Monday, March 18, 2013

The Sounds of Home

by Carol A.



I was at a friend's house the other day. She has one of those big, noisy houses where you can just stop by and there's always a "cuppa" or a snack waiting, kids running through, husband getting home and saying '"Why don't you stay for dinner?" My friend told me that when she was growing up in her parents' house she could stay in her pajamas all day and no one would know because no one came over. She thought that was terrible and swore her own house would never be like that. I thought it sounded wonderful!

My own parents' house was a quiet place. It had a den full of books. We often made our Christmas presents.The TV wasn't in our living room. I don't know exactly how to write this because the extroverts among you will think I am deprived, but I am counting on the introverts out there to understand what a blessing this house was to me! I think it's the reason I'm a peaceful soul, the reason I like to learn, the reason I know how to entertain myself, and probably one of the reasons I'm a photographer. I was allowed the gifts of time and quiet for introspection. 

I don't want to insinuate that we didn't have fun. We were three girls with cheerleading, twirling, proms and vacations. We made mud pies and had rings on our swing set for tricks. We dared each other to (well, ok - they tied me down and made me) watch scary movies. When Dad came home in the evenings, Sinatra or Nat King Cole was on the stereo. We saw plays in NYC and movies, but our friends came over by invitation. My parents had very few parties and home was mostly a place for family. From that house came two introverts and one bored extrovert. My younger sister has a big, busy life as a CFO, with three boys and travels all over the world. She credits growing up in a quiet home too, in a reactive kind of way.

I don't mean to be unfriendly, and I enjoy my guests when I have them. I love my friends. I love my travels. I have a career where I listen to and invest in people all day long. But my home is my sanctuary where the quiet let's me think and breathe and regroup. Where James Taylor, or Norah Jones (or Sinatra - thanks Dad!) plays quietly in the background and I tuck under an afghan in the winter, or put my feet up on the porch in the summer, and dig into a good book, or work on my writing or my photography. I have raised one extrovert and one introvert.

So - are we all born with these personalities, or did our homes help create them? What kind of an atmosphere was your childhood home? What kind of home have you created?



"There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying." 
                                                                                                   Sarah Dessen



12 comments:

terriporter said...

When I was growing up, our house was the quiet kind that you describe -- my mother being an extrovert found activities outside the house and my father, an introvert loved being in his quiet home. I was one of three girls (one an introvert, one an extrovert and one in between). With three boys (now one and introvert, one an extrovert and one in between), I loved all the hustle and bustle of a constant flow of their friends in and out of our house and for the first few years after they were gone, things seemed so quiet. But now I treasure the solitude of my home. So it doesn't seem to matter what kind of home you grew up with or what kind you created with your children, it seems as if we were born to be introverts or extroverts and not made that way by the type of homes we grew up in, but who knows? Love this post and it really has me thinking!

Sheri said...

I love love loved this post, and can so relate. The quiet of my home is definitely my sanctuary. As much as I love my friends and family, I also love to curl up in my home (especially if it's clean) and enjoy the peace and quiet. It's maybe why I have always been a cat person. When our last child (of three) left for college, we adopted our first dog, and it has been life changing. I have learned that dogs are not meant for quiet homes unless they are well exercised, so, off I go. It's walk time. ;)

Kim Stevens said...

I grew up in a home that was for the most part, quiet in its happenings. I did very much enjoy going to family gatherings out of state, but enjoyed just being at home too. I was painfully shy when I was young, and although I'm not so shy anymore (in most circumstances) I find I really enjoy my alone time to think. My kids seem to be the same way, neither of them have the need to always be doing something. But they also don't share much sense of adventure either. Such an interesting question Carol!!

Sarah Huizenga said...

Right there with you on this one. I think of my house as my retreat away from the world. I don't really want the world invading except by invitation.

Dotti said...

"Home is my sanctuary". Yes! I love it because I have always felt the same way. When our daughter was growing up there was a constant inflow of kids but when we became empty nesters, we both relished the quiet. I can entertain myself quite happily which has enabled me to embrace retirement very eagerly. I've always felt there were two kinds of people: Those who recharged their batteries by frenetic activity and those who recharged their batteries with quiet. I'm in the quiet group. Great post, Carol.

Deanna said...

Carol, I so enjoyed this post. I grew up in a home very similar to yours. My Dad was a definite introvert and my Mom worked outside the home so to say we entertained much was an understatement. Reading and quiet times described our home perfectly. When my kids were growing up there was more activity in our home...my kids' friends dropped over frequently, but it wasn't a continuous open house like some. Today my home is my safe haven, my sanctuary, my workshop, my letting it all hang-out place. I can go days without leaving my home, and that's OK with me. But I also like the joys of friends in my home, I do enjoy entertaining and do so regularly. My kids, well I think they are like me, they enjoy their home, their quiet times. But they are both in the public eye most of the time and enjoy that too. No one has ever been shy in our household, but I wouldn't call us all extroverts either. I'm done now.

http://vivhalliwell.com said...

I had a quite a lonely upbringing my parents had their own business and didn't have much spare time for me, I went to a boarding school which for a person like me ( introvert tendencies) was painful... Fast forward many years and my husband's family sort of adopted me... Anyway I think I am more an introvert than extrovert .....

AFishGirl said...

Introvert! I need a lot of quiet and space and empty time. I wither without it. Actually, I get like a cat on a hot tin roof. Great post.

heyjudephotography said...

My home growing up was busy, but not the constant drop in place - even with 5 kids. But both my husband and I look at our home as our sanctuary away from the "noise" of the world. While some people love (need) to have constant weekend plans - our favorite weekends are when we have nothing on the schedule, and curl up at home. Of course, with a 10 year old, that's not always easy to do, but sometimes it actually happens. :)

heyjudephotography said...

Oh, and I love your photo here Carol. Such a warm and cozy feel to it.

Anonymous said...

I need quiet time to recharge. I love the photo too. I would love to curl up and take a nap.

kelly said...

really loved this post carol. being a bit of introvert myself, i love quiet time at home. it's definitely the way i recharge.

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