Silence Is Golden

silence1Many people are uncomfortable with silence.  I suppose I have to include myself in that group. I don’t watch television, but I usually have either music or an audio book playing on my iPod as I work at my job or putter around the house.

That’s great if I’m trying to entertain myself or focus on the task at hand or block out other people. Since I’m in a cubicle at my day job, I listen to music as a way to give myself virtual walls.

On the other hand, when I’m home, listening to books or music all the time can be a bit of a problem. I tend to come up with good ideas when I’m doing other things – especially housework.  But if I’m listening to an audio book or music, it’s almost like the unconscious part of my brain is too busy to do much heavy lifting. I might get an idea or have a thought (yes – a thought, I say!), but they get smothered by what I’m hearing.

So when I’m home (and not coughing up a lung thanks to the head cold of the century) I’m trying to live by the old rule – “silence is golden”. If all I’m listening to is the silence of the day, then it seems like the creative part of myself is more likely to speak. Maybe it’s shy. Maybe it’s just bored. Whatever works. I just know that when my mind is free to wander, ideas bubble up to the surface and I enter a half-dream state as I make the bed or clean the litter box.

We live in such a demanding, multi-media, ultra-connected age, but I invite you to join me in the pursuit of silence. Turn off your television, your radio, your computer, your iPod.  Turn everything off and let your mind wander.

Then try to listen to what it’s saying.





  1. Another winner, my friend! I tend to fall asleep with the television on at bed time. I almost need the background noise…..

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Laryn: It does take a little getting used to. I had to cover the television with a blanket when I first decided to stop watching – I just turned it on out of habit. But then 9/11 happened, and I really didn’t want to watch anymore, so it was easier.

  2. Margie Shepherd says

    do I hear an “Ode to the litterbox” in your future??

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