Reflection – 30 days of better listening

I’m glad that this activity finished when it did, only because I have a bad head cold that has blocked my ears and I’m not listening very well at all at the moment 🙂

This was an interesting activity to do. Maintaining a heightened awareness of listening and my soundscapes did provide me with some insight into things I do and don’t do well around listening. What do I mean by that? Take the mundane sounds exercise, I realised that there are these sounds in my environment that I find very distracting and annoying. I’m really not a white noise person, I much prefer complete silence. But since I started focusing on them and finding their melody I’ve become better at tuning them out. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate white noise, but by learning to appreciate it I’m finding it less irritating. There is still a way to go on this, of course, but the fan in the bathroom no longer irritates me of a morning and I don’t find road noise in the car as distracting – which is a good start for 30 days.

Another thing has been a better ability to focus on conversations in a very noisy environment, which is something I always struggle with. We had a few loud work gatherings in the weeks leading up to Xmas, and I feel that I was marginally better at hearing the conversations I was involved in over all of the other noise. I know that I am not alone with this one, I’m sure that everyone at some point has nodded a response to something that they were just unable to hear at the time. But since one of the bigger “learning experiences” in my life started because I couldn’t hear what someone said to me in a bar, this is something I would like to be better at (long story).

Overall I think that this has just made me more aware of the existence of a soundscape, and my ability to control it. That revelation in itself has made this a very worthwhile activity. I will keep some of the exercises in my life, and will try to continue to be a conscious listener. I’m sure that the people in my life would appreciate me continuing to be more attentive when they are talking to me.

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