Sadly, or perhaps with a bit of embarrassment, I have to admit, I have been talking too much the past few weeks. I prattle, ramble, and talk to hear my own voice. This was brought up to me on several occasions last week! Once to my face, by a friend being kind, and we laughed about it. She thought she was helpful. I laughed to disguise my total disgust with myself that she was absolutely right. Then later, after three phone calls that were going nicely, however lengthy, ended quickly with a ‘gotta run’ (or some such other phrase that indicated I was taking up more time than I should) followed by a fast disconnect. Who can blame them? I was exhausted myself from talking, but couldn’t stop my mouth from moving and spewing out word after word.
What is wrong with me? I have always been a talker, storyteller, as I call myself. I knew when to stop. I was great at making my friends laugh. Now I am burdening them with my business ideas. A little of that is fine, but even best friends get bored when I keep rehashing my thoughts.
Lately I have become a bit paranoid about this too. I make calls and no one answers. Are my friends avoiding me? Never mind there are times I don’t answer the phone because I am in the middle of something, or too tired. I am taking this personally, when I shouldn’t. But I know I’ve been a bit overbearing, so I am feeling guilty.
I have been stressed out more than usual the past weeks. I moved my shop from one location to another in the fall, but I still had one building to empty by the end of December. I procrastinated, because I was exhausted. I worried about decisions at the new shop, what goes, what stays and could not think clearly on my own. It was all I talked about to everyone. The more I talked about it, the less I could stop. When I get hyper it is hard to slow me down.
I worried some people with my comments. “Oh, it’s just me thinking out loud!” I told the gal who thought I expected her to work for free after I said “I can’t pay you if we don’t have sales.” I was just trying to figure if I could keep her on in the future, not that she wouldn’t be paid for what she had already worked. That was not really thinking out loud, but talking without thinking on my part.
When my husband was alive I had someone at home to run things by. I don’t know if he ever really listened, and I am not sure I paid any attention to his advice if he gave it. I do know there was another voice in the house at night other than my own. I am still adjusting to listening to the silence at night. That makes me talk too much when I am around people during the day. I have that need to be heard.
This weekend a gal in my shop stayed to chat for longer than most. She was divorced, worked long hours, wrote at night and lived by herself. “Some days no one ever calls. It is too quiet at night.”
We hugged and laughed. “Me too!” I knew how she felt.
I have been on my own for over three years, soon to be four, and my life style is now firmly implanted. I work hard at the shop. I come home to five hooligan dogs. I write late into the evening. I call my mother every night so I have my family close. When I crash and watch TV, I am sprawled out on the couch with four of the five dogs tucked under my legs, over my chest, and nestled in my neck. The fifth sleeps close by on the floor. I have my cell within arms reach in case I need a talking fix.
Years ago I read somewhere, that if you visit someone who lives alone, let them talk, and you listen. It might be the only time they hear their own voice. I thought about elderly people back then, now I know differently.
I think I have myself back under control. I talked so much I am tired and happy. I’ve worked out what needed to be resolved this week. I haven’t chased off any friends. I still have my cell phone handy to make a call. While all is right in my world, there are many people living alone who would appreciate a call and the warmth of a human voice in the night. Tonight I think it’s my turn to listen!
Barbara Barth, CEO of Life