It’s a favorite topic here at SolarWinds, particularly in reference to noisy alerts. There’s a lab all about alerts because poorly defined alerts can have such an impact on the effectiveness of your network monitoring. Too many alerts can leave you feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where your attention is needed. Too few alerts can lead to missing important notifications. Understanding what is a good noise balance is key.

 

This time of year seasonal noise can have a similar effect. Over-played holiday music, too many cars on the roads, and too many people in the stores all trying to rush through to-do lists are a constant.

 

Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise!

Noise! Noise! Noise!

That's one thing he hated! The NOISE!

NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

  - How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Seuss

 

Despite the noisy hustle and bustle, the end of the year encourages time with friends and family and allows time for reflection. Many are celebrating holidays, some enjoy time away from work or school, and everyone is wrapping up the year and preparing for the next. Colder weather and darker days drive us inside with loved ones, where the noise—or lack of it—can be amplified.

 

In our house, we see both sides of this. Our toddler is exploring noise creation, be it through vocal exercises or by banging a toy on the coffee table. As much joy as we get from hearing the toddler, there is something missing. My stepdaughter has been away at college for her freshman year. We still feel the silence from the absence of our older girl and are looking forward to some precious time together in the coming days.

 

This time of year also weighs heavy on my heart because there are so many who, in the midst of all the noise, are experiencing a silence that won’t be filled. The season may highlight memories that can’t be recreated and traditions may slip away when the people who carried them onward are no longer present. For all those experiencing this, whether for the first time or for yet another year, may the warmth of the season surround you, and may others wrap you in love. May new and joyful noise fill your home and heart again, even as you also feel the silence left by those who are gone.

 

[The Grinch] did hear a sound rising over the snow.

It started in low. Then it started to grow.

But the sound wasn't sad! Why, this sound sounded merry!

It couldn't be so! But it WAS merry! VERY![…]

Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,

Was singing! Without any presents at all!

He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!

Somehow or other, it came just the same! […]

"It came without ribbons! It came without tags!"

"It came without packages, boxes or bags!" […]

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."

"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

        - How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Seuss

 

Merry Christmas to those that celebrate. Happy holidays to all! (And before you leave for break, make sure your alerts are tuned so you are receiving only needed, actionable alerts—or better yet, set them to notify someone else. Maybe you can actually enjoy some time off!)