Dare to Simplify — Audio Detox

It was tough for me this week to listen to calm classical music or none at all. I really enjoy my heart-thumpin’ dance tunes. They get me going like auditory caffeine and I had a rough time cleaning the house and staying motivated without turning the place into a disco tech.

However I did notice more calm moments in the house and in the car and I was glad to have them. If it weren’t for this challenge, I may never have found out about what Laylee had learned in music class last week and the music had a calming effect on both of my kids.

The best part of the experiment came on Saturday when I drove to Gig Harbor and back to run a blogging workshop at a conference for moms. I was nervous that I’d fall asleep listening to classical music alone in the car for over 3 hours. But the weirdest thing happened. I decided instead to take Rebecca’s advice and drive in silence. It was amazing. I can’t remember the last time I’ve taken a long drive with nothing to listen to but my own thoughts. When I’m with the kids I use the music to occupy them and block them out and when I’m alone I enjoy choosing whatever music I want and rocking out. I was amazed at how many thoughts there were to think and I truly was not bored or drowsy the whole way there and back. I’ll definitely try to spend more time in silent thought as a result of this experiment but I’m also excited to meet back up with my good friend ABBA Gold.

How did it go for you guys? Any breakthroughs? Was it tough for anyone else?

Dare to Simplify Week 2 — Multitasking at Meal Times
I am a hopeless multi-tasker. It’s truly sick how many things I try to do at once. I never finish books, tasks or thoughts half the time because I’m trying to do 10 other things at once. It seems a little broad, complicated and unrealistic to set a goal to stop all multitasking this week. So what I’d like to start with is avoiding multi-tasking during mealtimes and this includes all meal times. Can you sit through 3 meals a day with your family without doing something else? I’m fine at dinner but at breakfast I sit the kids down with their food and run around doing 10 other things while they and I eat. Lunch isn’t much better.

Meals are a good time to relax, unwind and get closer with my family but I tend to think I’m too “busy” to actually do it. One week, 21 meals, sitting, eating, and talking like a civilized person who’s more interested in my family than in being productive. I’m gonna give it a try.

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18 Responses to Dare to Simplify — Audio Detox

  1. Mini-et-Moi says:

    Taken a break from reading my fav blogs for the last few weeks but it’s great to be back and see what I’ve been missing out on.

    Am definitely going to try both challenges this week as I can identify with both of them. Interestingly, I find myself putting on Classic FM more and more when I am driving so maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something … It’s going to be tough though because my 2 year old is very into Coldplay! (Though I have to admit to eating breakfast while I type this up so I’m now onto 20 meals …)

    Will let you know how I get on. Thanks for the fab idea.

    PS As Laylee loves Beethoven so much, you may want to try this great CD that I was given when I was in the US for Blogher Business. I’ve written up a short review here – http://mini-et-moi.com/2008/06/20/facing-the-music/

    Oh, and do tell us more about the Mom Blogging Conference please. x

  2. Okay, THIS is a great challenge for me. I don’t even eat normal meals because, other than dinner, I try to do stuff while the kids are eating. So, yes, I’m in.

    And a report… One night as the family was gathering around the table for dinner, my instrumental music was playing from the kitchen. Grant (5 years old) said, “If this music was in a restaurant we would be perfectly calmed down right now.” Um, ok, apparently my cooking needs a makeover too. 🙂

  3. Becky says:

    Wow – good luck with the multitasking adventure. I have a really hard time with that one – in fact, my morning oatmeal is sitting next to the keyboard as I type!
    🙂 Becky

  4. Fawndear says:

    Your asking a hard, hard thing here. Not to multi-task at mealtimes. I know it’s the right thing to do and I’m going to give it a try, but it means I may have to actually communicate with my family. That’s a little scary.

  5. Paige says:

    Silence in the car is a good thing. Rare, but good.

