Started my day sleeping in – no alarm. Woke up at 7am. HEAVEN!!! When I went to breakfast a new server, Jessica, approached me and immediately said she understood I was not going to be speaking and that she was sad…she likes chatting! Allison, the server from last night must have passed along my intent. I pointed, she served. I was getting into the rhythm of my personal silence.
Realized I did not bring my swim suit and expected to partake of the hot tub today. I braved the snow filled roads and found the closest Walmart. When I went to try on the suit there was no one at the fitting room desk and only 1 room had an open door. I went in. Realized I wanted something else to try on. Left the room in my socks – closing the door behind me with my coat, shoes and purse. Returning less than a minute later I found the door locked. I’m in the middle of Walmart, no associate anywhere in sight and I’m in my socks!
There was a bell on the desk!!! I rang it. Someone came. I pointed at the door – she explained I would need to go into one of the other stalls. Talk or no talk? I compromised and wrote a note. She replied with understanding and opened the door. When I left, and handed over the ones I was not interested in, I nodded my thanks. She briefly looked up and then lowered her eyes, saying Welcome. I saw her a few minutes later, looking for the rack to hang the suits back up. I waved and pointed at the location. She nodded and smiled.
Interesting…the more interaction I had with her – without my speaking – she gradually adjusted to my mode of communication.
I returned to the resort. Walked around and enjoyed the snow. Watched people play on the ice. Shot a round of pool. Ate lunch. Painting on canvas back in my room for a few hours and then decided to have that hot tub. Mimed swimming and a large square to the front desk – Bonnie who checked me in and knew of my intended silence. As she grabbed the towels, she said “Come on, ask for them, I know you can do it.” smiling the whole time. When I walked past the office window she caught my eye, I stuck out my tongue. She laughed loudly.
I’m getting into the hot tub when I realize I need to turn on the bubbles. I go over to the switch and push the red button. The alarm sounds. I pushed the wrong button. Augh! Instructions say to pick up the phone and the alarm will go off. Talk or no talk? I go to the front door in my suit with towel. No one is coming. I pick up the phone. Nothing happens to the alarm. I press zero. The front desk answers.
I then spent the next hour contemplating whether my ‘silence’ was over or whether I would just continue on. I considered all sorts of responses to both sides. I waited for a sign. Nada. I eventually decided to be finished for this stint.
Upon arrival into the dining room, Jessica approached and I explained to her that I was busted. She laughed at my folly. Jessica then shared her observations. Something I may not have been told had I not interacted verbally with her this evening. She had honoured my silence, speaking minimally with me.
Jessica explained serving with me being silent was a very interesting exercise. She found that she had to be more observant – more attentive – and in doing so realized that she spends a good portion just listening rather than watching. She felt this had made her better at her job and felt all the staff should go through this. I received my sign (or at least what I have decided it my sign – LOL).
Will do this again but next time it will not include being in a space which may require outside interaction. It’s not quite the same as full on silence (giving and receiving) but it was good nonetheless. Blessings are everywhere. One just has to be observant.