Adventures in Imperfection

Turn the Quiet Up, Turn the Noise Down!!


Is it loud in here or is it just me?

It’s been one of those days (weeks) where my head is fraught with way too many voices, noises and sounds. I started writing this about 5 o’clock this afternoon–now it’s 9 o’clock and a couple of er, adult beverages later. I won’t be able to think straight until I vomit the remnants onto this page and I’m so sorry (but grateful) that you are gracious enough to read, stick around and clean up the smelly mess.  

My brain was so foggy and writer’s block so bad this morning that it took an online thesaurus and an award-winning Pulitzer Prize editor to compose an e-mail that said, “Yeah, I can be there at 12:30.”

It’s the NOISE. SO FREAKING loud.

I’ve boycotted (to the best of my ability) Facebook, Twitter, and even my little artsy Instagram habit in a futile attempt to stop the overstimulation. Since I can’t run away from the noise, it’s time to confront, kill and bury.


Now, before you accuse me of schizophrenia, please consider a little self-reflection. Don’t you have voices and noise, too? Those voices that tell you that you aren’t good enough, rich enough, smart enough, cool enough…blah, blah, blah, blah? Surely, I’m not the only one right?

Okay, phew! I was feeling naked and vulnerable for a minute (a story for another time).  

How do you fight the voices? Typically, I can combat them quite nicely with a healthy helping of humor and a side of sarcasm. Usually I maintain a decent level of self-esteem; but this week has me rattled, sleep deprived and overwhelmed. If the voices would just stick to the superficial things like looks, money and power, then I’d be okay–I can handle that crap. But, when they attack my parenting abilities, kids or family…well, I unravel in front of God and everyone like a big old ball of ratty yarn.

Here’s the kicker. Nothing is even seriously wrong! Nobody has said anything negative to me–my life is blessed with positive people. It’s ME–I’ve beat myself like GSP into the ground. We are our own worst enemy.

It’s the daily culmination and worry of “Am I screwing up my kids and condemning them to life-long therapy and/or prison” type of thing. The fact that I want them to grow up and be independent, compassionate, self-sufficient kids who know that I love and value them more than anything else in the world and often feel like I fail at even keeping them fed (especially during wrestling season when we are trying to “make weight”).

Trying to find that balance of support without helicoptering. Being present without being a crutch. Building up their self-esteem while not setting them up for hurt and rejection in a big, cruel world. Being the buffer between a strong-willed (awesome) daddy and equally strong-willed (awesome) son without messing up the instinctual relationship God intended that father-son bond to be. Being the mom that my daughter would be proud to call a friend, but not moving into that friendship-only spot where mothers go to die.

But hey. This is just me. Right now, today sitting in front of my Wordpress dashboard when I really need to be filling out expense reports, prepping for a huge meeting tomorrow and planning for a happy get-a-away (Vegas!) with my hubby. I’m stuck, paralyzed and completely unproductive. 

I’ve gone running,  chopped trees, pulled weeds, pretended to work and meditated. Which is quite hilarious since I can’t still for longer for more than the three minutes it takes to say “Om” rhythmically.

And, since I’ve done everything but brought in a native american medicine man, it’s time to resort to even more raw tactics.

Loud and often inappropriate downloads from my iTunes library.

Banging drums, curse words and bad behavior–all experienced through the words and music of other people definitely not me. Personal favorites have always been Kid Rock, the Beastie Boys and Eminem, but today Eric Church is going to be the only one who gets me through.

“Turn the quiet up, turn the noise down
Let this ole’ world just spin around
I wanna feel it swing, wanna feel it sway
And put some feel good in my soul”

From “Smoke a Little Smoke”  

I know it seems counterintuitive to blare loud music in the pursuit of quiet, but I promise that it’ll all make sense once I explain and you complete the following assignment.

Put in the ear plugs on the device that you are reading this from, crank up the volume and play the video below after you listen to my instructions:

  • Listen to the layers
  • Notice the sounds starting in your right ear–moving left and then back again. Moving between stereo and mono speakers. Grab onto that undertone and close your eyes.
  • Pay attention to the words (if you want), but focus on the guitars, the acoustics and the drums
  • Still can’t hear it? Turn it up louder and sing along. Loud enough that the dog barks at you or your significant other gives you “the sign” that they are about to be sick (I just got the ewww look!)

Play me!

Where are those “You Suck” voices right now? Still hear them? Do it again and again until the only thing you hear are the pure sounds coming through your ear buds. Pick another song if you need to. There’s always one that fits your current noisy situation.

It’s truly the “fighting fire with fire” concept–drowning out the noise with more noise. Of course, the best case scenario is killing that negative voice with our own louder POSITIVE, self-compassionate voice. But sometimes, we need a little help from a professional. Next on my play list? Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution by ACDC

Up Next: Hell! I don’t know. Mark Twain himself couldn’t find his way out of the writer’s block trench I’ve just dug for myself.

8 thoughts on “Turn the Quiet Up, Turn the Noise Down!!

  1. Oh Mama Mick – how did you know the noise was too loud for me this week? Thank you for a great post. I especially like the part about chopping the trees!!


  2. I just had a “feeling” dear Louisa. I hope you’ll tell me if I’m ever wrong. I don’t have super powers, but sometimes act like there’s a gypsy mask in my purse.
    Regarding the tree chopping…just wait’ll see the picture of my burn pile. It’s been a week 😉


  3. Great read to start the day!!! And yes, of course, I have voices talking to me all the time to. Currently, my most frequent new friend is the instructional voice…the one telling me all the things I need to accomplish by day’s end; driving me to stay on task. She’s not the kindest new friend I’ve ever met, but she is definitely persistent and knows how to deliver results, which in the current state of things is probably good she is around 🙂 Your words always make me smile & laugh, thank you!


    1. Hi Kera,
      Thank you for the awesome note. The new friend you speak of….does she have a sister? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her twin roaming around this household.
      Just know I think of you often and that your spirit, will and fight keep me going, too.

      PS: See you later this morning 😉


  4. Oh, Michelle – those voices come to me on a daily basis! About the kids, work, my house, my extended family and friends. …. who can keep up and be amazing at everything? I tell myself that doing the best I can do is good enough, and if it means my house is messy because I chose to take Isaac to the park instead of clean, then so be it. I love the idea of shutting the voices up with music – I usually just justify them to death!


    1. Hi Jen!
      Your words mean so much to me and I HAVE to share…YOU are one of the many moms I love and admire. I see your smile, hear your laugh and love your awesome boys and just know they are some of the most blessed kiddos around because of their cool mom. Glad to know that I’m not the only one who battles the voices–perhaps we can find a way to bury them for good (the voices, not the boys!)


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