It’s Tuesday sitting in a house devoid of human voices. There’s only the sound of ticking clocks in various room and humming appliances in the kitchen. I hear my coffee maker. A single drip of coffee and then silence again. I hear the sound of chirping birds and a passing airplane coming from the outside. It’s the first time I’ve heard these sounds in days even though I’ve been sitting here at this computer typing away at my ambitions all of this time for what seems like days.
Yesterday, I told a friend of mine about one of my latest ambitions. He said, “I’m sorry to say it’s not going to work out.”
I was shocked to hear the words come from the mouth of a friend rather than a parent. To me, it’s a parent’s “job” to be discouraging of ambition because they want you to be safe, but I see no place for a friend to do this. Friends are your peers and they cheer you on. Yes, both generalizations, I know. So, as I do when things bother me, I began to read the research to satisfy my curiosity. How was it that this friend was so lucky as to have a more limited ambitious nature than I do? To be still and content and the same age as me?
This Time article theorizes that perhaps ambition is a genetic trait. It also theorizes that ambition is cultural and driven by anxiety. It provides the example of students in the US with competitive behaviors; and thus, more ambitious than non-competing students in Papua New Guinea where it is necessary to work as a team on the farm. It goes on to generalize that many people living in lower socioeconomic status feel hopeless whereas the wealthy are living in luxury, so it is generally the middle class citizens whom tend to be ambitious because they work to earn more and keep from losing their status.
My conclusion? Here is a house of silent rhythms. Everyone is off to work. Ambition or no ambition, life is still work, but only a few have the privilege to be able to hear (or feel…as some people are deaf) the silent rhythms… The occasional drip from the faucet of the kitchen sink… The passing vehicles on the road outside. Even one’s own breath. The pigeon nesting in the northern tree… The raven’s call from the southwestern rooftop. Whatever valley or mountain we stand on, work and sleep on… Life is passing. Energy comes and goes. Enjoy it as you are. Let it lift the corners of your mouth. Let it moisten your eyes and expand your ribs as your ribs rise and fall with the rhythm.
I hope you will take the time each day to feel and be grateful for little things even if you have a long list of to-do’s. If you’re even more fortunate, I hope you find the time to get some reading done and recommend some books to me. One of the latest books I’ve enjoyed is:
Reading about happiness and the happiest place on earth makes one feel their happiness! I highly recommend the audio version if you want to hear the charming way all of the Danish words are pronounced, but the print version has a lot of interesting infographics on random things like how many fireplaces Danish homes have in comparison to the UK and how many times in Denmark has been voted “happiest country”.
I could go on with listing excellent books, but the time has come for me to attend to tasks on the outside of the house. I must remember to stop and feel the energy and listen to it today because I am grateful for those moments of silence and wish you many such moments!