Noise

Every so often, I use noise generators to aid with concentration. A favourite site to find lots of them is MyNoise, which produces the sounds of everything from a Tibetan throat choir to walking by a riverbank, or just white noise. They seem to work best when they’re cancelling out background noise without being obtrusive themselves, and sometimes they seem to be just enough to keep the monkey mind amused so you don’t wake from a catatonic stupor scrolling Facebook and dribbling instead of doing what you were supposed to be doing.

I tried the coffee shop noise generator because it’s supposed to spark creativity, but I got distracted by people dropping cutlery and eventually I felt guilty because I hadn’t bought anything in a while even though I was in my living room. Then I actually went to a coffee shop and had to use a different noise generator to drown out the sound of generic easy listening and feral infants sprinting between the chairs high on babyccinos and brownies.

Meditation teaches you not to try and shut out the sounds around you, but to hear them, and accept them – so at the moment, I am accepting the ticking of a small clock, a solar-powered nodding Buddha that my wife doesn’t like and will try and get rid of soon, a flight departing Heathrow, the central heating pumping around the house and a small child grizzling somewhere nearby.

I can’t remember the last time I heard absolutely nothing.

Aims for 2015

Report on 2014:

First third – Feh.

The rest of it – Gardened a lot. Changed a bit. Started college.

No resolutions for 2015, just a to-do-or-keep-doing list:

Keep up with the career change – keep up with college, get a chainsaw qualification, learn to drive a tractor, get more countryside management experience, find a focus, get a regular role, spend more time doing environmental work than digital. Stay mindful. Stay stupid. Keep gardening. Get out of renting, make a home, get a dog, maybe a cat, hang some pictures. See more of family and friends. Write more. Be outside more. Be online less. Say yes more. Say no more. Volunteer more. Eat more fibre. Eat less meat. Turn 40 in February. Vote in May.