2012: When Things Quiet

Just in time for the year to turn over, seeing new numbers at the end of each date and a facing a new round of 365 days, I read this article from the New York Times – The Joy of Quiet.

“Quiet (verb): Make or become silent, calm, or still.”

Ironically, I picked up my first iPhone the other day (a Christmas present from the parents). Typically, this means your world becomes anything but quiet – apps take over, everything gives you notices and you never have to think a single thing through; the iPhone tells you everything (because it knows everything – it’s quite a tool!).

In my case, Siri met my world (I still haven’t really explored that feature yet – but she did say “Hi, Heather.).  We’re still getting to know each other…

But let’s get back to that article, the way things will quiet this year.

“The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us
seem desperate* to unplug.”

*I’m not sure I’d choose the word “desperate here”; I think the more ways we have to be online & connect, the harder we find it to get away.  We are more easily sucked right in.

Guilty as charged: I purchased a Blackberry in the Fall of 2009, and have since been always-connected, always checking e-mails right when they pop up, and finding myself scrolling through Twitter & Facebook feeds so mindlessly.

While I’ve slowly realized that the little black device doesn’t need to be attached to my hand – the world will not stop, slow or explode if I don’t see something right that second! – I’ve still maintained the habit of constantly checking updates, and found it hard to consciously leave the technology alone.

“We have more and more ways to communicate, as Thoreau noted,
but less and less to say.”

Recently, I’ve slowly realized that if I leave my phone behind for a day, or in the other room for a few hours, or even turn it off (ah!)…. there is quiet. If I only spend an hour or two on the computer (outside of work), I have that much more time for reading, the crafty house-projects that we never seem to sit down and do, hanging out with D, spending time in the city, calling a friend or my family.

I don’t miss it; I pay attention to what’s going on around me; I take in more moments & remember more about my day.

The year of 2011 was loud in many different ways – these things will keep shouting, and will be heard:

Run a 3:34:xx marathon.
Go to yoga at least twice per week.
Travel. See. Explore somewhere new.
Ride the BIKE. Ride for miles with D. Ride for fun.
Blogging, writing, Instagram (whoa, LOVE),
and the social media things that stick around.
Work on a challenge; work by doing the things I’m passionate about.

This things will make room to be calm & quiet:

Spend more time offline, than on.
Live outside – find local hikes & trails to run.
Read at least one book per month; read to learn something new.
Visit friends & family – New Mexico, NYC, Florida, Pennsylvania, DC.

Enjoy the technology that exists (iPhone, I do heart you!): use it to connect to people, snap photos, and keep in touch!

Stroga ballroomMCM PR 2011Run shoes

I’m looking at you, 2012! I think we’ll be good friends.


What do you have your sights on this year?

What will you see? Do? Challenge yourself with?



Filed under about me, DC, Goals, learning, travel

15 responses to “2012: When Things Quiet

  1. I’ve been improving my online/offline balance – since I’m literally connected to my phone and computer 8+ hours a day at work, I spend a lot less of my free time on the computer. I try to look at my phone as a tool, not a hobby.

  2. Quiet is being OK with yourself. I think we are saturated with so many different things online both personally and professionally that we don’t know how to sit still. Yoga is something I love bc it forces me to focus.

    Tell Suri hi!! I think 2012 is going to be your year. Look at what you already nailed in 2011. Great mindset to get started off right.

    • Heather C

      This is so true! The online world gives us way more information about people than we’ve had before, and so many things turn into a competition. We forget it’s okay to just do things for ourselves.

      Yoga, yes. Love. 🙂

  3. YES!!!! Love your goal of staying more present and quiet this year. I am RIGHT there with you as you know – life is too short to be completely distracted and scattered all the time. Breathe it all in!!

  4. I spent a lot of time disconnected {quiet} over the break and it was REFRESHING! I hope I can give myself some time away from the ‘beep beep’ regularly.

    Good looking goals for 2012, bring it!

  5. ha, I was going to tell you, instagram!

    and I need to do a MUCH better job of this. I hate being so attached to my phone…and part of that is because of work, but not all of it. I need to just leave it alone!

  6. Mhmmm…it’s definitely harder to find the quiet with all these gadgets. In fact, I just had to call a friend bc she can’t find her phone in her appt and feels naked without it. Ha. I’m ready and excited for 2012. Ready to go out there and grab some things I’ve been waiting for that aren’t going to just happen by waiting. Harder to do than to say, but it’s got to happen. You’ve got some great aspirations for the year!

  7. I leave my phone on silent unless I am expecting a call and need to hear it ring. It’s easier to detach if you don’t have a constant ding/beep/buzz going on next to you.

  8. Quiet is a good place sometimes.

    Last night I was spending time with my baby/trying to read my nook when she was off playing by herself. Then I realized, I had to put down that nook – they grow up too fast!

    Good luck on your goals

  9. I actually found MORE quiet in 2011 than other year before with my deepened yoga practice. The hot room is truly quiet for me and I’m already looking forward to turning off my mind during the 75-minute practice I have planned for tonight.

    That said I totally agree that sometimes it’s REALLY good to leave your phone in the other room, or at home, and really experience some quiet. Especially when you work online ALL day long like me!

  10. Lauren

    I love that you are spending less time on your phone/internet. It really does make you pay attention to other things that are more important. We all know I used to be glued to my phone and now I spend up to 8 or 9 hours not even looking at it! I’m happy I can’t have my phone on me at work because it has made me so much better about being on it too much! However, it has made me even worse at keeping in touch with people or having phone dates…haha

  11. You got an iPhone! That is awesome! I don’t download too many apps, I think I have about six now. I like the ability to have google maps, music, email and a camera all in one! It does get overwhelming to be on it. Yet its so useful! But I totally hear you about being offline. Unfortunately my work is all done on the computer.

  12. you know, thats one reason why i am loving being in NZ. we only have a NZ phone. No internet or email or phone, just a little nokia. The only time i am on the internet is if its free or i find wifi with my computer. a forced quiet time for sure. 🙂

  13. Mamacita

    It really is good to “disconnect”. Our internet was down for several days this week; and it was not the end of the world. Great goals for 2012 – especially like the travel one and reading a book each month. I recommend “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.
    Happy New Year Sweetie! Glad you are making a conscious effort to leave the phone alone and enjoy the world around you.

    Love, Mamacita

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