I don’t know whether it’s a symptom of lack of sleep or whether it’s the reason I can’t sleep, but I feel restless of late. Like something’s missing. I’ve entered my old social world of singing again after a brief hiatus during my ‘breakdown’, and it’s really nice to be able to sing again. I know I keep saying it, but it really does feel good – I wonder if I should have retreated from this particular outlet quite as much as I did when I was down. One to remember for next time!

I have however in this moment of restlessness volunteered for a ‘neighbours for neighbours’ scheme in my area. I had received a letter through the door asking for community volunteers to do social visits to the older folk in the area who have no family and can’t get out. One of which was a lady in her mid-80’s with Depression. I don’t know why, but I felt an overwhelming urge that I had to do this.

So – I received a phone call from the organisation last night and I have an interview appointment next Tuesday evening, and i’m rather excited about it! They say you only have to visit for an hour a week, and they pair you with someone who is close by, no more than a few streets away, so I figured that there was no down side to this. Helping someone who needs it if you possibly can, and a new experience for me. I just hated to think that if it was either of my parents or any of my grandparents in the same situation, that someone couldn’t give up an hour of their time to simply listen.

Listening is totally underrated – I think there’s a proverb or something somewhere saying about two ears and one mouth, but what they omitted to say was in order to listen you have to hear something. Listening is the single most important thing you can do for anyone, and by that I mean TRULY listen to what someone is saying, not what you ‘think’ they’re saying. I’m a terrible one for trying to interpret what people are saying. It’s something i’m trying to overcome myself, as in an attempt to please people I often assume they’re being polite or gracious by turning things down or helping or whatever, when actually things are never that complicated, and no actually means no.

What i’m really trying to get my head around is that people actually do say things which they don’t mean for whatever reason – but even if they do, it’s their problem and not mine. I can only ever deal with the facts as they’re presented, not as I THINK they’re presented. It’s a difficult one, and one that I think my other half has been attempting to get through to me for a while. I know I help him through situations, but I should also listen to him more and allow him to help me too.

I suppose what i’m saying is, we don’t all listen perhaps as much as we should, or even could, and when we do listen do we actually hear what is being said?