Yesterday afternoon (3/26/12) I read an article through HighExistence about taking a 'vow of silence' or as the author referred to it, a 'silent vacation.' Unordinary things like such, tend to interest me, so I decided I would take this challenge and make it my own. The author continued her vow for 23 days. Since this is my first go at something like this, I have decided to commit to five days of 'no vocal chords.' This means no talking, singing, laughing, humming, anything audible for the next five days. My job requires a lot of speaking, and since I value my employment, (aka weekly paycheck,) I must talk to customers. I feel like I am missing a chunk of what this experiment has to offer, but for the time being, its the best I can do.
The first thing I noticed yesterday, was the 45 minute drive home from work. This is usually a long drive, making it the time where I call friends or family, catch up, vent about my day, make plans for the weekend, etc. Yesterday things were quiet. I found myself getting frustrated at traffic, but I couldn't yell "MOOOVE!!" or "Ugh, I hate stupid people!!" Keeping my mouth shut, made me move my arms more, and really open my eyes to everything around me. In an attempt to chill out, and pass off the frustration as something I could not control, I turned on the radio. I almost started to sing along, when my concience quickly slapped my hand, reminding me "no singing! no noise!" So, I listened. I heard the same songs I hear every day, but listening was different. Sure, I knew all of the words, but this time I paid close attention to what each artist had to say. I felt much more connected to the music and lyrics than I had before. This was a good thing for me, because I find myself not making enough time, (somedays any time) for God. Really focusing on the messages through a simple Christian radio station, and then not stopping to talk on the phone helped me realise some things that He has probably been trying to get through to me for a while. Anyone that has ever met me, knows how easily I can get distracted. Yesterday, I focused.
When I got home, I took my Chihuahua, HoneyBadger, outside for a walk. There are a few little girls that live in the apartment building next to mine, that are always outside playing at this time. Like they do everyday when they see us, they asked me "Can we pet your dog?!?" I nodded yes, we walked over to the girls, and they pet her. They made their usual comments "You're so cute!" and "I love you, HoneyBee!" and then turned away to continue playing. We continued walking. The girls have always had more to say to HoneyBadger, than to me, and that is totally okay. They did not question why I hadn't said anything. It did not phase them at all.
The night continued without any major events. Any phone calls, I returned with a text saying "Sorry, I have taken a vow of silence for the next week and cannot audibly answer you right now. What's up?" Any face-to-face conversations were handled by typing my responses on my iPhone notepad. I ate dinner outside. I listened to all of the "normal noises" such as cars driving by, people talking in the parking lot, the air conditioning unit, dogs barking, etc. I like being an observer. I am already learning a lot. Someone knocked on my door later, but I didn't recognize the guy, so I ignored it.
I dreamed about going to a museum and looking at paintings of whales last night. Not sure if that has any relevance, but I thought it was interesting. :)
(The article I mentioned earlier, can be found at: http://www.highexistence.com/
my-vow-of-silence-and-why-you-s hould-try-a-silent-vacation/ )