3 and a half hours into my first day of silence, and already I'm frustrated. Not good!
For a little over a year now, I've wanted to go on a silent retreat. I've even tried to devise ways to get everyone else out of the house, while I made my home into my own silent retreat. I haven't been able to pull any of this off. Recently, Phillip at LovingRaw blogged about going into silence at home. I thought about doing a media fast (no TV, computer, radio, etc), but I share my home with 3 other people, and it seemed too complicated. Finally, I settled on just shutting my mouth. (That's the thing that's most likely to keep me out of trouble anyway.)
So for however long seems reasonable (hopefully 3 days), I'm not talking. I communicate via text, email, im, twitter, and scribbled notes, but I can't speak. If I continue through the weekend, I'll have to make an exception for my friend's Open House on Saturday. Her daughter is graduating high school, and a vow of silence might distract everyone from the point of the day. I'll just try to do more listening than talking.
How's the fam handling it? I usually talk to my mother and sister on the phone everyday, so this will probably be both a surprise and a nice break for them. Lovely Boyfriend seems to wonder exactly what the point is, but he's supportive of it, just as he was when I wanted to do the Biggest Loser week, and when I wanted to dive back into Raw foods. He trusts that I'm striving to be better. Fierce Teenager said, "This is going to be annoying." I just shrugged. She basically thinks my love of the stairs (I recently did 12 X 225, a new PR), my passion for Raw food, and my hair are all freakish. Wonder Girls, keeps forgetting she can talk. She writes back to me instead, which is a nice opportunity for her to fall quiet, but makes for really drawn out communications.
In this short time, I've quickly run up against some of my greatest flaws: short temper, impatience, intolerance for whining/complaining, and oh yeah . . . short temper. To deal with some of this, I quickly instituted a no complaining AT ALL rule for the kids, and made up some cards to respond to their typical questions and requests. My favorite is: ASK ME LATER.
What am I hoping to get out of this? I don't know. I have major life changes going on right now: FT graduating from high school and going to the other side of the continent for college, moving out of the home I've lived in for longer than I stayed in any other place in my adult life, trying desperately to complete my first novel, shopping for a home in an unfamiliar city, launching a business, selling off and giving away things I've lived with for a long time. Many of these are wonderful changes, but they still add stress to the day.
Hopefully, being quiet will allow me to better hear my family and friends and to better see what they're going through, so I can be more available to them. Hopefully, I'll be more productive, move my projects forward, and spend more time in prayer. Hopefully, I'll work on some of the above metioned flaws, and gain a greater sense of how to deal with things without non-stop verbal exchange.