Stare Out the Window; Finding Peace

Go ahead.  Stare out the window.  Stare at a favorite photo or painting.  Stare at the computer screen.


My good friend just sent me an email saying,  “I just want to stare out the window for a while, and think of nothing.”   She recently retired from one of her jobs, but has family illness stresses surrounding her much of the time.  “If I were still having to do my job, I would have a nervous breakdown,” she continued.

Most of us feel this way at one time or another…. maybe more often than we would like.  It is hard to find time to just clear the mind and take a deep breath and forget the things around us that need to be dealt with. It’s really the best thing we can do for ourselves, though.  Find some calm amidst the howling winds of stress, no matter where it is or how long it lasts.

My husband takes “power naps”.   He said he taught himself to do this during Basic Training in the Army, when he was driven physically and mentally to perform.  Now he frequently has several projects going on at the same time, in different locations so the “power nap” gives him a much-needed break and helps him clear his mind so he can move on to the next step. The people who know him and work with him understand what’s going on, and have come to accept it.   Last week, though, I got a little worried because the pickup truck was sitting in the driveway, motor running, and husband slumped over the steering wheel.  I quickly ran outside just to check on him.  He woke up when I tapped on the window of the truck and grinned.   I felt badly that I had interrupted this important part of his routine but he said, “Thanks!  My 9 minutes were up.”

My 42 minute planning period at school afforded me some much-needed downtime.   Usually there were many thing to accomplish.  Occasionally, though, I would just close my classroom door, turn off the lights, and sit back in my chair.  I didn’t fall asleep, but I attempted to clear my mind  in preparation for the rest of the day.  Sometimes a few minutes are all you need.  Nine minutes if you are my husband.


Time alone without constant distractions is important.  I worry about some of my friends and many of my former students who are in constant contact with everyone via texting.  They never take a break.  It’s not good to be constantly bombarded with messages, problems, work tasks, and distractions.  Staring out the window can be your “meditation” time.  One doesn’t have to chant or study ancient techniques to relax.  It can be simpler than that.  The mind needs peace.

What is your “power nap”?

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About Life in the 50's and beyond...

Welcome to Life in the 50's and 60's and beyond .... where I write about my childhood memories, music of the 60's and about life in the country. I am a mother, grandmother, farmer's wife, business owner, and retired teacher.
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33 Responses to Stare Out the Window; Finding Peace

  1. marcusampe says:

    Clearing the mind is one of those ‘d….’ hard things to do. often the brains go tolling around and do not want to be put at rest for some hours, even not for some “power naps”.

    We all can do with regular intervals of having our thoughts floating in the air, to be carried away on the airy clouds.

    (@lucewriter) I would consider the “cat naps” the moments of the allowance to “doze off” or to “nod off”. It is giving yourself the time to drowse (off). While the “power nap” would be the intentional getting yourself in a short but intense deeper sleep. It is bringing your body intentionally in a further stadium than the ‘first sleep’. That way the person can enjoy a more powerfull moment of rest.


  2. Pingback: Have a PEACE! « Cheri Speak

  3. What a great post. When I need a moment to myself – as silly as this sounds – I often go to the bathroom. Even if I don’t need to use the bathroom, I will go in for a minute, open the window, take some deep breaths and just relax for a second. It sounds like a silly place to find serenity, but when you work at a college there’s not much available ‘alone’ space 🙂


  4. Your husband is smart, and this is a great post. I’m home all day by myself, and I could easily take a 20-minute to an hour nap – and I think I should – but I can’t seem to allow myself to sleep during the day. And look at me; it’s 1:35 in the morning. I should really start taking naps. … Out there on the farm. Have you ever seen a moon like the one in your picture? I saw one back in the mid 70’s, and it scared me to death. I thought the moon was coming down and would crash into the Earth. I always look, but I’ve never seen it again. You?


  5. SO TRUE! I love this post. You do have to protect yourself, and carve away some time…even 3 minutes can do!


  6. Kozo says:

    Love this, Ruth. Your husband is blessed that his work understands his need for a power nap. My uncle naps at our family get-togethers all the time, but everyone expects it. When someone new comes, however, they always get a kick of him sleeping on the couch while everyone is eating Thanksgiving dinner or opening Christmas presents.
    I too feel that down time is essential for peace of mind. Thanks for the reminder.


