15 minute posts,  Life Lessons,  rando bits,  Slow Living


I just wanted to pop in here in the spirit of the way I used to write and post a little update on my mental health. Things have been hard. But haven’t they been hard for everyone? I think we are all suffering PTSD from 2020 and worried 2021 is going to serve up another regular daily diet of fear. I’m not going to check myself into a mental hospital or anything and I’m still eating and sleeping and taking care of my kids like a normal functioning human being, but it’s just been a little hard.

Something that has helped me: crickets.

We have new neighbors. They are renters. They are here on a tennis scholarship. They are from Belgium, Germany, Spain and a few other places I don’t remember. There’s five of them I think. They are also full-on ravers. If I wasn’t trying to sleep I would actually really dig the music the deejay of the group spins nightly. He’s really good. Like Avicii good. Even though I can only hear the base and a few other rhythms, I catch my mind listening interested. Unfortunately, they are hot-blooded males driven by their animal instincts and not the fear of covid that I am and their nightly raves involve lots of people (girls) coming over to party. Thankfully the raves are reserved for Friday nights, I think… we’ll see if it kicks up again tonight. So when they open the door for a smoke break or for someone to puke, it’s super loud and difficult to sleep through.

I don’t hate them though. Payam has talked with them and asked them nicely to turn down the music and they do. Sometimes they only turn it down from a ten to and eight but they do listen. We have their cell numbers and they always apologize the next day. So we don’t hate them. They are just kids.

But what I’ve learned to do to help this situation is to use a white noise app on my phone. I’ve used white noise lots of times but recently I’ve really enjoyed the sound of crickets. It’s so weird and cool. I turn them on and I’m immediately transported back to my trailer-living days in the sticks. It’s night, the air is warm and dry. It’s dark outside but I can see my tomato garden in the moonlight. I’m laying in bed with Bug snuggled next to me and Holly, the dog is sleeping at my feet. Her tail thumps when I say her name.

Even though the days that I lived in the sticks were super scary and stressful (you remember them, you read them. Hello, meth head neighbors…) I have a lot of fond memories. Even the cockroaches that scurried in all directions when I lifted an old rotted piece of plywood in the backyard brings back good memories. Yes, it was terrible at the time but I survived and I found strength in my desperate situation. I know I will find strength in my new desperate situation. I rest in that thought and gently fall asleep.

Isn’t that cool? Who knew crickets could bring that out in me? I love the sound of crickets. I bet everyone has a sound like that, that transports them to another time. It’s kind of like how smell transports us back to our Grandma’s cooking. Nostalgia. We love nostalgia. All the trauma of the past is hidden and we remember the good times with a warm happy glow.

I’m curious. Does anyone else find funny memories flooding back when they listen to different sounds on a white noise generating app? Please share. I think I might listen to them all and record my memories. If I don’t fall asleep first!


  • sara Wilken

    Gosh, it may be my perimenopause, but I would not be nearly as gracious as you are about your new neighbours. That’s the kind of thing that I would ruminate about 24/7. I’m crossing my fingers that your next set of neighbours are there on a zen monk vow-of-silence scholarship :)

  • Martha

    I neglected to comment on your Bug b-day road trip; just wanted to say – yeah, I get that it maybe had potential for some risk, but you seemed SUPER careful and know you wouldn’t be all que sera sera about it. Ain’t your style. Your neighbors thought – traveling in from EU and then having parties? Yeah, THAT would make me really stressed and angry. Like so many, I’ve been beyond careful during COVID with family members both in teaching and nursing professions AND first grandbaby in my extended family. So far – just texted pix, videos and a “window” visit – so sad. Also, I’m 62 (I DO NOT KNOW HOW THAT HAPPENED!) so counting the days when I’m eligible for the vaccine. Re: white noise. I love the ones of waves rolling in to a shore. A Michigan resident (hey, we’re NOT ALL gun-toting crazy militia!) we spend some time each summer “up north” in an old family cottage just feet from a big beautiful lake. It’s the best. (though I do envy your southern Cal location – it’s gorgeous!)

  • Cathy

    Yeah, I couldn’t take the noisy, Covid risky neighbors either. As far as sounds to fall asleep by though, heavy rain on a metal roof brings me back to falling asleep in Hilo, HI -so good! And beach waves crashing is a close second. Sweet dreams!

  • Gingermog

    Sorry to hear you have noisy partying neighbours, especially during the pandemic. I can well imagine that crickets would make you feel safe and relaxed, I love the sound of them myself, they remind me of balmy, warm evenings, glorious sunsets and being on holiday.

    I don’t have a white noise machine, but my brother in law uses one. The first time I heard it when I stayed over, it rminded me of TV static from the old days when the TV channels would shut off for the night and you’d be left with a fuzzy screen.

    I have a Lumie, which I sometimes use to help me fall asleep (and wake up in the dark winter mornings). My favourite setting is the thunderstorm but midway through some sheep start bleating. I imagine them stuck half way up the mountain and getting lost and anxious in a thunderstorm. Not exactly relaxing. :D

  • Beck

    Any song from the little flock and WHOOSH. All kinds of memories. All day meetings, mantilla, sipping wine after a pinch of my mom’s homemade white bread, and all the familiar faces who have known MY face since birth.

  • Beck

    I was so excited to leave a comment about memories coming flooding back with a sound trigger that I failed to read the whole question. And now picturing meeting songs on a white noise generator app has me cracking up. I bet it WOULD put some people to sleep. (And has already!)

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