My sound of choice is silence - well as silent as I can get in my little part of the world. It annoys me when I wake up at 3am and can hear the trains go by. I don't live anywhere near a train station but the prevailing wind at 3am seems to be in exactly the right direction to bring the sounds straight to my bedroom window.
I'm always the one who turns the tv off if no one is sitting in front of it actively watching (that includes the times someone falls asleep in front of the tv). What's the point? You're either watching it, or you're not. Using it as white noise is irritating.
This week I got a little more silence than I usually ask for. I lost my voice. I'm not talking croaky or husky, I'm talking no volume at all, not even a whisper. It's amazing how much difference it makes to my world. Because I'm silent, most people around me become quieter. A lot of people even whisper at me - I can't make a noise therefore my hearing must be acute. Other people come right up close to me and speak slowly like my hearing has been affected along with my voice. My sense of humour is having a ball.
It's not the first time this has happened. I spent most of my 20s losing my voice three or four times a year, then in my 30s I had 12 months without a voice. I had no volume at all for nearly five months, then had to use a portable voice amplifier for another eight months before my voice was back to normal volume. I've had to do voice exercises every day since to maintain easy volume.
With all this difficulty I have even getting a speaking voice to work, you can imagine what my singing voice is like! It's not that I can't hold a note - I'm just never sure which note I'll get or how long it'll last.
Lauren was 11 or 12 during that year and very quickly learned to respond to a click of my fingers. We developed our own sign language and had quite involved conversations with me not saying a word and her talking in shorthand. She can still say an awful lot to me just by raising an eyebrow. It actually fitted in really well with the dog obedience techniques I used throughout her childhood. I know it sounds odd to say I used dog obedience to raise a child but I did: lots and lots of praise when she did something good and growled at her when she did something wrong, just like we learned when we were training our dog. Of course I didn't realise until we took the dog obedience classes that that's what I was doing.
Now I have a few days of absolute silence inside my head. It's come at the most inconvenient time of the semester - right at the beginning - but there's nothing I can do about that. I'm scared if I don't take the time to rest and get it all working again I'll have another year with no voice. While it was an interesting experience, it's not something I want to repeat.