This morning I awoke at 6:30 am, hit the snooze button (twice) and ran out the door with the three children, lunches, backpacks, full stomachs, shod feet, and relatively clean faces by 8:30 am. Every time I do this, I am in awe of the mothers and fathers who do this every day.

We arrived twenty minutes later to our twice/month homeschooling families co-op. Moms, a dad or two, and swarms of children milled around our campus…the closest to classroom school my children experience. In order to take part in the co-op, each family must co-operate and give of their time and skills to earn points. Most of the mothers teach a class or help with a class, AND help in another capacity (bookkeeping, photography for yearbook, snacks and coffee, etc.). In other words, when we arrive and throughout the morning, the moms are working.

Well, by the luck of the draw, I am ONLY on the substitute list for first period, the “floater” for second period, and a playground supervisor during the break on Wednesday mornings (I earn the majority of my points by planning the Moms’ Nights Out). In other words, I have t-i-m-e…to visit, sit, read, etc. while the majority of my friends and peers are moving like crazy.

Attached to our campus is a large foyer with couches, etc., where I like to escape for an hour during this time. This morning I took my travel mug with Earl Grey Creme Black (my first cup of tea for the day) to the foyer, spent 15 minutes staring into the pine trees outside the floor-to-ceiling windows and letting my brain settle, and then read/wrote/studied for the remainder of the time.

It was not easy to walk away from these hardworking women, my friends, and not react in one of two ways. Either to~

  1. Feel very guilty that I wasn’t working as hard as the rest of them.
  2. Worry that I would be judged by them because I wasn’t working as hard.

And yet, over the years I’ve learned that if I let either of those emotions spur me into frenzied activity instead of accepting times of quiet that become available, it catches up with me…realities like exhaustion, resentment of others, and anger directed to those closest to me.

To paraphrase an American best-seller from the 1970s, why is it that “When we relax, we feel guilty”? Why are we more afraid to say “no” when asked to do something than burn-out? What do you think?

And to bring it back to tea…when did our society shift from tea in the parlor and porch to Big Gulps and power lunches?

How much do you value peace and quiet?