#NoNoiseNovember Journal

Original blog post: No Noise November Challenge

I announced this challenge on 26Oct2015.

It commenced on 01Nov2015.

Feel free to leave some comments on how it’s going for you!

Day 1

Today wasn’t that bad, but I didn’t have to drive anywhere. I did have to catch myself a few times though.

Breakfast time wasn’t a problem since our older daughter woke us up. I don’t listen to podcasts if the kids are awake.

I did watch some football which is probably worse than anything I could listen to, but I would mute it during commercials/half time.

There were two times where I really had to check myself.

First was when I got to use the computer during a magical time in the morning and my wife was out shopping with kid 1/and kid 2 was asleep. Why is it hard to use a computer without music? I almost opened up Pandora without even thinking.

2nd was grilling some steaks. I get the grill going, put the steaks on, and set a timer. I don’t want to leave the grill unattended so I’ll usually sit outside and listen to soething. Instead, I appreciated the sounds of the neighborhood. Wind through the trees, leaves falling, kids laughing and playing, and even one neighbors AC running… When it’s 66F out (I cant  explain that one).

It’s funny. I don’t mind nature and quiet when I’m in it (camping, hiking, jogging), but its hard to appreciate when I’m at home. It’s like I just get stuck in a routine and don’t question it. I think my work mornings will be a little harder (I get up about am hour before the older one usually does), but I’m feeling a bit optimistic.

Day 2

Were there more a-hole drivers today than usual or was I just more aware of them? Being  mindful does have a few drawbacks. I was forced to let them in too. I know they are probably in a much worse space in their life if they’re driving like that, but it’s still hard to give them the benefit of the doubt when they’re zooming in and out of traffic!

As to the regular routine, I was tempted to listen to something Monday morning, but instead, I just didn’t. The baby didn’t sleep well, so I may have stopped at StarBucks on the way to the Post Office (I have $20 of fun money per month that I usually spend on coffee. It’s my money and I can do what I want!). The car was the struggle today though, so we’ll see if it’s a little better after I get used to the quiet again.

Days 3 and 4

Better? I’m not sure. I’ve been really busy at work, really busy at home, going to pick up my daughter for her birthday, and just struggling to be mindful. I miss the music right now. I actually had a dream that I was listening to music in the car and realized it later and thought I blew the challenge.

I’m going to stick with it though and I’m sure that I’ll get a little better after this weekend (birthday party for my daughter).

Days 5-8

We had a birthday party for my daughter, so there really wasn’t any time to even put music on! We haven’t had a long drive either, so I feel like I won’t really feel the impact until then. On Friday, I did have some time at home when the baby was sleeping (my wife was back at work for the first time). I just got a lot of work done with the website instead of focusing on music. I did go to a coffee shop for the morning and there was music on there, but I didn’t choose it! I swear! I went just for the coffee. 🙂

I’m getting more adjusted to the quiet though. I think a week is about the time for me to not miss it that much.

Days 9-12

Work has been terribly busy. We have a big IT project going live by the end of the year so we’re trying to make sure all of our ducks are in a row. On top of that, I’m bringing both girls to daycare now. Please ignore the payment to daycare that is more than my mortgage.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been really really busy. And I haven’t been very in the moment while I’m getting ready, eating, or cleaning up in the morning.

That’s not good. But you know what could be worse? If I had been listening to some audio book or podcast, I’d have been thinking about that. Then I’d have to process all of my thoughts about work later in the day. So, in the end, even though I’m not getting the quiet and solitude I was hoping for, or at least I”m not able to be as reflective as much as I’d like, I’m still getting a lot of value. If it weren’t for the #NoNoiseNovember challenge, I’d be even more stressed!

Days 13-22

Home stretch is right after this. I’ve been busier than ever at work. I’m covering for someone out on maternity and our delivery date is in the next few weeks. This is a culmination of over a year of work, so we’re excited to get it in. The thing is, we already are looking at our next revision to it starting in January. So I’m doing prep-work for all of that stuff too!

So what I’m trying to say is that I’ve had a few drives home where I don’t even remember driving to the daycare to pick up my girls. Not good. I used to do this in high school. I’d arrive at school and realize that I don’t remember any of the traffic or driving to my destination at all. Definitely not in the moment.

I’m going to hang my hat on the fact that it could have been worse. Especially if I was listening to audio books non-stop.

I did have to put up with my wife’s Christmas music while she started to put up decorations, but seeing my 3 year old’s reaction to the tree going up was priceless. This age is awesome (and terrible, but mostly awesome), and moments like that are what the whole Challenge is about.

Finally, Reddit. I follow a few subreddits over there (/r/flipping and /r/thriftstorehauls). I like it better than Facebook because it’s a little more curated. The issue is that if I’m not logged in, I can get into a wormhole of internet waste. I’ve instituted a Reddit ban a few times in the past (one time for a whole year), and each time I think “I’ll be fine! I won’t waste an hour on Reddit this time!” I seriously feel like an addict when I think about the site! So, the question is do I avoid the site again. I’m leaning towards yes unless I’m there on the chosen subreddits. If this doesn’t work out for the rest of the year, I will probably be getting away from the site again.

Days 23-30

There we go. All done. It was pleasant. The drive home for the holidays was the hardest. I think this was just due to wanting to be home. I was getting pretty tired, I don’t think that music would have helped. My wife and I got to talk a TON. It’s funny how you take it for granted before kids, but just being able to sit down and talk about silly things is so enjoyable. We really need to make more time for this.

In the end, I haven’t had some huge revelation. I’m not a reincarnation of Buddha. I wasn’t as “in the moment” as I thought I’d be. I found myself drifting off towards random trains of thoughts ALL THE TIME. Work was really hard. I like having headphones on and enjoy music or ambient noise (hello Coffitivity).

I’ve enjoyed the peace and quiet but at 5:28 on December 1st, I was already listening to one of my favorite podcasts (Scavenger Life). They have an awesome community of eBay sellers over there, and I felt out of the loop. I’m definitely bringing other podcasts in VERY slowly. I don’t like having the pressure of “too many things to do.” Right now, it’ll be just a few podcasts and audiobooks. I’ll be much more selective on new ones going forward. I do think I’m appreciating all of the things that I’m listening to more. They haven’t become too routine yet. I don’t know how to keep that sense of freshness routine though.

I’m not sure what the next Challenge will be. I’d like to do a longer one and am thinking about an Etsy one. I’ve heard great things, but I’m just so hesitant about bringing in another new system. I have all of my items co-listed on Bonanza because it automatically imports everything, but this isn’t the same for Etsy. Any service that does this is super expensive. Not my cup of tea. If you have any ideas of a challenge you’d like to try out or would like to see me blog about, shoot me a message or leave a comment here!