I am relatively young to have experienced significant enough hearing loss to require hearing aids and as I have gotten used to my new “bionic” ears, I have been thinking about hearing and how I communicate with the world, and how the world communicates with me. At first I felt funny having to get hearing aids; a 34-year-old should not need hearing aids, but what I wasn’t hearing was mucking up my life. At least now I knew there really was a problem and I had a solution. However, despite how nice it is to hear things louder, and in digital, I still find the occasional failure to communicate. I have noticed that people take for granted that they have spoken clearly, and/or fully have your attention. This is especially difficult if you have hearing loss in the same manner I do, which is due to damage to the nerves in the ear. This means that I might hear the sound, but might not make it out clearly. I hate asking someone to repeat, but sometimes I just cannot understand what has been said. As time has gone on, I am less afraid to say, hey, “I have broken ears, please, speak up and speak clearly!” I know it takes work on my end, of course, I do try my best, but it works both ways, especially if you are speaking with someone who is hard of hearing, which is more common than people realize. Another thing that gets me is people trying to speak to me as they are walking around a corner, or speaking to me from behind . I can’t imagine that is easy even with good hearing, but it is not easy to understand someone if they are walking away, not facing you, or in a different room. I know it is bound to happen, but I wish people would be more aware of doing it, even when they are speaking with someone with good hearing. Now I find myself trying not to do the walking away, talking thing. I also find I try to make sure I have the person’s attention before I speak. I have come to think more about how good communication works in this world and in relationships. I am by no means perfect in my communication, but not having perfect ears has made me more aware of how good communication should work.
PS – Thank you to Opinionated Man at HarsH ReaLiTy for giving his followers this challenge http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/05/25/harsh-reality-challenge-got-an-opinion/#comment-142511. He is a truly inspired blogger, with a passion for the written word 😀
I am a Taurus, and as such I do not like change or the new; I like the comfort of what is known and tested. Recently there have been a lot of things thrown my way to deal with, and I keep getting the advice to keep at it, start over, keep going. I want to, but I feel like a Weeble Toy that just keeps getting knocked down and I am at a point where I am just feeling too exhausted to get back up yet again. I think recently enduring another candle on the birthday cake the week before last just got to me, and the idea of trying again and getting back out there is just not where I want to be yet again. Well, where do I want to be I ask myself, there are certain things that I feel are just great and I wouldn’t change a thing, other things I wish I could just get to go my way. Want it and achieve it, right, well, that has never worked for me, yet. I don’t like to take to my blog to be in a sad or bad mood, but sometimes I just have to express the inner thoughts that keep me awake at night. Forgive me dear reader . . .
How do you feel about starting over? Have you been able to want it and achieve it?
Really excellent post! As I wear glasses (sometimes contacts) and hearing aids, I can identify with this!
Since I started spending so much time thinking about hearing loss and hearing technology, one of the things I’ve obviously been thinking about it social stigma related to hearing loss. Stigma is immediately cited as the reason people wait so long to get fitted, and the reason for which “invisible” is a great quality for a hearing aid. (Not everybody agrees, though.)
Photo credit: Corinne Stoppelli
In an attempt to wrap my head around some of these issues, I’ve been trying to make parallels between eyes and ears, glasses and hearing aids. Why is “not hearing well” considered so differently from “not seeing well”? Saying “there’s more stigma” is not really an answer. Social stigma comes from somewhere, right?
I think the main thing we need to consider here is that hearing loss impacts our relationships to other people, whereas visual loss (!) mainly…
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One of the hardest things is learning, continuing, and remembering to love yourself. I think women find this particularly hard. It ruins relationships, romantic or otherwise. When you feel you do not measure up, do not fit the bill, are not enough, how is someone going to see good in you, or love you if you don’t see the good in yourself? I took a challenge in February, yes, a bit late blogging about the experience, but here it is. There was a challenge to “Be Your Own Valentine – Love ThighSelf,” prompting women following the page to find something every day during the month of February they like/love about themselves. I was hesitant at first to take it on, because I am not one who likes to inflate my ego, despite the good intentions of the challenge. I noticed I found the first few days easier to come up with something I could say that was positive about myself, and as time when on it was progressively more difficult to come up with the positive affirmation. Looking back at how I took on the challenge, and I am glad in many ways I did, and how I could apply it to making each day a little more positive from then on, not always directing the positive thought at myself or something about me, but just remember the positive things in my life. I have been in need of a reminder of that lately. Remember, liking or loving yourself are probably some of the most difficult things in this life, particularly if you have grown accustom to wanting to blend in and just not be noticed either way in this life, but it is a simple lesson – if you can’t like or love yourself, why should anyone else?
Why do you think we are hardest on ourselves? How do you overcome that?
I have been doing some thinking about why I came back to the blog after a lengthy absence. Honestly, I have been trying to deal with things that are happening around me, things that I have no control over. Getting it out through words seems to be a good way to let myself work though what I need to, and my passion to share has been reignited. I have also been reading other blogs and seeing that I am in some pretty good company. Sharing thoughts and words is cathartic for me, and open something that I need to express and it seems I can’t in any other way. I find more passion on the page, more passion in putting into words what is going on in my head, and sometimes in my heart. It isn’t always easy, or pretty, but it remains necessary, and hopefully I will keep at it.
I have come to understand this quote, and how true it is! It seems when things go south, it is especially true. I don’t know why, but it seems we get especially cloudy memories at the worst times, and we are so limited to our own view of things. I have been guilty of only seeing my side, and having someone not see my side and hating me for no real valid reason. Emotions, experiences, expectations all get in the way and I think cause the murky territory. Saying I will not allow it to happen to me is not likely to work. We will always fail to listen to others at some point or other, and fail to have someone listen to us at some point or another. I suppose the best we can hope for is that we are aware and try to not fall into the pit that often. However, sad when it happens, and sadder even when something is lost because of it.
I started going to Zumba class August of 2013, and since the first class was free I had nothing to lose. Many months later and now I try to go twice a week if I can. The reality is I have a desk job, and don’t move as much as I should during the day, which isn’t a good thing. Hitting this high energy dance class helps me get inspired to move. While I am far from the best dancer, I always have fun shaking my booty to the music and trying to follow the instructor. Everyone is encouraged to go at their own pace; the point is to move for the hour, which goes by faster than you would think. The funny thing is I had a hard time keeping up with going to the gym, but I don’t seem to have the same problem with this class. I think the best way to get motivated to exercise and move is to find what works the best for you, find something you actually enjoy doing, what you will be able to keep doing over and over. If you like to dance, try Zumba or some other dance class; if you like tennis, see if you can find a court where you can play; if you like basketball, go shoot some hoops. I enjoy the class every week, and seeing many of the same women is a nice motivator as well, since we are in this together. The instructors are great, and very nice women, so it doesn’t feel like a chore to go week after week. The hour of Zumba is my time to get moving, and have some fun, while I try to get healthy.
How do you find motivation to get moving? What activities do you enjoy most to keep active?