stop and stay

from strength to quiet

i find it interesting that i went from strength to quiet for my word for 2011 and 2012 respectively. it is interesting to me because, although i did not plan it this way when i chose my word and announced what it would be a couple weeks ago, i am realizing today that they somewhat go hand-in-hand. i think it takes a considerable amount of strength to be quiet, seek quiet, create quiet, foster quiet and cultivate quiet... especially in areas where you are prone or conditioned or patterned not to.

with our unexpected pregnancy, job situation and financial insecurity at the end of 2010, i knew going into 2011 that i would need strength and would need to make that my focus for the coming months of pregnancy and being a first-time mom.

i must say... i was skeptical about this "picking a word for the year" thing. i had been a creature of habit that wanted to keep things old-school and do my usual list of resolutions. but picking that one word was effective... and it worked! it really did! some may say that i would have found strength anyway. but i think that my "think on this thing" mindset worked. and i not only felt that i had the strength i needed for all that i expected in 2011, but also for all that i did not expect.

dwelling on the word strength helped me have a blissful labor and delivery. but something else that i remember remarkably about labor and delivery and coming home from the hospital with isaac is quiet. i made up my mind to have a quiet and calm labor. i had heard "horror" stories in birthing classes... of really difficult and noisy birth experiences for some moms. but i had also heard that the more calm you are, the better the labor, the better the delivery, and the more you will enjoy it and remember it. i wish i could remember more than i do... those darn drugs! but i do remember a wonderful sense of calm and peace. {being surrounded by the ones who were with me was a big part of that, too... the best husband, the best doctor and the best nurse!}

anyway, as i had stated a couple weeks ago, my goal this year is to remove from my life {as much as is in my power to do so} all the noise that should not be there.

i have to get organized and join either the jill coyners or ali edwards one little word online journeys/projects so that i can begin to seek quiet out through photography. i was joining in with jill coyners last year for my strength word, but i was not very consistent with my photos/posts that depicted and spoke of strength. i did still focus on it throughout the year, though... even when i didn't realize it. {i think that's why putting the word out there and claiming it as your focus or goal is important... it really does stay with you.}

well, though i am not yet joined up with any online one little word groups, i officially start my one word {quiet} photos and posts today. actually, i had used a different photo to start things off, but it's inside the draft of another post... a post that will be a sort of proclamation of all the ways i will seek out quiet and sift out the noise this year. but i had to stop that post, because it was actually too painful to write.

even writing this one is painful in some ways. i guess one would not typically think the word quiet comes with a connotation of pain. but for me, it does in part... mostly because i have to quiet {or make a stand for quietness} some of the things in my life that are a source of noise and distraction, but also a source of pain. so writing about it as i go into 2012 is difficult too.

but it is a part of what i strongly desire to achieve... a simple quiet that resembles the words on my words i aspire to page... a quiet that is public when i'm okay for it to be and private when i need for it to be.

today, that quiet is in these old photos... i took them long ago with an old camera. but i gave them a new life today. and i found quietness in them that spoke as softly to my eyes as the word itself does to my soul.

i've already begun.  i made turkey soup-stock tonight after mr. b and isaac went to bed. it was quiet. there were tears, because i see the road ahead. but other than that, there was no room for thoughts... nor for questions, or wondering, or conclusion. i needed it to be quiet. i needed it to be just me... just making turkey stock for soup. nothing more. so that is what it was.

and it sounds odd, i know.... but that is very much a symbolic picture of what my year will be. that might not make much sense to many. but i know that as i continue to write, photograph and walk on this quiet journey, it will all unfold.

it's beginning to get very quiet inside this year. i've found a good place to stop and stay a while.


SueAnn said...

To be and experience quiet is a marvelous state of being. Enjoy your journey!

Stacey said...

I love your word and how it resonates with last year's word. And I love your beautiful photo that goes along with it. Here's to a wonderful year of quiet, friend.

sMacThoughts said...

May your year proceed with peace and understanding every step of the way that you are where you are supposed to be in each moment. Go with the flow and enjoy the wonderful gifts you are surrounded with; they are all around you!

Kara said...

I love your chosen word for 2012. It's so different than what most people pick (of course...it's you we are talking about!). I love how it is reflective and introspective...can't wait to hear what comes about because of it.

Hi Kooky said...

quiet has always been very important to me. i look forward to seeing how your quiet unfolds. and your photos are just gorgeous and restful indeed!

beth said...

it does take strength to be quiet with the noise you have going on in your life....i applaud you !!

Andrea said...

You always have such wonderful things to say in your posts. I love to read them and learn a little bit more about you. Wish we could meet for coffee and chat. :)You have to have strength to know quietness amongst the noise all around us. I hope you have a very quiet New Year.

Naomi said...

Such a great word choice. Being a mom, quiet is a word i often forget. I forget that i need quiet. I need to work on that. :). Beautiful photo by the way! Love!