There’s no such thing as silence anymore.
Car alarms blare in the dead of night, children run around screaming in both snow and sunshine, neighbors that are too close keep their television volume at alarming levels. Floorboards creak, electricity hums, dogs bark, people yell and babies cry.
The world is always screaming when you have a deep-seated need for silence.
I struggle with this daily. I live with three other adults, a toddler (my goddaughter), a dog and a cat. There’s no such thing as a quiet moment here. I’m woken up by the obnoxious sounds of my alarm clock in the morning, I spend my days in a job that requires that I and those around me are constantly talking, and I fall asleep by employing various methods to block out the bumps in the night, which include a raucous fan and some ear plugs.
When I don’t get the quiet time that I need, a frustration builds up inside me. It continues to build the longer I go without adequate silence. Eventually, it erupts into anger and resentment towards the noise and the noisemakers.
I yearn for a quiet life; a life of seclusion with my nearest neighbor being so far away that I can’t see their house from my window. I yearn to live away from the noise of the very technology that I and those around me are addicted to. I yearn to distance myself from the hustle and bustle of the city and ever-growing suburbs.
I could pursue this dream of mine. I could move out of my crowded house to live on my own in a quiet neighborhood further from the city. If I did that, though, I would painfully miss the sounds of my goddaughter’s infectious laugh, my best friend’s impromptu dance parties in the kitchen, and the sounds of happiness that come from my housemates.
The fact is, building a quiet life isn’t always a viable option, so those of us who crave a certain amount of silence need to learn how to live with the noise around us. Savor the few moments of silence you get each day and find ways to manufacture those moments if they don’t naturally happen.
If work is too loud, escape to the bathroom for a few minutes of quiet.
If your neighbors are noisy, try getting out of the house more. Go to the library or go for a walk in the park.
If the sounds of the night keep waking you up, invest in some soft foam ear plugs (I can personally attest to their brilliance).
If you’re around people who feel the need to talk just to fill the silence, let them know that silence is exactly what you need at that moment. Tell your loved ones that quiet is important to you and work with them so that they know what your boundaries are.
There are various ways to cope with the noise of the world if you have a need for silence. It’s important to know what your limits are and take steps to ensure that your mental well-being is taken care of.
What are some things that you do to give yourself a few moments of peace in a world that never stops? Let me know in the comments below!