Sunday, August 30, 2009

Why am I so petrified of silence? (Yep, that's an Alanis quote.)

When I wrote my first (and otherwise only) blog, I stated that I did not intend to be a real blogger, and so far I have been true to my word. Thus the name of my humble page: The Silence between the Notes. I hope you’ve enjoyed my silence but here comes another note.

Lately, I’ve really been pondering our society’s struggle with silence and absence and patience. For example, several friends have teased me about the absence of my blogs. But why is a long absence such a bad thing? Does silence, absence, or patience decrease our quality of life in some way? Why are we so impatient with such silly things in life?

I want to enjoy the silence around me and to become more patient and yet I still…

  • Stop the microwave with 1 second left because I just can’t wait any longer.
  • Start my DVR-ed programs 15 minutes late just so that I can fast forward through commercials.
  • Grunt when my computer can’t keep up with how fast I want to type.
  • Anxiously stare at my cell phone as if it will speed up that return text or voice message.
  • Talk on the speakerphone while driving so that I don’t let driving time go to waste.

What are we trying to gain through our false sense of productivity these days? Is it possible that we’re losing more than we’re gaining? Shouldn’t I appreciate all that technology allows me to accomplish instead of complaining that it slows me down? Shouldn’t the anticipation of that returned phone call be an exciting thing, not a stressful one?

My sister, Kasey, says that our frantic rush for productivity is largely about control. I find it ironic that we’re only controlling “things,” not actual situations. I’ve fast forwarded the commercial but I still won’t get to bed before 11 because that’s when the show ends. We’ve communicated with twice as many people via text, phone, and computer but chances are that we haven’t added anything to the quality of our lives through those communications. As with this post, for example, I have written all these words but have produced no more answers than if I were still just sitting here thinking--in silence.