Last night after work, I went home and puttered around in the back yard for a while. (And it was warm out! I wore shorts! IT FINALLY STOPPED SNOWING!!)
Then I went in to make dinner and started my usual noise-blocking routine. Turn on the radio. Turn on the TV. Turn on a fan. Turn on the white noise machine. All the things I'd been doing for over a year in a desperate attempt to block the LOUD LOUD NOISE coming from downstairs.
And then I realized, "wait a minute. I don't have to do that anymore". So I turned off the radio. Turned off the TV. Turned off the fan. Turned off the white noise machine. And here is what I DID NOT hear: Jabba the Hutt's TV, cranked to eleven. And here is what I heard: I heard cars going by. I heard birds singing. I heard the filter in the fish tank bubbling. I heard Baby cat mewing under the sofa.
And it was beautiful.