As I sit here typing, it’s 5:30 am. I am the only one awake. The house is still yet full of sounds. There is the hum of the refrigerator, the buzz of the kitchen lights that are barely turned on and the gurgling of the fountain in the entry. Outside it is dark, yet there is a bird loudly chirping in the backyard. And last, but not least, there is the nonstop chatter in my head trying to focus my thoughts on this blog, while constantly being interrupted with to dos for the day (note to self: cancel that online membership). We all know it’s ‘easy’ to listen to the endless commentary running through our head, scheduling our day and reacting to all that is around us. But, how often do we clear all of that away, so we can listen to what we really need?
This winter’s flu was a bad one. People I know were sick for a week (or more) at a time, only to get better and then be hit by another strain a week or two later. Of course, when you have little ones it’s easy to feel like you are on a carousel passing it around and around. It gets to the point that someone is always coming down with something, or recovering, or getting sick again. Then there are those of us who get sick when we go on vacation? We push so hard all the time that once we give ourselves the chance to relax, our bodies are so depleted we instantly get sick.
What happens in those days leading up to getting sick? Are we listening to our body? If we are listening, it gives us subtle clues that we are tired, getting run down and not eating properly. We ignore the signs because x, y, z must get done. We push on and push through and then pay the price days later when we are not feeling well.
Why is it so hard to listen? I sit in so many meetings every week where very few people are truly listening to each other. It’s so much easier not to listen, to respond and keep talking until you’ve said all that you needed to say. In an earlier blog, I’ve shared that after about thirty seconds people stop listening to what you are saying and are already formulating a response in their head. People are so concerned with responding that they stop listening. The same can be said for our bodies. Our bodies talk to us all the time, but we are too busy responding to everything around us that we don’t listen.
Outside, my little bird friend is no longer chirping. It now seems very quiet. Does that mean there is nothing left to hear? On the contrary, now the true listening can begin.
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I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.