When I didn’t say a word for 24 hours!

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In late 2015, I totally lost my voice. I sounded terrible and of course tried to suck it up and just keep going. Clearly, that didn’t work, so I decided to just stop talking for a day, drink tea and try to get my voice back.

I spent the day at home – mostly in bed. Now, you might be surprised but I’m a talker. Ha. So not talking was harder than it might appear. When I got up in the morning, I signaled my intent to stay quiet for the day. I did this separately to my wife and 8-year-old by writing that message on the notepad app on my iPhone which I then showed to them.

“I can’t talk.”

That prompted my 8-year-old to step back in shock and scream:

“DOES MOMMY KNOW?”

I started writing: “No, just today. I need to test.”

“What?”

“Rest.” I fixed my typo,

“Oh OK.”

So with that out of the way, it was interesting to not talk for the next hour or so as everyone was still getting ready for the day. I tried to get my point across by writing it down or gesturing. Sometimes, when that seemed too much work, I just decided to not even participate in the exchange and let things happen. That’s actually a good tactic too from time to time when my voice is working just fine.

Once everyone left for the day, it was quite easy as I don’t get too many phone calls anyway and slept much of the day. I still communicated with people via text-based channels here and there throughout the day so it didn’t actually feel like not talking for that long.

An interesting day for sure and some lessons were learned:

  • Sometimes it’s OK to be quiet – even when we have an opinion.
  • Talking isn’t the only communications channels. Learning to use text-based communication is also a skill.
  • Don’t take the ability to speak for granted. It was quite a challenge to communicate offline without talking.
  • Sometimes we need to rest. Don’t underestimate the power of it.