Listening to White Noise

I was just standing outside, supervising the dogs’ morning constitutional in the chilly backyard. I was shivering, but not from the cold. More from being sleepy. I was listening, as I mostly try not to, to the noise pollution that comes as a result of living a quarter mile from an Interstate (even if you can’t see it for the marsh and the trees), a football field’s distance from a major state road, and on one of the only north-south roads to cross-over the aforementioned Interstate. A random, rhythmic cacophony of white noises, punctuated by blares and screeches and thumps that I effectively tune out the majority of the time.

The dogs were done with business, and Maurice especially wanted to potter around (he’s a very busy dog), but I had to call them in. There was laundry to switch, breakfast to be made, myself to be made ready to face the six and a half hours of work I have to endure.

And, as I have since I went back to part time work earlier this summer, I counted the number of days until I return to full time work. And I found I could do it on my two hands. Now, suddenly, long lazy afternoons at home to play with my small boy, to play on the internet, to write, to make dinner for my family, approach extinction at an alarming rate.

And I resent it.

I resent the intrusion of this thing I must do, when there are so many other things I want to do, not the least of which is go back to bed for another hour or so.

I am aware that my experience is not unique. I am aware, acutely so, that I am lucky to have the paycheck I require, given the state of things. I am also aware that there are people who genuinely love the work they do, and for whom this struggle is minimal, or perhaps even non-existent. I used to love this work of mine. And even when it started to go sour, I still didn’t mind getting out of bed in the morning.

I have, I guess, lost my taste for it.

And my bed was a warm, squashy haven this morning until the alarm went off and spoiled everything.

And the noise pollution this particular morning begged me to write about it, but there just wasn’t time to do it properly.

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22 responses to “Listening to White Noise

  1. When I am filthy, stinking, obscenely rich?

    You can be on my list of people to take care of.

    None of my friends will have to work for a living!

  2. Well, look at it this way… doesn’t full time mean the mistress of the house will be, at long last, out of the house? We must have a play date to celebrate. Sounds liek we gotta lotta catching up to do.

    • Oh, god, that playdate can’t come fast enough. 10/5 is my first partial day of freedom, but I’ll have to get a sense of how it’s going to go…

  3. I enjoy such noise. I often think (quite morbidly) that if I can hear city noise when I die, I wont be scared. I will know the world is still going to go on…
    hmmm, wondering if I should have made a death association with you going back to full time…lol

  4. Morning constitutional…fantastic!

    May I suggest “forgetting” to turn on the alarm clock?

  5. I feel your pain. The only time in eight years I tried to take a temp part time job to see how it would go-my now four yr old quit talking to me, my now six yr old un potty trained, and my husband said he’d get a second job if I would just come back home. I missed that adult interaction and I love to work but for now my job is here at the house. Its just as hectic and homeschooling allows me to bend my brain somewhat.

    • I am lucky that my work doesn’t take me away from my small boy.

      I resent that I must do it at all.

      It’s no one’s fault but my own and the failed economy’s.

      It doesn’t help that I am unhappy with the people for whom I work.

  6. I know what you mean, I really do. I miss working and feeling like I’m contributing to our finances and all, but this is my job. Here at home. With the kids. That drive me crazy. But I know I’d miss it if I had to go back to work. The grass is always greener, right?

    • You know? I’m pretty happy with the greenish brown grass of home these days. Crab grassy and neglected as it is? It’s perfect.

      The manicured, privileged lawn with the in-ground pool and the lavish play structure? Just stresses me out.

  7. The house in which we used to live?

    Sat atop a hill overlooking a maze of freeways. And while the freeways were not that much a part of my visual life? The noise, when I stepped out my house? That white noise?

    It felt like the humming of a city, the breath and voice and heart of a city. Not like traffic at all.

    It is very quiet where we live now. Sometimes too quiet.

    I miss that hum.

    • I miss the noisy silence of the deep country. It’s where I was geographically happiest. That geography, though? Didn’t have my love and my small boy. So, instead, I have them, and the white noise.

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