Quiet: noun, absence of noise or bustle; silence; calm, verb, make or become silent, calm or still. New Oxford American Dictionary

Its snow globe snowing. You know, tiny white snow flake balls floating straight down, in no hurry. I haven't noticed in a while.

I used to spend a lot of time in coffee shops when I was a freshman in college. Mainly because I hated being in the dorms and always on campus. So I'd leave and spend hours in various coffee houses doing homework to the sound of whatever music I happened to be in the mood for.

I stopped doing that when I moved into my apartment. Suddenly making coffee at home was a great way to save the little money I had. But I lost something along the way.

Quiet solitude does something to a human soul. Pop culture has made us believe that college is this big hype of being busy and studying and parties and this big group of friends. You're doing college wrong if you don't have something going on every night of the week. If you don't stay at school over the weekend you're some kind of weirdo who goes home to mama too much.

We are a social species. We need human contact. We were made to love and be loved. But we don't have to love everyone. The internet and the Facebook generation have learned to say "I love you" to anyone who bids you a nice, kooshy compliment. We are loosing something.

I'm comfortable with who I am. I don't need approval from everyone anymore. I'm going to piss people off sometimes. And my college experience was spent meeting a few good friends and learning to appreciate the ones I already had. I spent a lot of time alone - I lived alone, I did homework alone, I'd even go to the occasional movie alone. I'm the freaky girl, right? Maybe. But solitude has formed me, quietness has left me to discover parts that are well-hidden.

And those times when I went home instead of staying to "hang out" with the random acquaintances of the week, it ended up allowing me to spend all the time I possibly could with my dad. Regret? Absolutely not.

I never would have considered myself busy because I know people who have a lot less free time than I. But here I am, sitting in this familiar old friend of a coffee shop and I'm remembering what it is like to be excited.

Now, I'm the furthest from pessimistic as you can get, but I've somehow missed this feeling of excitement for life, for tomorrow, for the floating snow flakes. And its because I haven't been quiet by myself for so long.

Facebook is great and fantastic but you're never really alone. We are constantly telling everyone where we are and what we're doing and reading that Jill "made a peanut butter sandwich for lunch and is watching Jersey Shore." Facebook is never silent.

I know life gets busy. And I know TV and the internet seem like great ways to fill the void in the time between work and sleep but what if the silence is the difference? The difference between holding onto that grudge to realizing how trivial is in the bigger picture. The difference between having a crappy day to seeing that when you throw it all together, it really wasn't that bad. The difference between the mundane and the joyous.

So take time to sit and just listen. Listen to whatever sounds may fill your ears. Listen to your kids playing in the living room, to your husband coming in from outside, to the refrigerator hum. Be quiet.

Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him. Don't bother with those who climb the ladder, who elbow their way to the top. Psalm 37.7 The Message.

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