About Me

My photo
My most recent single release - "My True North" - is now available on Bandcamp. Open my profile and click on "audio clip".

Monday, December 13, 2021

Words I've Never Heard: Speak Up

Which of your lifelong behaviors do you most readily trace back to your family of origin? 

Before offering my answer - and I do so first only because I've learned over eleven years of blogging that if I do not, no one else is likely to participate - please note: My non-cringeworthy answer flows directly from a recent animated conversation. If this same question had occurred to me a few days earlier or later, it's easy to imagine a much more humiliating answer would have come to me. I'm grateful for the timing.  

No one I've ever met with hearing ability falling within the normative range has ever asked me to repeat myself. Put another way, I speak LOUDLY.  For me, it seems beyond dispute that this lifelong behavior of mine - something that has been beneficial and off-putting, situation-dependent - arises directly from my family of origin, specifically, our mealtime dynamic.

Like many from my generation and socio-economic group, I grew up eating most of my meals at home. There were six of us around the table on most nights with only forty-nine months between me - the oldest - and my brother, the youngest. If you're from a smaller family - or a quiet one - try imagining the ever-increasing volume level at that dinner table when I was sixteen, my sisters fourteen and thirteen, and my brother twelve, each of us longing to be heard. And neither of my parents were particularly shy. 

OK, your turn. No need to over-share, unless you wish to. I refuse to believe you can't come up with anything.   


  1. Pat ... I love this post!! It brought back wonderful memories of Sunday dinners with my parents. None of us were shy about making our respective points and, rather than waiting for anyone to finish what they were saying, we just spoke louder and LOUDER. We had to be heard over everyone else, right? I can clearly recall one time when my, then future, brother-in-law was visiting for dinner. For the first time. The look on his face as my family continued our natural routine of conversion, was one of surprise, bewilderment, and 'what am I doing here', all at the same time. Over the years we have recalled that time and continue to have a great laugh over it.
    I have to add that I find nothing wrong with speaking loudly. Having taking a number of your classes I can say that the way you teach suits you. And I've never heard anyone ask you to repeat something because they couldn't hear it. Moving around the room makes for better involvement for everyone. Masks aside, of course. As for me, I can ramble with the best of them and usually have no problem being heard.
    Be well,

    1. Hey Bob; Before I forget - in case you don't comment over the next few days - happy holidays to you & your family. I'm so glad this post spoke to you. Like with your brother-in-law, I have a similar memory of how befuddled my wife was at first by my family's volume. And although she's now used to it after 43 years - what choice did she have? - she still has to remind me to reduce it to a shout on a regular basis. Oh well; there are certainly worse habits.

    2. Thank you, Pat. And, while I do plan to comment to your most recent post, just in case it does take me a few days, as it sometimes tends to ... Happy Holidays to you and your family also. Be well .. Enjoy !!!