Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Hamsters in my Brain

I have many faults.  I will probably reveal most of them, consciously or not, over the course of this blog.  (Loquaciousness being a frontrunner.)  However, I have one particular quirk highlighted pretty often because it really annoys Emily and I do it every time we work together.

In our work sessions, we discuss things, agree on a course of action, and then set to work, separately.  For instance, last week I was organizing, printing, copying, and filing the paperwork for our trademarking process, and she was sending out emails on behalf of our business.  And as we sat next to each other, working independently on our different projects, I talked out loud.  To myself.  Under my breath, I basically narrated what I was doing.

"Let's see....I need to put this paper heeeeeere......and I need to make sure I make copies of this before I send it.....aaaaaanddd.....this can.......wait, where is......." and so on.

Understandably, this really really really irritates her.  First of all, it's awfully distracting since it's hard to tune out someone jabbering away right next to you.  Secondly, it's an excruciatingly mundane monologue to have to endure.

I try not to do it, but the truth is, it is much harder for me to work when I don't.  I am noticeably more efficient when I talk to myself.  I attempted to explain this to her.

"It's like my brain is a room full of hamsters."

Times a billion

She stared at me silently for a long moment before she shook her head, went back to her computer, and posted that on Facebook.

But it is.  When I have a long to-do list or lots of ideas, it feels like my brain is a giant room with hundreds of scurrying little rodents chaotically scampering in every different direction.  Each hamster is an idea, and if I mutter to myself what I am doing, it's as if that latches me onto a particular hamster and I can follow it around the room until the thought is finished.  Otherwise, one hamster crashes into another and I get distracted and forget which one I was following, and I end up starting 30 things without finishing anything.  Lots of frantic activity without any fruitful result.  The talking keeps me focused.

Emily was not impressed.

This is one of the reasons I love crafting.  It scoops up the hamsters in my brain and plops them all down into one of those exercise wheels where they scurry to their hearts content, running themselves breathless, and when they are done, I have some cool creation to show for it.  It's an incredible resource of ideas and energy when harnessed.  It's just hard to get them all in that little wheel.

Leave me alone, I'm crafting.

Thus, I mutter and narrate.  It organizes my hamsters.

So tell me:  what it is like inside your brain, and what do you do to focus?  And please, try not to step on any of my hamsters while you are here.


  1. I had a college roommate trying to study once. She finally looked up from her book and said, "are you leaving or am I?" God bless our friends who love us mutterers anyway! :)

  2. ahhhaahaa! Hamster-(no "p")-head! My new nickname for you. :)))