What If…Silence is Golden

When I was sharing a college dorm room with my bud from junior high, we had very different ideas of what we considered to be appropriate noise levels when 📚studying. I’m the kind of person who wants the noise. It may sound odd, but I focus better with noise. I don’t mean noise that involves me or requires interaction- more like background noise. My roommate was one of those crazies who preferred a 🙉quiet place to study. Go figure! We worked out a fantastic solution, though. We studied at the same time so that we could also get out of the dorm at the same time to have fun together. It was college, after all. I had 🎶music blasting through my Walkman headphones while she heard nothing but silence. I know- the Walkman reference dates me.😂

Noise doesn’t really bother me, which is a fantastic attribute👍 for a mom and middle school teacher. I’m able to tune out the stuff that doesn’t matter and still catch the important things.💯 Talk to my children or my students. “How did you hear that?” is a common phrase directed at me from the kids in my life. I am somehow able to sift through the noise to 👂hear the words I need to hear. It’s a 🎁gift, I’m telling you.

I like noise.😜 I am noisy! Ask my family. Apparently, I even chew noisily. I’m still not sure how that’s even possible when my 😊mouth is closed, but they assure me that it is.

My voice is loud, and my 😂laugh is louder. I’ve had people wonder if I was at 🎯Target on Saturday because they heard my laugh echo in the store. My family has told me to talk or 😂laugh quieter more times than I can count! I think I might be embarrassing sometimes. Forgive me!😇

img_2122I’m learning something as I get older, and this pandemic has brought it into 🔍focus for me.  I never liked the quiet before (you’re welcome, Hamilton fans!). Removing myself from the 💃hustle and bustle of what used to be my life, I’ve discovered that quiet isn’t a bad thing. 🙊Silence isn’t awkward. I don’t have to fill the void with sound because the noiselessness is valuable.✨ I never recognized that before. I’ve learned to sit in the stillness without feeling the tug toward the noise. Now that I’m paying attention, peace and quiet and clarity work really well together.💯

In education, we understand that students need a moment to process their answers. Teachers call it⏳ think-time or wait-time. It’s that period of uninterrupted 🙊silence between teachers and students that’s necessary for processing information during 📝instruction or activities. Some kids have thoughts organized before the question is even completed. Others need to grapple with the 💡idea before formulating their answers. Both approaches are right. We’re all different, and that’s okay. 💖(File that little bit of wisdom away for pretty much every situation!😍)img_2121

My husband and I are ⏫⏬opposites when it comes to noise. I turn on the 📺TV just for the sound. I could be reading or cooking- doesn’t matter. I like the noise. He prefers to turn it on only when he plans to watch a show. I tend to let the first thing fly out of my mouth. I usually come up with a new answer after slowing down to think things through a little more. While I’m talking and taking in the big picture, he observes the tiniest details in his quiet, deliberate manner. The guy doesn’t miss a thing- I’m telling you.😳 He considers every angle and may not say a single word.

Think-time.✅

Silence.✅

As I’m learning to appreciate the value of 🙊silence, I’ve come to understand that it’s not just about the noise that we hear. I crave visual silence as well. There’s so much information to process lately that it’s all becoming a blur. Too much judgment. 😬Too many contradicting memes. 😡Too many quotes by self-professed professionals. Too many people typing through arguments- tossing out comments without taking that meaningful think-time to consider all sides. Some folks are ruthless.😢 You know what I mean. There comes a time when we must shut the 💻laptop or put away the 📱phones and rest in the visual silence. Gaze out the window. Walk in 🌻nature. Close your 😑eyes while relaxing in your favorite chair. Welcome the quiet.😍

What if…silence is ✨golden? That’s where we learn. It’s where we grow. We don’t always have to fill it with noise.💖

(Photos from Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs, Colorado)

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