It’s Springtime in Michigan, which means it’s 40 degrees and raining. Turns out that it was perfect weather conditions for a mid-day nap! (Just about the time I thought I was completely recovered from the anesthesia and pain meds that were administered in the hospital, I got hit with a wave of fatigue.)
A couple things came up in conversation with friends. I should really explain that conversation means my friends were talking and I intermittently wrote a note on my white board which may or may not have been read when it made most sense. I think that’s the hardest part of my muteness. I just can’t write fast enough to get my thoughts inserted into a conversation at the right moment.
One friend asked if I was feeling restless because I have not been permitted (by my surgeon) to workout. My normal workout routine includes spin class 4 times a week and weight training 2 times per week. Now, until I’m given clearance, I’m inert. Someone suggested I take walks, but see paragraph 1 for our weather report. Surprisingly, I haven’t really thought about not working out. I suppose my mind has been engaged in making communication modifications, so physical exercise has taken a back seat. I am, however, happy to report that I’ve lost some weight. Probably because I made the decision to bring only healthy food into the house prior to surgery. I must confess some of my friends have tried to sabotage these efforts with candy and dinner invitations!
Another question I was asked was whether it is taking a lot of effort to not speak. I answered that I felt I was at a place of acceptance, so it really hasn’t been difficult so far. My friend was surprised. How could acceptance keep me from exhausting myself trying to stay quiet? There is a line in the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” that says, “…and acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.” That line applies to my vocal situation. Would I prefer to be able to speak? Heck yeah! I’m an Extrovert. Speaking is what I do. But I am not able to speak; not for the time being at least. So, I accept my current situation. Perhaps I’ll feel differently on Day #14 of Grand Silence, but just for today, I’m at acceptance.
There is another line in the book mentioned above that talks about being “willing to go to any lengths.” That line also applies to my vocal situation. I want to talk and sing again. No, I really need to talk and sing again. So I am willing to go to any lengths and do whatever footwork is necessary to lead me to my desired goal. It’s as simple as that. Back in March, I surrendered to the fact that I would need to be mute for at least two weeks following surgery. A good friend told me at that time, “you don’t have to like it, but you have to accept it.” Today, I am not resisting silence, nor am I resentful that I have to maintain it. I do have to remind myself periodically that I cannot talk, but I’m at acceptance. And guess what? By accepting my silence, I’m able to accept the gifts, the grace and the many learning opportunities that are part of the journey.
One of the learning opportunities that has presented itself during these days of silence is the of time I’ve had to read up on things I wouldn’t usually get a chance to delve into. Like Holy Saturday, a day I never really gave a second thought. I read a great article called, “Holy Saturday: The Great Silence.” The article describes “The Great Silence” as the time when human labor ceases but God remains active and working. I’m so grateful I have the willingness to learn and experience this.
I’d say Grand Silence Day #6 is a success!