The alarm sounding at the end of 168 hours was glorious! But hey, at least this hourly countdown was not as horrific as James Franco’s cutting his hand off in 127 Hours. Hmmm…what other number based connections can I make….OH, it was not as titillating as 9 1/2 weeks, much more interesting than 21 Grams.
We know the passage of time changes based on the fun-factor of the activity. Quite frankly I can’t believe it was only 168 hours ago that my voice ghosted me! Apparently, I like the shit out of talking; I suppose that makes sense being a speech pathologist.
The other day, before parole, and believing I could navigate without encounter, I ventured into the grocery store. If you are ever on voice rest and go to the grocery store, be assured of two things.
First– you definitely will see someone you absolute love but haven’t seen in YEARS and they will strike up a renewing conversation to which you nod and smile and make them laugh because you use the TEXT App and they feel awkward. Couldn’t help but think of Dan Fogelberg’s Same Ole Lang Syne, just without all the conversation.
Secondly– the chatty grocery clerk will think you don’t care one bit about the wildfires in New Mexico because you didn’t extend the conversation. We know that’s not true. It does cause me to pause to consider how often I judge someone’s ‘why’. We really don’t know a stranger’s story.
As was my wondering on day one, I am neither a blabbering idiot, nor peaceful as shit. Relieved, and thankful to have my ‘voice’ back. The speech pathologist believes the adage, “Physician, heal thy self”, and is implementing voice therapy guidelines. But I will carry forward awareness of what’s important to say and what is dribble.
A final meaningful thought about this experiment was how fatiguing it was to not speak. Any time we alter a pattern, remaining cognizant uses tremendous cognitive energy , my psyche was doing double duty. (Don’t talk, I want to talk, don’t do it, but I want to, oops I talked). Take away- have compassion when someone is in pain-physical or mental, have compassion when someone is distracted due to life being turned upside down. Have compassion for others but for yourself too.
Thanks to all who have followed me on this adventure beneath the cone of silence. Glad to fling it away and begin singing like Adele once again.
I leave you with a little Dan Fogelberg in the grocery store… it’s the bitter sweet aspect that resonated in the grocery store.