    • It helps that my husband runs his own businesses … so he is The Boss. LOL
      Not sure it would work for everyone.
      Thanks for initiating the Bloggers for Peace…. as I read other posts I am in awe of the different interpretations of “peace”, what it means to others, and how others work toward it.


  7. I sometimes…actually quite often…”look out my kitchen window”…watching the birds…squirrels…change of seasons…Walking my yard in the spring/summer months…is so my thing…and getting into something crafty…can be tranquilizing to me…


  8. onwindydays says:

    I definitely agree with that last paragraph, absolutely. Sometimes, just being able to step back and be by myself does help me to recharge and be focused again. There’s just so many avenues of information, it can be easy to become engulfed in it and lose sight of what’s really important.

    My favorite thing to do to gain some peace back is to look up at the sky and watch those clouds sail by. So free and effortless. Especially on those warm, summer days when the clouds can get so big and majestic, especially on the backdrop of the grand deep blue sky. It reminds me of how little we can be in this world. Oh wow, sorry about the huge comment…I kind of got carried away haha.


  9. LB says:

    Even 15 minutes on the motorcycle (the whole wind in the face thing is not a cliche) clears my head and lightens my mental load. Too bad I’m not burning calories, too!


  10. Caddo Veil says:

    Ruth, this is a wonderful post–full of truthful benefit for all of us–and I love the cartoon of “snack” machines, as well as the story about your husband in the truck. How I wish I could take power naps–could he do a post, teaching us how???? I’m kind of on a break now–not interacting as much with my readers and fave blogs (so count yourself blessed that I’ve written this many words today!). God bless you BIG–love, sis Caddo


    • I hope you can enjoy your break and can stare out the window a bit. I will ask husband if he can give us some pointers… as for him posting anything….let’s just say he still thinks a mouse is a small rodent. But maybe he will dictate to me!
      I DO feel blessed every time you comment on my posts!
      Bless you, too!


      • Caddo Veil says:

        Oh Ruth, you’ve got me in hysterics, here!! Haven’t had a good laugh for a week or so! Bless your dear husband–it wasn’t so long ago that I was scared to death of the mouse (rodent and computer tool), as it seemed to race all over the place, out of control! But eventually I got it corralled. If he’ll dictate the power-nap class for you to post, I’ll be all ears–in the front row seat!


  11. I was an ‘only’ child and appreciate being alone but am not lonely. Some people just don’t know the difference and that is too bad because being alone can recharge your batteries.


  12. sterlingsop says:

    I need to learn how to do the whole switch off thing. My mind is never still and I don’t know if it’s because I have trained it to be like that or if I’m scared of stopping just in case it shows me something I don’t want to see. Hmmmmmm I’ll have to give it a go and I’ll get back to you on that!!


  13. Yep; 10 minutes and I’m back…!
    I definitely had to do something, and power naps was the answer….!
    At first I thought they were ‘getting old naps’… I refuse to believe that now though… 😉


  14. marymtf says:

    It doesn’t work for me, I feel worse after a power nap. Life is a lot more complicated for me these days. The best I can do is to escape into a book. Sometimes what works best is a comfort book – that is a book I’ve read before that I love.


  15. A gripping life says:

    Right now I’m lucky enough to have time to take an actual nap, like an hour long, crawl into bed, nap. I’ve been under a lot of stress so being able to get ‘down time’ in the middle of the day is a good thing. Interestingly I sleep like a baby at night, too.
    Your husband’s 9 minutes crack me up! I’d be o grouchy. 🙂


  16. Karen says:

    It was refreshing to read your thoughts and words on rest and quiet. I have a morning routine as I take the dog out, which last anywhere from five to 15 minutes. It is a practice of ‘not thinking’. Let me tell you how hard this is to do! But after two years of practicing this, I have found it to be invaluable!! I also take the 5 to 15 minute ‘lights out’ now and then and find I am energized to tackle the rest of the day. I personally think we could begin a new trend to bring siestas into the Ohio culture! How smart we would be!!! (And rested!).


  17. OmaOrBubby says:

    Love this message. Thanks tor the reminder to take time outs and breaks to regroup and refresh…


  18. OmaOrBubby says:

    Very good points. Thanks for reminder to take some time outs. So important!


  19. lucewriter says:

    I really like this. My grandmother and mother used to take “cat naps” after lunch, for about 15 minutes. I can’t seem to make myself do this, and I believe it would give me a lot more energy. What is the exact meaning of a “power nap”?


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