The Quiet Of A Private Life

“All I ever wanted was the quiet of a private life.”  

Edward from Sense and Sensibility

british countryside


Wife and I just finished watching season 5 of Downton Abby earlier this week.  Both of us  have enjoyed watching something that didn’t leave us feeling like we licked a mental ashtray, so we decided to check out Sense and Sensibility by  Jane Austen last night.

That line “All I ever wanted was the quiet of a private life.” caught my attention,  so I wrote it down.

For the most part these days, I (DM) am enjoying the quiet of a private life. Not so much the past two months due to an intense work schedule and multiple family get together s, but that is the exception rather than the rule.

In Church this morning Marilyn was telling us about some interviews she is sitting in on to hire her replacement.  She works in a pressure cooker work setting. One of the questions they asked the applicants was,

“How do you handle stress?  followed by, “What do you do for self-care to deal with stress?”

I thought those were great questions to ask those of you that read this blog…;-)

(I bring that up because just because a person has a private life, is no guarantee they will automatically enjoy the quiet that goes with it.  You may have a private stress filled life.)

For myself, I’ve  learned I need to  schedule plenty of “margin” into my work calendar, Things regularly happen outside of my control, in spite of my best efforts.

I could tell this morning I am still not completely “unpuckered” from my latest roofing project (see recent blog post The Man In The Law Chair)

So I headed out to the apple orchard in my bare feet.  Three days ago I mowed, so between the dew and dead grass, my feet were covered in grass clippings..and it felt earthy.

This is my version of pulling a John Muir. 🙂

Unpuckered:the art of unwinding and relaxing after a period of intense activity, (could be physical or mental)

Read a story (whether it’s true or not is another thing) about  Muir visiting a friend out in the Pacific North West.  Thunder storm was fast approaching, Rather than hunker down in the log cabin,he headed out into the woods to climb a tall pine.  Told his friend later he wanted to see what it felt like to experience a thunderstorm, in the top of a pine tree, as the winds whipped the forest.

john muir 3

Here’s a little taste of Muir’s writings…

      “The mountain winds, like the dew and rain, sunshine and snow, are measured and bestowed with love on the forests to develop their strength and beauty. ….  the winds go to every tree, fingering every leaf and branch and furrowed bole; not one is forgotten; the Mountain Pine towering with outstretched arms on the rugged buttresses of the icy peaks, the lowliest and most retiring tenant of the dells; they seek and find them all, caressing them tenderly, bending them in lusty exercise, stimulating their growth, plucking off a leaf or limb as required, or removing an entire tree or grove, now whispering and cooing through the branches like a sleepy child, now roaring like the ocean; the winds blessing the forests, the forests the winds, with ineffable beauty and harmony as the sure result….

….. pines six feet in diameter bending like grasses before a mountain gale…..”

Wanted to share that snippet of Muir’s writings with you this morning because reading them, somehow they vicariously takes me to the woods with him.  😉 DM

8 thoughts on “The Quiet Of A Private Life

  1. Today was probably the most stressful work day I’ve had since arriving in Arizona. Not because of the patient, but because of a more complicated electric record. I was on the verge of tears. I get panicky. I told the nurse who came in if I cried he should just ignore the tears. He said, no don’t cry. I said you don’t understand, if I don’t cry my head will explode so disregard the tears. Sometimes I just have to cry. It doesn’t help I’m in this awesome new place with five million new things to see and explore. I thought of you today when I got home. How you nap. I need to nap more. I need to sit still on purpose. I’m proud to be the one who got you and the mrs hooked on Downton Abbey. 😉


  2. For me, it is also margin time, reminding myself not to over schedule, reminding myself that it doesn’t matter what others think or expect. And then listening to myself when I do find myself overdoing it. Then slowing down as much as possible. I actually will mark days off on my calendar as “family retreat” …it’s as if I’m out of town (even though not) so I absolutely don’t schedule anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sticking my hands in soil or just weeding always has been a stress reliever for me. I think it is the only activity that can make my head stop spinning.
    BTW – I love that you and Mrs DM watched Sense & Sensibility together. If I mention anything remotely related to Jane Austen, M cringes. It may have been because the first thing I had him watch was Pride & Prejudice which is 4 hours long!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Don’t forget to live | Emjayandthem's Blog

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