My Humming Cousin – Week 12


My favorite cousin, I’ll call her Mary, came to stay with me for ten days a couple of weeks ago. In addition to her presence and companionship, I also received Mental Diet Immersion  Therapy treatment. You see, Mary hums about 45 minutes of her every waking hour. Unless she and I are talking, in which case, she talks for 40 minutes and hums for 15, and I speak for 10 minutes .

As a baseline, I should tell you that I adore silence. I love to chat, too, but when I’m by myself, I don’t watch TV, or listen to music or the radio all the time. I like to listen to music when I’m doing things around the house, like cleaning or organizing, but I don’t need a lot of background noise. Don’t get me wrong. I can hum as good as the rest of them. But my humming usually has some variety to it. It’s an actual tune without the words. Humming can be a happy or soothing noise, like listening to the pitter patter of rain on the rooftop, or a cat purring. But unable to escape from the constant, Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, it becames a major challenge to my peace of mind and commitment to the 7 Day Mental Diet (which we all know is a repeatable practice for governing our thoughts that lasts much longer than a week). That seven second allowance for substituting positive thoughts is really a diet saver, right?


“She’s humming again. It’s driving me f_ _ _ _ _ g crazy!” “Oops. Better start counting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.” “Isn’t it lovely that Mary’s making dinner for us? She’s so thoughtful. I’m so glad she’s here!”

“OMG, I can’t take one more second of listening to the same three chords over and over again!” “Oops. Start counting: 1, 2, 3 (this time I catch myself by #4).” “I greet my cousin and her (incessant) humming with love in my heart.”

“D_ _n. I can even hear her humming through the kitchen wall when I’m out working on the garden!” “Oh oh. Time to shift my thoughts: 1, 2, 3…” “She really is delightful. I’m so lucky to have a cousin who is like a sister to me!”

And so it went for ten days. Not to mention that Mary also talks a lot when she’s not humming. “How many times do I need to listen to her tell me about how she cooks boiled eggs?” “Don’t give up your mental diet. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.” “Wow, she sure knows how to cook a spectacular egg!”


Last Tuesday, when our time together was over, a friend drove Mary and I to the airport in Fort Myers, Florida. We got out of the car and he helped get our suitcases out of the trunk. Mary hummed as she grabbed the handle of hers. “Hmmm, hmmm. hmmm. Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm.” As we parted ways, she flying off to a different country, I thought of the person sitting next to her on her flight. How would they deal with her humming for five or six hours? And I felt grateful for the Master Key tool of the mental diet, and also for my cousin.

She is still my favorite cousin. I recalled the times we sat together on the couch as children, opening up Christmas gifts, playing in the rooster barn, and training her pet crow. I also thought about the time she visited Minneapolis and I gave and videotaped a demonstration of my new juicer. I thought of how close our mothers were before her mom passed on. And I felt like the luckiest person on earth to have a humming cousin.

Tha Maaeng

Copyright ©, 2007 (2018), Tha Maaeng, Collage by Val Olson (Alternative title: “Your Humming Turns My Thoughts into Happy Whisperings of Well Wishes.”)

5 thoughts on “My Humming Cousin – Week 12

  1. Life and family come with challenges especially this time of year. I felt your pain as I too enjoy the quietness of much of the day without “noise”. The mental diet has been a lifesaver for keeping the Joy in the season.

    Your cousin must find value in the vibration of the hum much like your recharge in silence. Just a thought 😉


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