I was under doctor's orders this weekend.  I was under a strict NO TALKING rule as I try to regain my voice after it was wrecked by a cold virus last week.

The agenda for the weekend included The Friends of Jack Gala on Saturday night.  A black-tie event packed with 650 people is a very difficult place to remain silent, especially when you know a good majority of the people.  I honestly tried, but I kept becoming paranoid that people were thinking I was not happy to be talking with them.  Even if your voice is at full strength it's hard enough to have a conversation in a crowd that size, especially when there's music playing.  I did a horrible job remaining silent at the gala.  I'd give myself a C minus.

Sunday was my son's Pop Warner football game.  I did better at this.  It was difficult, but I didn't yell anything from the sidelines.  I kept my talking to a minumum and became an introvert for a few hours.

In all seriousness, this talking ban for me has me really feeling for people who don't have a voice.  I'm talking about people who struggle to communicate with their voice one way or another.  I have really grown to appreciate my voice as a very sharpened weapon in my arsenal.  Without it, I really don't have the same persuasive skills.  For example, I have been pushing off a call to Apple because I know that I'm not going to have the voice energy to properly get my point across to them about how dissatisfied I am with my new iPhone.  It's a call that I normally would have no trouble placing, but I know it would be a struggle to make now.

Even something as simple as ordering food on the phone is tiring and challenging.

This challenge for me has truly given me empathy for people who are non-verbal or struggle with speech impediments.  My quiet all the time can be lonely, especially for a guy like me.  I'm a very social person who really enjoys the art of conversation.  I miss it.  I can see how I could become withdrawn and even depressed if I never regained my true strong voice.

As I type this, I know that I have to recommit myself to staying quiet and resting my voice.  The more talking I do over the next few days, the longer my recovery is going to take.

If you see me out in public and I don't stop to say hello, please understand why.  It's not because I don't want to talk...it's because I DO want to talk.