  6. Sara says:

    Have you ever heard of Rockabye baby? They’re a music company that turns rock ‘n roll music into lullabyes! I have the metallica one. It’s AWESOME!! It’s a good way to listen to the tunes and melodies of music you love in a calming way. Here’s the website http://rockabyebabymusic.com/web/page.asp?pgs=products and yes, they do have Coldplay!! You can here samples of the music on the site so you can here what I’m talking about. Good luck with your new endevor!

  7. beeswax says:

    Three meals? Seated? Is asking too much! I’ll try two. I have a standing lunch date with my TIVO and House Hunters International.

  8. TJ Hirst says:

    I did it, too. The best moment came when I received a weird email out of the blue that felt and sounded a lot like criticism. Instead of sending a reply back which would only have fueled things, I sat down to some classical music and pondered rather than fumed.

  9. Nicole says:

    My problem at meals is that it’s never done all at once or the kids want their milk refilled or they drop a spoon and so I’m up and down and up and down doing things that are all “meal related” but never really eating. I try to think ahead and conceive of every possible thing I might need and put it all on the table so I don’t have to get up during the meal….but it never works.

  10. My kids are still in bed when I eat breakfast and they eat at school. Lunch I generally eat in the teacher’s lounge and enjoy conversation with ADULTS–imagine. Yes, dinner is sacred. No reading or TV. I’ll think about how to not multi-task so much of the time. It’s a 24/7 thing.

  11. Sarah says:

    I love this challenge because it’s so spot-on a bad habit I have. I’m going to attempt this one!
    Thanks for the great idea.

  12. michal says:

    i’m still wrestling with indecision. i wonder if the dishwasher would ever get unloaded if i didn’t do it while my kids were eating breakfast or lunch.? i wonder when i would check my voicemails? i wonder how many emails might sit in my inbox for a few more minutes? (gasp).

    okay, okay, i’ll do it. but only because i really love my kids and they might somehow benefit from my undivided attention at breakfast and lunch. sigh.

  13. CoconutKate says:

    I’ll take this challenge. I’m the same…fine with dinner, but breakfast and lunch are crazy around here and I think its because I don’t ever actually sit down to eat. We’ll see how it goes!

  14. Margaret says:

    OK, I did my variation on your goal last week and did “no music” (except for that one day at work that I forgot, but I didn’t have headphones and the speakers on the computer are awful so it didn’t last long anyway.)

    But this one – I think I’ll do it at dinnertime so that I feel like a normal human being (and so that I don’t take the opportunity to start a new book which I then get sucked into instead of studying). But I live alone, and I eat lunch at work, so “more time to talk with the family” isn’t a reason for me to not multi-task while eating. 🙂

    But I DO need to encouragement to eat like a real person – sitting at my table, with nothing in front of me except food.

    So with my variation, I’m in. 🙂

    (And I really like this whole “someone else making a goal for me” thing. So thanks. 🙂 )

  15. Heffalump says:

    The hardest part about the listening to calming music (in my case I did Christmas music) was getting my husband to go along with it. He kept putting on other music throughout the week and I would have to remind him that I was doing only Christmas music all week. (He usually doesn’t do Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, and thinks I am weird for starting in September).
    No multitasking at mealtimes…does that mean I actually have to eat three meals a day? I pretty much multitask right through breakfast and lunch and they end up more like a quick snack. Dinnertime we all eat together although it seems like before I can get my first bite or two, the boys are asking me about having seconds. I made a new rule that no one can have seconds until Mommy has finished her first plate…it seems simple, but its harder than you would think.

  16. I’m a day late on posting my results, but I finally got them up.
    Thanks for doing this!


  17. Rebecca says:

    Glad you liked driving in silence! I feel famous! Whoot-whooooot!

    So, wow. No multitasking at meals. Dinner’s not so difficult, but LUNCH. That’s when I iron my kid’s uniform, pack his backpack, nurse the baby, and frantically try to get everyone ready (shoes, shirts, etc.) to drop off the oldest at preschool. Gulp. I will try.

  18. Heather Lafter says:

    I too feel over loaded w/ noise sometimes. I love a christian station that is played all over the world…and I feel like the noise is doing me good! It’s not your mommies” Mor-Tab” http://www.klove.com/ .

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