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Diary of an Anxious Cook: The Sound of Silence

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Finding some quiet in Costa Rica…

Do you know what is really awesome and really underrated?

Kale.

NO, totally joking, kale is both overrated and terrible (admit it).

What is really wonderful and rare is silence. No podcasts, no television, no music, no conversation. Just silence.

It’s amazing how often we run away from silence. We play the radio in the car, leave the television on but unwatched, or mindlessly stream music. I know I find myself running from silence all the time. I never cook without a podcast or music playing, and my commute is filled with audiobooks, conversations with my carpool buddy, or generic pop on the radio. I seem to be in a constant state of pushing back my own thoughts for the words and ideas of others.

Now that my man has jetted off to Mexico, the house is empty and still. Minus the occasional outbursts from Gayle when a squirrel touches the edge of our property, the day has been spent mostly in silence. I’d like to say that in this quiet I have had a jumble of new ideas, great writing inspiration, or even just a new recipe come to mind. But I haven’t.

What I have had is what feels like my brain engaged in a long, peaceful morning stretch. Free from the constant input of new ideas, it has been released from the endless inner monologue with itself and the constant dialogue with the outside world. And although at first it felt, well, lazy and a bit boring, it now feels like just what I needed.

I have made space for my own thoughts. As someone with anxiety who normally would be scared of such space, it feels surprisingly not so frightening. I feel like I’ve pushed back some old boxes and rearranged the furniture in my head. I feel ready to take on new ideas and next steps.

So go lay on a blanket outside, take a drive with no music, or cook dinner in the quiet of late July. Let silence surround you, even if just for an hour. It’ll do your brain some good.

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