The older I get*, the more I appreciate and desire quiet.
*My next birthday will have a zero in it. I get closer to grumpy old man status every day.
Partially, this is due to having three kids ages five and under, all of whom fail to grasp the concept of “indoor voice”. At any given moment, one of them is yelling/talking very loudly, another is crying or whining, and the third is trying to rest. So. Much. Noise.
I spend such a significant portion of my day shushing them that I’m afraid they’ll grow up thinking Daddy has a slow leak. I’m also very much afraid that during some contentious work meeting, I’m going to break in with a twenty second long “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”.
In my life, it often feels like quiet trails only “sleep” and “money” on the list of Things I Don’t Get Enough Of.
Certainly, much of this is self-inflicted. I love the big personalities my kids have, and I don’t want to discourage them from expressing themselves – or try to shut them up with a movie* whenever they start getting too loud.
*Especially since the movie of choice in our house is Frozen, which leads to two guarantees: 1) my five year old daughter live-performing the movie line-by-line and song-by-song, 2) I end up with one of the songs (usually “Let it Go” or “Love is an Open Door”) wedged in my skull for the next five hours. Heck, just typing the words “let it go” has been enough to put that song in my head on a continual loop.
Gone are the days when I looked forward to going out with friends to a noisy bar or when I would crank the volume when a favorite song came on. Now, I find myself looking for ways to have a few blessed minutes of peace and quiet – even if it means making a last minute run to the grocery store, washing bottles, or some other chore that I would otherwise like to avoid.
I think when my birthday rolls around, I’m going to ask for noise-cancelling headphones…and wear them during most of my waking hours.
* * *
(Author’s note: Wondering why there is a random letter in parentheses in the title of this post? Not sure how this post corresponds to the daily letter in the April A to Z Challenge? Like clicking on links? These questions are all answered here.)