Listening

As a student and a mother, I am often studying in odd places. I am regularly in the local recreation center studying while my kids are in an arts or sports program. I try and find a nice quiet spot, and failing that I put on my headphones and crank up the tunes. This day I got all setup when a group of 5 people sat at the table next to me, and the group quickly expanded to about 30. But it was quiet. With large groups often comes noise, but not this day.

I was quite distracted by this group and they were making almost no sound. It was fascinating to watch the intimate communication shared among this group. They were looking at each other, bodies facing each other as they read lips and signed to each other. I was sucked in by the excitement and emotion being expressed as this group greeted each other.

I can’t remember what I was studying that day, but it was something boring in comparison. It was a good reminder that words are not the only form of communication. We do speak with our bodies, some of us better than others.

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The next time you are speaking with someone try putting down your device or knitting and really look at the person you are communicating with. Look at their eyes, their face, and their lips moving. Pretend for a minute that you can’t hear their words. What are they really saying? What is their body telling you?

I like to talk, a lot. I am not the best listener. I get distracted. I get excited. I disengage. Watching a group of people communicate silently was inspiring. This year my New Years resolution is to listen more and talk less. Wish me luck because I am going to need it.

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Musical Resolution

I have been celebrating a New Year and a new start daily since I had surgery to remove a brain tumour. But with the coming of the new year I still made a resolution.

When I was a kid my house was filled with music. No one actually had any musical talent, so it wasn’t filled with piano melodies or anything like that. More like constant classic rock blasting out of the speakers all day and night. My dad would turn on the stereo when he got up in the morning, and it stayed on until he went to bed each night. It didn’t matter if anyone was home to listen to the music, it played on.

He had an extensive record collection which was replaced with tapes and then CD’s and now his Ipod. He is musically obsessed to the extent that when he comes to visit me he brings his own speaker so that he can listen to music at my house.

Just after I was diagnosed with a brain tumour I couldn’t listen to music. I was interpreting every song as sad, and it was depressing. I asked my brother who inherited my fathers musical appreciation to make me CD’s of happy music, and my husband obliged as well with a happy playlist.

At some point when CD’s stopped being the method of listening and collecting music I stopped filling my house with music. When we first had kids the CD player got broken (that button that made the CD tray go in and out was so tempting to little fingers) and that was it, music died in our house. It has been my wish to get our house wired with speakers in every room so that when you move from room to room the music is already there waiting to welcome you to the next space. That has yet to happen, but the next best thing did.

For Christmas this year my husband bought me a pair of wireless speakers which we can add to over time. My resolution this New Year is to listen to music every day intentionally because it calms me and makes me happy. Whatever your New Years resolutions are I hope that they also make you happy.

HAPPY NEW YEAR.