Seniors are probably more concerned about being hearing impaired than about trying to screen out obtrusive noises, but that isn’t always the case. I can hear just fine, thank you very much. I love listening to singing birds, croaking frogs, and laughing children. I enjoy soft music, wind chimes, and the sound of the wind in the trees. I certainly don’t want to miss anything. Being able to hear and to hear well is important, but I think we all crave moments of peace and quiet.
I hate noise! One of the advantages and/or disadvantages of working from home is that you can’t control all of the noises associated with every day living. If you are newly retired you may be surprised at how noisy a residential neighborhood actually is. Not a day goes by when you won’t be bombarded by sounds of mowing, leaf blowing, chain saws sawing, nail guns nailing, by traffic on your street and car alarms that no one else seems to hear. We won’t even mention the sounds of people talking non-stop on cell phones, stereos booming, motorcycles roaring, and airplanes and helicopters flying overhead. There are times when it is hard to hear yourself think.
There is no escape! Not only is it noisy at home but noises tends to follow you wherever you go? We rented a cabin a few weeks ago on the Olympic Peninsula. It was a beautiful tourist area but instead of peace and quiet the noise level was as just bad as it was at home. The trees were green, the restaurants were fine and miles of bike/walking trails were wonderful. The trails meandered for miles through forest and fields, but low and behold they were neither peaceful nor serene. Traffic from nearby highways are a given but the constant barrage of shooting from a local gun club was not pleasant at all. Our senses were assaulted by gun fire day and night. Needless to say we didn’t have many bird or wildlife sightings and our dog enjoyed her walks even less than we did. Noise has gotten to be such an integral part of our society that peace and quiet is hard to come by. So, what do you do when you want to rest or do some good old fashioned thinking?
The Sunday Herald (www.HERALDNET.COM/OUTDOORS) August 26, 2012 featured an article by Wayne Kruse about using earplugs to protect your hearing, and your sanity when you reach the point of wanting to tear our your hair.
I don’t really like earplugs because most of them aren’t very comfortable. I guess I don’t leave them in long enough to tell if they really work or not. Somehow, not hearing at all is rather alarming so my feelings are rather mixed. I am tempted though, maybe not to wear them all day, but at least until the blowing and mowing and chain sawing are finished for the day. Single use or disposable earplugs are the most popular because they are inexpensive and easy to use. It is hard to find an earplug in a one size fits all model because no two ear canals are alike. You will be looking for a model that will protect your ears if you are doing something noisy yourself, as well as blocking out intrusive sounds from elsewhere. The article by Mr. Kruse talked about the custom-made earplugs designed by Patricia Weber. The earplugs are custom made for your ears only; they are comfortable enough (he says) to wear all day. The price is modest and perhaps could give you a few minutes of peace when you need it the most. For information about this particular type of earplug go to: Custom Fit Hearing Protection Patricia Webster (206-783-9994) or e-mail email@example.com. I am not sure if total silence is right for me, but the temptation to try is great. Good luck and let me know what works for you?