So its not the same - to do a 10 silent retreat without being silent, without leaving home, while mothering a 10 month old and trying to feed us all and keep the house from falling into total chaos. But there was a peace, a calmness that I experienced last week that made me realize that in all my mindless doing, I had forgotten that I have the ability to create inner calmness, almost all the time. I realized that in all the "yes" saying and overbooking of my calendar, I had forgotten that I could just play on the floor and find interest in building up the tower of blocks one more time. I realized that if I said no just a few more times, or least started with maybe, I could potentially feel like I was riding the waves instead of feeling the half-panicked sensation of treading water in between tumultuous, 20 foot waves.
And then, in an instant, I forgot it all. I overbooked, over promised and overdid. Here it is Friday night, I am more exhausted than ever, my lower back is screaming out in intermittent pain from picking up a needy, teething, runny nosed, I-never-want-to-get-my-diaper-changed again, darling and intoxicating little man, I am missing the opening ceremony of the Olympics because at some point we decided not to have a TV (which most of the time suits me just fine) and there is nothing sweet in the house for me to eat.
So in my mini hiatus from the world I remembered my priorities...and it is simple: to do whatever it takes to be peaceful for me and useful for them.