This past week has been a doozy.

I got hit over a week ago with an upper respiratory infection and the very short version of the story is that for a week now, I have not been able to hear out of my left ear.

If you were sitting next to me and began whispering in my left ear, I couldn’t hear you.  I can’t hear the car’s turn signal clicking when I turn it on. I am constantly asking my family to repeat themselves. It is frustrating.

But I also appreciate my hearing more than ever. Moreover, this incident has given me greater sympathy for the hearing impaired. I had no clue, really, what a hearing impaired person experiences, since I’ve never been hearing impaired.

Until now.

While I hope and pray this condition is temporary, I miss the {little} sounds that aren’t really so {little}.

I can’t hear the leaves swishing in the street because of the wind. What if I couldn’t hear the birds singing in the morning? The crickets at dusk? What if I couldn’t hear my children laugh? sing? play the piano? What if I couldn’t hear in church? Or hear the radio or my favorite music? What if, everywhere I went, I’d have to find the exact spot to listen, just so I could hear?

Experiencing significant hearing loss in my left ear has surely made me appreciate my hearing. It goes without saying– how much we appreciate something if we don’t have it.

In Kindergarten, we learn about our five senses, the ways in which we explore and experience and learn the world around us. I’ve read numerous books to my children about the five senses over the years, to the point, I think I’ve heard enough.

Yet most of us don’t think about it on most days- most of us see, feel, taste, touch and hear without much thought. If the organs work involutarily, then we are engaged in the world… mostly without a thought of how it happens.

Day 9 is a reminder to appreciate the {little} things that really are not so {little}. Think about your world if all of a sudden you couldn’t see or hear, and how it would impact your life. If you knew in advance you’d be deaf or blind, how would you live differently? Yet… isn’t this how we should be living, each day? To the fullest? I’d want to imprint each sight and color in my head, the faces of those I love. I’d want to hear their voices and try to remember, memorize them. I’d want to hear my favorite music. It’s a sad, troublesome thought, huh? Yet, if I lived like this each day, the {small stuff} wouldn’t nearly be as irksome. Interesting, what simply a change of perspective can do….

Appreciate and give thanks for each and every one of your senses that works… even the ones that do not. Be thankful if you have a noisy house, can hear the dogs barking at 5 am, hear a thunderstorm, your least favorite song, and can hear your infant cry. Be thankful if you can see the sunset, a rainbow, mountains reflected on a lake, the stars at night, and the faces of those you love around you.

You never know what tomorrow may bring.


(This is Day 9 of 31 Days of Healthier Living)

If you knew you’d lose your hearing, what sounds would you miss the most?