|My Tricky TRICKY Brain
||[Mar. 15th, 2013|11:31 pm]
Kelly J. Cooper
There’s a simple trick to keep from losing things.
You put them where they belong.
If they don’t have a place to belong, create one and make it clear that it’s the home for a particular thing. For me, sometimes this backfires and I find that I’ve established two, three, maybe even four places as homes for a specific type of item. Which is why I can only ever find one at a time, if that. So the home needs to be someplace obvious or logical, which means you’ve got to pay attention to what your brain considers obvious or logical. Where did you look for it first? Where do you bump into it accidentally that might be memorable?
My brain wants to put important things, like a form I need to fill out or a business card of a person I really want to email, in a SPECIAL place.
In the moment, special places are novel and obvious. In retrospect, I hate them. Because as soon as a little time passes or crap accumulates atop them or the tape holding them up slips, they become useless. Pointless. The item is lost. Not forever of course. I have no black holes or dimensional cracks in my home. But long enough to make life more difficult. “I spend all my time looking for stuff!” is a common complaint among the disorganized.
My brain is a tricky little shit because it LIKES novelty, so it’s always nudging me to do novel things. It gets bored easily. “Put it in a novel place,” it whispers in a seductive tone, “Then you’ll notice it and remember the very important thing you have to do with it.” But, it is significant to note that finding lost items is a voyage of discovery in a sea of novelty for my brain as well, so it gets a double reward when I lose something and have to paw through my stuff. “Oh look!” my brain crows, “That book we want to read. And that funny comic we want to scan in. And those candies that tasted so good you wanted to order more online. Shouldn’t you work on those next?” Also, the freaking-out of trying-to-find-a-thing floods it with chemicals it likes. Vexing sponge, my brain.
BUT, if I put something where it belongs — EVEN IF IT IS VERY IMPORTANT and I need to deal with it as soon as possible, but I can’t or don’t deal with it immediately — it must go to the place where those sorts of things live. Because *cue dramatic music* THAT IS WHERE I WILL LOOK FOR IT FIRST. That is, when the time comes… or I get around to doing the thing, whether it’s two minutes later or two days. Urgency is a weird and variable thing for my brain.
There is a similar process for things that I will need in the distant future, like papers I’ll need for my taxes. Brain thinks they’re boring and wants to put them down as soon as possible. Thinking about them, carrying them around, transporting them to the proper place where they live is BORING. “JUST PUT IT DOWN!” my brain screams, “LET’S GO DO SOMETHING FUN INSTEAD!” it cries. But, if I just put it down (which I often do), it gets lost in the masses of things hanging about, many of which I also just put down.
Or, even worse, I don’t have a home for it. Establishing a home for something, cleaning out a space, finding an appropriate container, or whatever it takes to make the home stick and then trying to impress that place of belonging on my memory annoys my brain. “I don’t want to remember another stupid thing!” it whines. “I have to remember too many stupid boring things for you already!” it cries. “GIMME SOME CANDY!” it complains.