Second Chances

On my way to the Saskatchewan Hearing Health Conference, I picked up Louise Penny’s latest book to read on the plane. The dedication took my breath away:

“This book is dedicated to second chances—

Those who give them

And those who take them.”

I put the book down and thought of second chances. How precious they are.

When we have hearing loss, and communication breaks down, both communication partners have a responsibility to repair the situation.

Many of us with hearing loss will admit to shirking our responsibility.

For example, we don’t make the effort to explain our hearing loss to a stranger.

Or we bluff our way through conversations, pretending we have understood.

We say “What?!” impatiently, when we really should say, “I have a hearing loss. Please slow down and look at me. Thank you.”

Perfection doesn’t exist. But I am willing to admit that I can do better.

What about you? What would you do if you had a second chance? Are you where you want to be?

(Would love to hear about it…)

  • Photo credit:  © Alan Fortune

    Sandra Vandenhoff

    Dr. Sandra Vandenhoff is an audiologist with hearing loss, founder of HEARa, Hearing Strategies coach, speaker, and Canadian author, who gave her GPS away long before realizing that it was a good brain-boosting move.

4 thoughts on “Second Chances”

  1. I’ve been pondering on the giving and taking of second chances. Perhaps in order to truly begin again, the risk involved must be both given and taken — by each person involved. Taking a second chance is really one you have to give yourself.

    I can see that one has to purposefully step into the clean slate of a true second chance – letting go of what was and open to creating something new or different. Only in that space can you really start over.

    I think in those situations where I might want a second chance, the common denominator would be standing more fully in me.

    1. Sandra Vandenhoff

      Lorraine, I love this: “Taking a second chance is really one you have to give yourself.” thank you~Sandra

  2. I Love Second Chances … and Third Chances … and ….
    …as many as it takes. I often don’t get them but I try not to let that affect how I respond to others. Am I where I want to be – hardly but if I had arrived that would mean I stopped living and experiencing new things. As you said, it is not a perfect world.

    I do not identify myself as hard of hearing – my hearing loss started with Sudden Deafness Syndrome. I was completely deaf for 6 weeks. It was a scary time but it was one that forced me to think about how I might deal with this for the rest of my life.

    My hearing did returned for 2-1/2 years before it began to quickly decline was diagnosed as “idiopathic autoimmune intermittent hearing loss.” It might be the worst kind of loss since I could go from hearing perfectly well to being completely deaf without warning. I wore hearing aids, but they were only effective when I could hear and there was never way to predict when that might be. Still people saw the hearing aids and figured that perhaps talking louder might be the answer. It was not.

    EArly on instead of saying I had hearing loss or was hearing impaired I told people I was deaf. Deaf they understood and they tried to be patient and accommodating, often making suggestions on their own. My husband, “St” Thomas and I devised some hand signals that seem to work better than words could ever do when it came to capturing someone’s attention – some are borrowed from ASL, some were borrowed from dog training (no kidding) and so it goes.

    What we found interesting is that in seeing a hand signal people on did not feel on the spot like they did a word that perhaps was delivered with the wrong inflection. That’s easy to do when you can’t hear yourself. I now carry an iPad with me. It replaced a Netbook. When all else fails the written word gets though.

    The one thing I know for sure – I can only control what I do or say – I cannot control the actions of others and if I let their behavior depress or irritate me, I am the only one who loses. And frankly I prefer to win. It doesn’t always happen but at the moment, I’m ahead.

    So I close with a quote from Hammarskjold:
    The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you
    hear what is sounding outside. And only he who listens can speak.

    1. Sandra Vandenhoff

      CelticLass, it’s interesting that the hand signals work better than words when asking people to modify their behaviour. I wonder why that is? You’ve got me thinking!

      Thanks for your wisdom and the quote from Hammarskjold. ~Sandra

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