The next step in my series of small changes in habits I’m going to make is to turn the radio off when I’m in the car with the family. I’m also going to make it a habit to turn the radio off when I’m in the car alone. It goes back to finding a little solitude for myself as I mentioned in a previous post.
Turning the radio off with the kids in the car is something I’ve started over the past few days and it’s amazing what a difference it makes. The quiet becomes noticeable quickly and there is a period of awkward silence. After a few moments the quiet becomes your ally and in its own way it encourages conversation. I guess it has to do with the fact that people are accustomed to background noise.
We’ve had some nice conversations in the car over the past few days and that’s a good thing. It’s tough to get my teenage kids to open up and talk. They’re at that awful stage where anywhere is cooler than being with Mom and Dad and to engage them is something that gets more and more difficult every day. Since they’re still at that stage when they need the Mom & Pop taxi service to get them where they need to be I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity.
The other change is learning to accept the quiet when I’m on my own. I don’t listen to the radio per se, I listen to podcasts from my phone, but I’ve always had noise to keep me occupied while I drive. I’ve found that by just leaving the noise off for the first 10 minutes of my ride that I find focus and clarity to think some things through. This has to be a good thing overall because my wife and I spend a lot of our time running around and not always planning.
Like I said, small little habits repeated daily eventually amount to some big change.