Thinking is a funny thing. We do it all the time and I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to turn my brain off every so often for a little respite.
But there is a difference between thinking and worrying.
The kind of annoying brain burble that chunters on relentlessly doesn’t really count as thinking. It can almost always be categorised as fretting, worrying, obsessing or just plain mental bitching.
Last week was hideous for me. I had one of those weeks when nothing I touched seemed to go right. In actual fact, I was quite concerned that my bad karma might rub off on those around me, so strongly did it seem to come off me in waves. My car broke down not once, but twice, with entirely unrelated faults both costing me money after only having spent a ton on it last month. It’s like the vehicular equivalent of a money pit. Then my laptop ground to a final and dispirited halt. It hasn’t had a long or happy life (and it’s attempts to update to the latest MS software have been almost funny) but it was cheap and survived me lugging it about for onsite work. I have a decent desktop but nothing else portable. And just as I thought things couldn’t possibly get much worse my broadband packed up.
So my brain was largely packed with unmentionable words, complex maths of how much one week possibly can cost a human, how much one can get for a kidney these days on the black market, pondering whether it would be the worst thing in the world if the damn car fell off the tow truck into a ditch and became an insurance write off. Also, in between standing at the roadside getting cold, I was attempting to do some work. You know, to pay for all the shit that was breaking around me incessantly. So it was a bit crap. Not awful – there were lovely highlights of friends, neighbours, strangers, relatives and local coppers all lending a hand generously to keep me sane, safe and mobile (I live in the middle of nowhere more or less!). But given the option, I’d have skipped last week. And all the thinking.
Sometimes though, I get to do real thinking. I love it when I’m given a problem and can almost feel my brain crunching and crackling as I work through it. It doesn’t happen as often as you might think – not because I am super smart or know everything, if only, it’s just that most things are fairly mundane. My favourite one lately was to create a method of tracking training and retraining on 40 subjects for around 40 people without using email (i.e. you can’t email reminders) or spending any money for an actual training package! I had to try about 8 different software types and really noodle through how it could work, what amount of manual updating it would take and so on. I got there in the end and quite enjoyed the weary feeling of having really thought hard. It’s a bit like that muscle tiredness feel you get after the gym, you know you have done yourself good.
This week, life has calmed down a lot. My new laptop is up and running. My broadband is cured (I don’t know how or why. I didn’t do anything, I just left the house for 12 hours and it cured itself. Maybe I really was giving off such a bad aura that technology was melting in my presence. Who knows. I touched a shedload of wood, did a dance, sacrificed a Nokia to the Gods of Tech by way of thanks and cracked on with some work before it could change its mind). My car is back and can change gear which is very pleasing. I have had 2 days of working like a loon to try and undo some of last weeks short or non-existent days and pay for all the stuff that broke.
This is a picture of my spare brain. I have it for a networking talk I’ve done about working with a VA. Mabel rather likes having a brain to play with…