Some time ago, I noticed that a few of my habits and disciplines of longstanding began to change. In recent days, those very same habits and disciplines which I had clung to at one point were now basically nonexistent. I suppose after a season of back-to-back performance-based-acceptance events, I was craving a mindless existence. Perhaps it was a season of depression or perhaps it was a desperate need to stay away from drama and all things complicated.
Before, the radio would be playing for most of the day within my home or in the car. The morning broadcast schedule of the radio station I favored was a lineup of my favorite pastors and teachers. The evening broadcast schedule would be a repeat of some of them but with a spattering of a few different ones. If I missed a particular broadcast or if a particular program hit home, I would listen again to the podcast online. I typically spent hours at the local library each week studying and reviewing some of my favorite material, even though my duties as a teacher/facilitator had ended. It seemed I was always in learning mode and was quite eager to share ALL that I had learned if the opportunity arose. Would it be fair to say there was always noise in my life, perhaps “white noise” one might say, as this noise was good stuff, instructional and edifying?
A few months ago, all that changed or ceased. I found the radio irritating and I quickly shut if off when the alarm clock sounded off the radio each morning. I went about my business of chores in the home and of errands in the car in silence. I found myself keeping away from situations where I knew I would be involved in heavy conversations, always expected to respond with grace and wisdom in the face of the most twisted and convoluted circumstances. I devoted less time to folk who would rather whine and blame than look in the mirror and make a change. Instead, I listened and showed empathy where possible but otherwise remained silent, giving no advice, insight or criticism. I withdrew from social networking sites where comments and postings were like an agitator of a washing machine, churning things up and spinning them around. Unfortunately at the end of the cycle, there is still dirty laundry to deal with. My quest to buy a house/condo lessened in drive and intensity; the want/need/goal is still there, but every new potential property receives a more calculated review and not the emotional explosion of I HAVE to have it because if I don’t act on it NOW, I am missing the opportunity of a lifetime. The people for whom I open my door are those who live in the moment one might say. They are highly responsible folk with duties and schedules I could never keep up personally, but they work hard and they play hard. They aren’t so fussed about making life perfect by obeying rules and regulations and conforming to standards and norms, but they take life as it comes and focus on getting the most out of today. They do not seek me out for answers nor do they see me as a project or a mission to complete. They are comfortable with who they are and confident enough to let you be you and simply enjoy honest companionship. Would it be fair to say that I shunned a life of noise, clutter and “it’s complicated” situations for silence, simplicity and “free to be” way of life?
I wonder if I returned to the involvements I once was a part of, would the storyline be the same as when I left them? Would there be any form of resolution or ceasefire to the earth-shattering chain of events that are always present? Would I have to declare that “I am changed” or would they see me as a changed person?
Interestingly enough, I did flip on the radio this morning as I was putting clean sheets on the bed, sorting the laundry for today. A children’s radio program was airing, radio theater for children. It was simple and uncomplicated. It was pure and honest. It was real. It was refreshing.