I talked so much at work today that I lost my voice. It was completely gone by the time I got home.
As the girls tumbled into my arms, clambering over each other, clamouring to tell me all about their day, I tried to tell them how mine had been in return.
But the words didn’t register. Just a squeak squeezed out.
So instead, I heard…
an unceasing, uninterrupted stream of magically mundane memories from the afternoon; they’d prepped cupboards for painting; they’d been to the MOT centre with Daddy; they’d unlocked a new level in the latest game they were crazy about.
But the final thought was the most precious.
“You know, we missed you, mummy.”
“I missed you, too,” I croaked.
Zoë led me like a meek little lamb up the stairs to her room which she had transformed into her ‘classroom.’
I knew it was bedtime, but I didn’t have the strength in my voice to do my usual authoritative cajoling and encouraging towards that end.
So instead I listened…
and so became a model student. Zoë gave an engaging lesson on how to draw an ‘a’ on Eden’s back and sit up straight with my knees crossed (criss-cross apple sauce).
Then, I sat suitably mesmerised as Zoë read through The Cat in the Hat, eventually putting Eden to sleep as her lilting tones slowly and deliberately sounded out the words. Soon enough, her own eyes were closing. No nighttime nagging needed.
Silently, I guided her gently over to bed, got in beside her and enjoyed the stream of chatter until it petered away into sleep.
Oh, what we can miss when we overuse our own voice.
❗Our right to speak
❗our point of view
❗our plan for what should happen next.
Think about it. If you lost your voice right now, what do you think you would get the opportunity to hear?
My personal lesson from today:
Don’t talk too much, because people will eventually stop hearing what you say. Don’t miss out on what you’re unintentionally drowning out. Talk less, listen more.