Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Finding Your Voice

The Headlines;

I have no voice.  

Like gone.

Turns out... there are lessons to be learned.

This has been an irritating few weeks.  You may have heard about our little flood we had due to a washing machine busting (literally) in my laundry room.  If not, check it out HERE.  Then I get sick, slightly, not a biggie.  But then I lose my voice.  Like gone.  Happy Thanksgiving!  Yes, but as "they" say... in every cloud there is a silver lining!

You ever get sick?  I know the answer to that... everyone does.  Especially Moms.  Those little germy hands bring in crud from all over the universe to your spic and span house (at least in theory).  Then they share those germs with you and you get sick.  Over and over.  It's like a running joke in every family.  Well, that happens here too.  But my sickness, about once a year - goes further than that.  I get sick and then, towards the end of the sickness, I lose my voice.   I remember this happening when I used to anchor the news.  Producers would actually let me go on.  I was sure I could just hear the remotes turning me off as the words came out.  Or didn't.

Anyways, after the sickness dies down, hoarseness sets in and then (especially if I force talking) it's just POOF - gone!  Not very convenient for anyone who has anyTHING to do in life.  But then again... there are lessons in everything.  Losing my voice always requires me to find it again.

Finding ones voice really should take years.  But when it's gone... you get to re-evalaute.  Are you using it correctly?  Here's what I found:

Kids Fight. 
Let them fight.  Stopping them while whispering is a near impossible task.  But try.  It's funny.  The real question is... if you say nothing, what do they do?  Does the silence do something your voice can't?

Listen More. 
As a former reporter I developed that skill early on.  Ironically, people think reporters need to be good talkers and they do.  But more than that... they need to listen.  Everyone wants to be heard.  They want to know their voice matters.  Because it does.  I like to ask questions but I most enjoy hearing answers.  This skill escapes many.  Not sure why... the sound of their own voice is too encapsulating maybe... I get it.  I love to talk too.  But I do realize that others, including your own children, have incredibly important things to say too.  Things I want to hear.  Things we all need to hear.

Couples Need Conversation. 
It's necessary to be really good together.  I have a million things I have to tell BP (the husband) but only a few things I can say right now.  He talks.  I smile.  Best conversation ever as far as he's concerned.  But I long to connect with him through my words.  He's my best friend and what we say to each other, means something.  Even the small stuff.

Real Friends Tune In.
People need patience to listen to me right now.  My good friends take the moment needed.  Some even translate.

Silence is Awkward.  
But should it be?  So many of us say something just to fill voids. We've all done it, "Nice day... this weather is awesome!" "How 'bout them Chargers?" Sometimes, less is more. If you stop talking, I promise others will step up.  Try it, you'll be amazed what comes out.  Just the same...

Words Matter.
So if you're going to talk please know words are powerful so pick them wisely.  Every single one.

Your Voice is Your Calling Card!
People not only respond to the words but also to the voice behind them.  When you don't have a sound... part of you is lost.  A part that is taken for granted daily.  I was at a party last weekend and I spoke to a man I had never officially talked to before... I thought the conversation went fine but he later turned to my husband and said, "what's up with your wife?  I can barely hear her?"  He thought I was a lunatic!

People Need Cheerleaders.
At my children's games last weekend I couldn't cheer them on.  It seems like a trivial task but I think this world could use a few more cheerleaders and maybe a few less "play-ahs!"

Yes, losing a voice changes ones life for the time being.  I have no doubt, I will soon find it again.  But like many things, it's a nice reminder of what you're missing... when it's gone.

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