an open space in the living room. And ever since I gave the kids a little art nook, they have done more drawing, writing and coloring than they ever did before.
Finally, even more than both of those: dedicating spaces to different activities makes home life healthier. When I fall asleep on my bed, I get a better night's sleep than when I accidentally fall asleep on the couch in front of the TV! When I work exclusively at my desk it means that when I walk away from my desk, work is done for the day. When I eat at the dinner table, I eat so much better than when I eat on the run. That's because these spaces were made for these things. These spaces are, along with the activities they are built for, like two gears that come together to form a well-working machine.
Why would quiet be any different? Just like good eating, good working, and good sleeping, I want my house to (at least occasionally) have good quiet moments. Don't you? I love the sound of rowdy toddlers, I really do, but sometimes, I want something else. I want to put the kids down for their nap, sit someplace, and just rest. Not work, not sleep, not eat— just rest. Read a great book. Maybe even meditate.
So perhaps I'll make a quiet space after all. Because if Play-doh doesn't work on the carpet, and eating doesn't work in bed, why do I keep thinking quiet will work in a place where all day we're loud, loud, loud? And why do I expect quiet will come when it has no right place in my home? John Jefferson Davis, the author of the book I was reading, recommends a chair, a bookshelf, and some inspiring art. That shouldn't be too hard to fit into 600 square feet, should it? Perhaps then I'll find the power of smooth running, healthy, peace?