cynthyb

My First Blog Post EVER!

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This is my first attempt at a blog.

I feel  anticipation–if not a little nervousness–about posting, but here goes!

Blog Post #1: Quiet and Creativity

Have you ever noticed that most of your best ideas come while doing something like taking a shower, drifting off to sleep, or driving alone in your car? In the shower, and that twilight time when I’m between wakefulness and sleep, are the best for me, probably because there are no distractions. In the quiet, or the white noise of the water flowing, my mind becomes a flutter of thoughts and ideas that I must quickly snatch out of the air and pocket before they flit off, never to be thought of again. 

Of necessity, I keep paper and pencil at my bedside and in the bathroom.  In spite of the electronic gadgets that are causing paper clutter to become obsolete, I have sticky notes stacked like pancakes, decorating every flat surface, all over the house. Sticky notes on the mirror. Stickies on my desk. Stickies on my laptop. Stickies on my purse. Stickies on the cover of my Galaxy Note.  Stickies on stickies. It’s ridiculous. Why the stickies? Because these are my best ideas! There’s something of inspiration in some of them. If I don’t write things down, and put them in plain sight, I’ll forget. I don’t want to forget, hoping they’ll bear some rare and precious creative fruit at some future time. 

For me, ideas flow better in quiet times, so I’ve learned to tune out noise. As a mother of five, it was a natural extension of the quest for serenity in a busy life, especially since I home schooled our kids–a creative bunch in their own right. Anyone who has adventuresome kids with many creative outlets, knows that noise is often a natural byproduct of unleashed creativity. 

But kid noise doesn’t compare with adult noise, which may be more difficult to regulate. Ball games, power tools and machines, car radios, hammering, pounding, drilling, and the most invasive: TV noise. We had to find a cure for the perpetual TV racket when we moved in with my virtually deaf ninety-one year-old father. The TV volume had two settings: “off” and “fire engine siren.” You can guess which volume the TV operated at day and night. My father has no real waking and sleeping schedule. Like a baby, he is often wide awake until three, and napping in the middle of the day–the TV (his constant companion) set on “siren.” 

Our family likes to gather at the old “homestead;” when my family is here, we’re twenty-four strong, (not a small group, and not a big house). Being Italian, we know how to make our voices heard one over another, all at the same time. In those first months we were living here, the cacophony of voices had to overtake the sound of the TV for anyone to be heard above the din, so the volume increased until one or the other topped-out at a fever pitch. 

To converse one-on-one with my father is also challenging, since you must repeatedly yell for him to hear you say, “Hood Sue spike the skinner?” Hood Sue spike the skinner?” “HOOD SUE SPIKE THE SKINNER?!” (Translation: Would you like some dinner?He’d follow-up with “Who’s Sue? I don’t know who Sue is.” 

Then! We discovered the invention of the century! Wireless TV headphones! Now, when Daddy dons his headset, he correctly understands what everyone in TV-land is saying. To his ears, however, we still speak a garbled version of English. Especially since he won’t take the headset off to hear what we’re trying to say. I’m still yelling: “DADDY, TISSUE SET A SNUFF?” (Translation: Did you get enough?) We’ve come to grips with never being understood the first time around. Or the second. Or the third. 


But I have to say, those headsets changed my life! The first few days, post head-set purchase, my husband, Brad, and I walked around the house in a stupor of quiet–hearing birdsong outside, and real fire engine sirens blaring on the boulevard a few blocks away. When family members came over, a look of bewilderment immediately registered on their faces. What was this new experience so uncharacteristic of Grandpa’s house? They found a new pastime: making up their own dialog for what was happening on the now mute TV. Much funnier. Much more entertaining. Just as noisy as the siren.

I love being with the family. I love the chatter, the laughter, the sound of children at play, and adults engaged in stimulating conversation. But I also cherish quiet. Being an introverted person, I need quiet from time to time. I purposely turn off the music in the car, mute the volume on the TV (a given), and go for walks without a bluetooth in my ear. I love quiet. I treasure it.

In quiet moments, I have become more keenly aware of the sounds of nature. More importantly, over time, I have learned to fine-tune my thoughts and heart to listen to the whisperings of the spirit–my own, and the Spirit of God, whose voice is a “still voice of perfect mildness.” (Helaman 5:30) It has made all the difference. 


Now, when creative energy surfaces at odd and sundry times–most of which are quiet–I grab my pencil and sticky notes, and clutter up my work space until, one by one, each precious thought and word is recorded for future reflection and use. 

Then, I can finally fall asleep.


© Copyright March 31, 2014


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Author: cynthyb

Hi! I'm Cynthy, a woman of family and faith who, among other things, loves to write.

11 thoughts on “My First Blog Post EVER!

  1. Lovely, Cynthy…you're off to a beautiful start and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts, probably born on a sticky! 😉 Be still and know…

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  2. I love, love, love this Cynthy. You are such a gifted writer – insightful, inspiring, and funny! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your first ever blog and look forward to many more. Good for you to start something like this! Thank you for sharing with us.

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  3. Thanks so much, JoAnn! You are my very first viewer and person to comment! I appreciate your support and love.

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  4. Thank you so much, Monica! I'm grateful for you, for your friendship and love, and that you took time to look at the blog and to write to me!

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  5. You ARE a good writer! What a treasure your blog already is!

    I was watching Ashley's kids yesterday and they were all making so much noise together that I was getting really anxious. I kept trying to get them to quiet down, to no avail. They weren't being naughty, just normal-kids-noisy. No one was asleep so I didn't have a really good reason for them to whisper. I finally went upstairs for a few minutes of peace. I felt like my dad, and I was suddenly repentant of all the times it bothered me that he would shoosh us or go upstairs to escape family parties. Am I becoming a boring adult? I can't stand it if the kids touch the piano, computer, desk chair, or anything if I'm using it. The movement makes me dizzy! I'm getting really boring.

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  6. Thank you, Rose! You are not getting boring. You just need a dose of quiet now and then. I've always been that way, too: when things got crazy at home, I used to tell the kids to ground me to my room and throw away the key! You know I love being with them, but you know what incessant racket there is for home school moms with a boatload of children at home all the time. If you're an introvert, you relish quiet–no, you need quiet times built into your day.

    I've been reading a good book called “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. You might appreciate it, too.

    Just for the record, I think you're amazing! The way you carry your projects with you, and set up and start to work in the middle of chaos has always astonished me. I could no more do that than fly to the moon. You are a deep well of creativity and do so much for your kids.

    Thank you for taking time to read my little blog. I am so grateful! I love you.

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  7. Laughed out loud quite a few times. Mark and I enjoyed this!

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  8. It's so refreshing to have Cynthy back in my life again. Reading your blog is like taking a walk in the fresh air. I just feel good after. Thank you Cynthy for sharing your delightful heart. You are a treasure.

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  9. I wish I knew who “Unknown” is! Please contact me and reveal your identity! I would love to know to whom I may reciprocate such kindness!
    Cynthy

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  10. Sticky notes – and 3 x 5 lined, yellow index cards – are AMAZING and totally required! And if you haven’t yet, try the new Papermate Ink Joy gel pens! They are FUN!

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