My house is quiet. Three kids are at school, the fourth is away at a convention with Howard. Not even Howard is here making tick noises by typing. No feet walk across the floor above my basement office. Miracle of miracles, the phone has not rung once all day. Even the cat has spent the day napping. It is only on days like this one, when I can begin tasks and follow the steps to completion, that I realize how very often I am interrupted. I am interrupted all day long almost every day. Most of the interruptions are short, most of the time I can go right back to what I was doing. Yet there is a profound difference when I can enter deep focus on a project and stay there until it is done or I am to tired to continue.
I surfaced at lunch time and pondered the luxury of being able to decide which task I should pursue next. Not only is my day empty, but I am in a space between urgencies. I have lots of important tasks but the deadlines are not yet imminent. I listened to my quiet house and realized that what I wanted was a short kitchen chat with Howard, one of the cheerful ones where we compare the odd things we read off the internet that morning. The emptiness of the house also made me look ahead to the years which are coming. My house is going to be empty increasingly often.
Of course the afternoon made up for the quietness of the morning. It was full of extra errands occasioned by Gleek forgetting her homework at school and Link forgetting his photo ID when he went to play racket ball. Later I’ll have more quiet, but this time I’ll gain it by departing my house and heading to visit some friends in Salt Lake City while the kids stay at home. The quiet feels good today.
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