One evening while sitting at my kitchen table, I scrolled through YouTube looking for the perfect music mix to enjoy my snack with. However, a question passed through my mind that gave me pause: “How often do I allow time to simply be present?” Where every morning I typically get the same things accomplished by remaining focused on a single task, how often does background noise interfere with the most benign tasks?
I put down my phone and quietly cut my kiwi. I carefully peeled away the thin husk remaining focused on the fruit and each careful cut that removed the thin dry outer covering. Doing so little by little, the the kiwi was peeled with only thin translucent pieces of the skin left on the cutting board. In a near perfect shape, the kiwi was cut into smaller bite sized pieces and enjoyed.
Noise infiltrates our psyche at an alarming rate in tones that create deafness to life taking place around us. Mowing the lawn, driving the car, going for walks, talking with friends, having sex, cooking dinner, playing with our children is often accompanied with music, the news, Instagram stories, podcasts, tweets, text messages and phone calls. Even in the most meaningful moments we compete for our own attention and rarely do we give ourself permission to sit in silence and take our time.
I fear that if we cannot do the most simple tasks in silence, how much more difficult is it going to be in the future to enjoy the ones that are the most meaningful. Perhaps we should try to living life, once in a while, without music.