Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A few things to get you through.

1. Here are a few songs to listen to while you read.  You are welcome.

2. Here's my latest from Twitter, if you aren't already into that kind of thing: Philippians 1:18 is what I think about whenever anyone brings up Tim Tebow, which is all the time. 

3. I need to go and get my ears checked. Not because I suspect that I have hearing loss, but because I know it. I've been putting it off for a while because: a) I am pretty good at lip reading, b) Hearing aids cost the same as a nice computer and are not covered by insurance, and c) I am pretty horrible about going to the doctor in general. Lately though, I feel I've been missing out on a lot of conversation details, and the constant ringing in my ears never fails to remind me that I probably should have an audiologist figure it out. This past summer a doctor prescribed some allergy medication to see if that would help me to hear better. I am not sure that it worked. The doctor never tested my ears in the first place to see what level my hearing was at, and then I never went back to get them checked again after a month of the medication (and really, what would they compare it to?). We were probably both at fault. Really though, I think I need to just go to a place that knows what they're talking about when it comes to hearing.  In the meanwhile, here are some misconceptions that I would like to clear up.
          a) People who are hard of hearing didn't hear you because they weren't paying attention. On the contrary, we probably pay twice as much attention just to be involved in a conversation. Especially a conversation with a group of people. Sometimes when someone laughs at me because they've been apparently talking to me/trying to get my attention for a little while, and I haven't heard them...sometimes I will say, "sorry, I wasn't paying attention," since they are clearly already feeling uncomfortable at this point. But really, I just didn't hear them because they didn't already have my attention (or were talking softly, or not speaking clearly, etc). Being bad at hearing is way different than being bad at listening.
          b) People who didn't hear you must be dumb and not understand the content of what you were trying to say. Not true either. Dumb and smart have nothing to do with whether or not people can hear. Some people that can hear perfectly well are not so bright. Anyway, it is kind of insulting when you furrow your brow and say, "what?" and people start speaking in a slow, loud voice, dumbing down what they originally said....and some get confused when you simply ask for enunciation.
          c) I am judging your snaggle-tooth and want you to cover your mouth when you speak. You wouldn't think this is a problem, but it is! Stop covering your mouth when you speak, people. If I can't read your lips, and you are already a soft talker, covering your mouth is not going to help me hear what you are trying to communicate. I don't care if your teeth are crooked. I'm looking at your mouth because I can't hear you, not because I am judging you.
          d) People who can't hear must just need to clean their ears out. Well, that might be partially true. That certainly could be the cause of some people's hearing loss. But not everyone's. More than one doctor has remarked about how clean my ears are. Well, thank you for noticing. I clean them quite regularly because I don't want wax to block my already dull hearing. My hearing loss is likely hereditary, as a large percentage of people I am related to has a hearing aid. I almost never listen to music with headphones, or do anything else to cause my poor hearing. On the contrary, I try to preserve what little hearing I have, thank you very much.
Sorry. Just realized that this has become quite the rant. Just trying to raise awareness, people. And please don't look at me like I killed your grandmother's dog when I confess to you that sometimes I don't think it is worth saying "what?" and instead pretending like I know what's going on in the conversation. Sometimes it isn't worth it for someone else to get all frustrated because you can't hear them. And I've heard people talk about other people who can't hear, and how annoying it can be to communicate with them. Why would I want to bring that on myself?
Anyway, communication is a two-way street. I will go get my ears checked if you promise to speak clearly and look at me when you're talking (and to be more sensitive in general to those who can't hear).

4. It's that time of year, people. The time of year where I automatically start to think about where we will be living next fall and who our friends will be (if any) and which friends we will try to keep in touch with for a little while, and which friends will unfortunately slip through the cracks.  Since we've been married, Steve and I have moved every two (school) years. We are now at the beginning of the second semester of our second (second) school year here at Geneva, and I've naturally started thinking about friendships. This is the time of year in Higher Education when people have to start making decisions about their future (the next school year). Will I stay here, or will I move on? And while we have no real plans to move on just yet, I still have to think these thoughts, because A) this has been our pattern, and I have had to think about this sort of things every two years, and B) as is the nature of working (or shacking up with someone who works) in Higher Education, even if we stay put, there is a really great chance that some of our good friends will be moving on and out. It happens every year. Which gets me to thinking about a profound speech I heard toward the end of my freshman year of college. It has really stuck with me all these years, probably because it is always always practical. The speech was on friendships, and how there are those who are "friends for the road," and those who are "friends for the journey." Friends for the road are those who are friends (close friends even, but not always) for a time. They are not necessarily lifelong friends, and that is ok. It does not diminish your friendship now, and its importance. You should not stop being friends with someone because you suspect that they might be friends for the road (though it is sometimes hard during this time of the year). Friends for the road are still important for now. You need them. They need you. Don't miss out on something good, even if it is probably temporary. It is ok to have seasonal friends. Friends for the journey are those lifelong types. The ones where, even if they live halfway across the world, you will both make a point to communicate with each other, and carve time out of your schedule to see them, even if it is only once or twice a year, or via skype.  Sometimes, unfortunately, you can even lose touch with those who you thought were friends for the journey. Life just happens that way. Sometimes there are friends for the road that stay on the road with you for a little longer than others, and they can seem like friends for the journey. This analogy was much more beautiful when I heard it 10 (10!) years ago. But you get the gist. Anyway, this time of year, I start to wonder who my friends for the road are, and who my friends for the journey are. I hope that I don't give some friends for the road (or even those who are in it for the long haul) the shaft as we transition out of each other's lives. I will have to work extra hard to show my appreciation for their friendship, and wish them well in future endeavors. I don't know who this season's friends for the road and friends for the journey are yet. And that's ok. It's probably something that's better figured out in hindsight.  Plus I don't want to diminish friendships with people who will also be sticking around for another year...and with those who we don't yet know. You never know when you will meet another wonderful friend.

5. Sorry for the snark, lately. I deleted a couple of posts that I thought were too snarky. Sorry if you liked them. And sorry for my snarkiness in #6 of my resolutions. If you don't want to follow me in a reader, that is your perogative. I should just be thankful that you take the time to think of me. So thank you for that. I still probably won't heavily promote my blog, if it's all the same to you. You can promote it, if you want though.

6. On a lighter note, I am getting a haircut tomorrow night!  Woohoo!! For someone who loves getting haircuts as much as I do, I am a bit of an enigma (in the past few years I've only gone to get a haircut...twice a year tops). But it makes it a treat. Here are some of my ideas.

7. No new pictures, so you will have to settle for some old ones, made in Toronto's distillery district. I love red brick buildings with green doors.

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