Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Q is for Quiet
Provide Quiet areas for people to relax or take a nap. Set up some tables in the shade or under a patio umbrella for those choosing to visit rather than play games. If the reunion is held in someone’s home and there are rooms that are off limits to guests, close and lock the doors. Designate one room for napping babies or grandparents, and place a sign on the door: QUIET.
Not only does age play a role in who needs a daily dose of quiet, but introvert-extrovert does too. Babies and older folks may need a quiet place with a bed to take a nap, whereas those people who are more of an introvert and need some solitude to regenerate after being in a crowd for most of the day, will need a space as well. A garden area makes a nice place for someone seeking solitude.
How about those who like to meditate or practice yoga? Perhaps you have a room in the house already set up for such activities with a meditation pillow to sit on, or a yoga mat to spread out on the carpet. Make it known these things are available to those who need them.
If you have a reading nook or a sunroom with a chaise lounge, this can be a welcome hideaway for someone who just needs to regroup. Perhaps an important call back home to the house sitter or pet sitter (hopefully not to work!) needs to be made where it is quiet. Having this space can help that person be heard and concentrate for the brief time they need to be on the call.
If there are activities that need to be planned during the reunion, the planning committee will need a place to gather, spread out materials and have some space from the hustle and bustle of all the kids and the demands of other family members. Again, provide space for them to meet that is off limits to the others for that period of time.
Ask who would like to be babysitters for the younger ones. Older children would likely treasure the time spent watching and playing with a younger cousin. Set it up so that they are aware of the restrictions for that child, and during that time period, parents can have their own quiet time alone to regroup or just to visit with siblings or grandparents without the demands of small children interrupting.
If the host or hostess is in the kitchen baking or cooking something special, they may want their own quiet time. Frequently, cooks really don’t want anyone else to disturb him or her when they are creating in the kitchen. Have a sign posted on the kitchen door letting others know this area is now off limits!
Be assertive about getting your own needs met for quiet and solitude during the event. All those people milling about can be draining. Acknowledge it and don’t pretend the need doesn’t exist. Everyone will be grateful for your efforts.