So… today we explore how the sounds of our home life affect the atmosphere.
Take a little test. Sit in your home – right in the middle – in the midst of a normal day. What do you ear? Technology? White noise? Media? Voices? Music?
Now how do you describe the sounds? Is there harmony or discord? Major or minor keys?How about the decibel level? Is there ebb and flow to the sounds? What about the “theme” of the “music”?
These are things we take very little notice of, but they affect a great deal of our home living experience. Noise can affect us emotionally, physically, and mentally. Why do you think the soundtracks of movies are so important. They set the tone, the mood, they lead the viewer along prepping them for whats to come and convincing them of the feelings evoked by the scene.
Try thinking of your home as a movie in need of a sound track. You are the director. You get to decide what plays. However, we don’t have the luxury of going back and adding tracks that are perfectly played and timed after the fact. We must be more deliberate and purposeful to plan the “soundtrack” of our homes in time with the moment. Not hard. It just requires us to be sensitive and then purposeful.
For example, we can do the obvious by choosing background music to play during meals, learning times, family times, etc… Are we sure to pick uplifting and beautiful music? I am not so narrow minded as to suggest that there is only one type of music worth listening to. You must let your families preferences and your conscience be your guide. May I suggest you listen to different genres at different times. Talk about it. Think about it. Don’t listen mindlessly. Keep a catalogue of favorites that are comfortable and welcome to all of you. Put on some fun music after dinner and dance with the kids, the spouse, or even all by yourself. It really is a mood lifter.
More subtle and often overlooked areas of sound include the voices in the home. Is there a lot of yelling? A lot of needlessly raised voices? Are the words harsh or kind? We all have our moments and some instances require loud voices. But, is it the norm? We can’t control what comes out of someone else’s mouth but you can influence, train, and guide. And we can certainly control what comes out of our own mouths.
Let’s talk technology. Thank God for dryers, a/c, dishwashers, and computers. They certainly make our lives easier. But, we must remember that we are in charge of them not the other way around. Plan when these devises run. Try to adjust the noise they produce. We tend to tune them out on the surface, but they are there making noise in the background which adds to the overall effect. Telephones and cell phones can be turned off. We don’t have to let their constant ringing ruin the moment. Take charge of the phone.
So… now I must mention television. We have few sets, but no channels. We control what comes in through the big black box. That’s our choice, it may not be yours. Just remember, tv is a choice. Watch it purposefully, not habitually. If you find it is on in the background all day when no one is watching – make a change. We don’t need to listen to a show to eat a meal or heaven forbid to fall asleep. Try turning it off and only watching it when you are committed to sitting and watching and not doing anything else. Then turn it off.
We may think these things don’t have much impact, but have you ever been in your home for even a few minutes with out any “noise” happening? It’s different, isn’t it? Think of that as the blank track and then build up from there. Take control. Be the conductor of the family symphony. Make sweet music and a joyful noise.