The world is a hectic place which can make our lives just as hectic. In the midst of the chaos, how do you find peace? How do you return to yourself and ground yourself in the spiral of keeping busy of the day-to-day? Where do you go or what to do you to get away from everything?
First and foremost, what is peace? Peace is defined as 1) freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility and 2) freedom from or the cessation of war or violence. For the purpose of this article, I’ll be focusing on the first definition rather than the latter. I do hope you’re not at war with yourself, but that will be discussed later on in the future.
The world itself isn’t always a peaceful place. Urban areas, especially, are bustling often in chaos—organized chaos, but chaos, nonetheless. Everything is changing, people are moving from one place to another, so it’s rare for something or someone to be in one place for too long. Everyone keeps busy with work, with school, family, friends, and it almost leaves no room for personal time. So, in the midst of it all, what happens to you?
Time for a hypothetical case study!
Janet often finds herself keeping busy with work and with family. From the morning, she’s waking up early, doing a little bit of exercise, only to hurry so she can get everyone’s lunches ready. She gets that all done, but she has no time to stop because she’s already headed to the shower to wash up while urging her not-so-morning-person partner to wake up.
By the time her partner is somewhat awake, she gets in the shower and tries to take her time to get clean. It’s almost a futile effort when she can hear her partner calling out for the kids to wake up. She knows it’ll be another long morning or trying to get everyone ready and fed for the day, but it’ll be okay. It happens every day, so she’s used to it, or so she tells herself.
When she’s done showering and finally dressed, she runs into her finally awake partner who is now rushing to the shower. They greet each other, albeit hurriedly, before Janet heads to the kitchen to find the kids eating their breakfast. She greets each of her children and starts spouting off everyone’s schedule for the day and afternoon. There is a minor argument she has to resolve, but it’s almost something she expects, so she doesn’t mind.
As soon as everyone’s fed, received their lunches, and gotten ready, Janet’s nearly stumbling out of the house with everyone on her tail as they get to the van. They all shove themselves in and with a quick roll-call, they’re off. One by one, Janet drops everyone off until she’s left by herself to drive to work.
Once she’s at work, she’s completing all the tasks she hadn’t finished the day before and on top of that she’s working on new tasks for the day. She spends most of her time working, taking only a brief reprieve at lunch where she socializes with her colleagues. She’s asked about how she does it all, maintaining such a busy schedule, and all she says is that it’s normal for her.
That’s when everyone asks her when she had a vacation or a day off. Janet, in sudden confusion, can’t answer the question because all she’s known for the longest time is the schedule she’s been running. Each of her friends gives her suggestions about ways to give herself time off in her schedule, but she isn’t sure if it’ll work. Everyone encourages her to give it a try and so she ponders on it for the rest of the day.
As we’ve seen, Janet is a busy woman running a full schedule. You can decide if Janet’s children have extracurricular activities after school as long as you imagine that she has a regularly busy day.
So, in Janet’s case, what can happen to her?
A lot of the time, people become normalized with this kind of schedule. It’s normalized, yet they don’t see the stress they sometimes are put under. They become overloaded at times and lack the patience they usually have. They keep running to the point that they lack any time to breathe. We can hope during Janet’s workout and shower that she’s breathing and grounding herself, but most likely she’s preparing herself for the day ahead of her. One can say those moments are her grounding periods, and I agree, but when is she able to turn everything off and just be?
Where can Janet begin to find peace? Where can she recharge and hear herself through the busy times? The idea is to find the time to do what you want to do, evaluate yourself and your life, and recover from the world. You want to be able to find yourself and remember what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it.
So, what could Janet do, or you do to find your peace?
People have places where they can centre themselves again. That’s often in a quiet place they have, a room in the house that they call their space, a favourite coffee shop during quiet hours, or simply a bench at the park where they can read a book. Other people have actions where they can centre themselves. Like I’ve said, people can read a book, listen to music, or bake. The idea is to have time for yourself and recover.
So, let me ask you, what do you do to find peace? Let me know in the comments. As for me, I find my peace sitting in bed and reading a book. Other times, simply writing an article at my computer is my time of peace because I can hear myself think and open myself up to new thoughts and idea I couldn’t have before.
Find your peace and recover from your day-to-day. Let it be a daily time, or a weekly time, as long as you give yourself that time. You deserve it because you’ve worked hard.