Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thinking too much

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“I’ve realised why you don’t find ‘Chuck’ as funny as I do,” said my 15-year-old son recently.

“Why’s that then?”

“Because you spend all your time analysing it! Within 2 minutes of every episode you’re already predicting what’s going to happen before the end!”

“I don’t spend all my time analysing it. Besides, I’m usually right. Go on, admit it.”

“That’s not the point!”

“What is the point then? It’s fairly predictable…”

“The point is you don’t just let go and enjoy the episodes. You’re too busy working out what’s going to happen next.”

“I’m not working it out. It leaps out at me as clear as one of the ‘Flashes’ Chuck experiences when The Intersect in his head throws up information into his conscious mind.”

“But you’re still thinking about it.”

“In other words,” I say, “you’re accusing me of thinking too much.”

“Yes. Absolutely!”

I sigh inwardly. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been told this - by friends, colleagues, other bloggers and, when she was still alive, even my mother.

It always seemed like an odd thing to say. I mean, of course I had thoughts. Lots of them. All the time. How could I not? Didn’t everybody? What was thinking too much anyway? The idea didn’t make any sense.

The irony of Rogan’s accusation is, these days my brain is only working at a fraction of its previous capacity and I’m so very aware that I don’t think anything like the amount I used to.

When my brain used to fire on all cylinders, bouncing all over the place, I didn’t have anything to compare it to. I was always making connections and seeing patterns between bizarre and unlikely things. If someone suggested an idea, I could run it through empire building scenarios, which if followed would result in global domination within 3 years. This was all perfectly normal.

But over the past couple of years, the CFS has taken its toll on my cognitive abilities. I can’t do heavy duty thinking for any length of time now without wearing myself out.

I miss thinking too much.

I miss having the energy that allowed me to.
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20 comments:

Aoife.Troxel said...

I get both sides of the argument. My dad thinks too much too, so I can't watch anything with him or he'd be commenting on probability, likelihood, and yes, the ending.
But I get accused of over thinking too. I think it's silly that over thinking is often looked down upon. I would like to have the capability to think more, not less.
Then again, when it comes to mindless entertainment, being able to turn off reason and disbelief is pretty useful.

UjSen said...

I've had my younger brother tell me that. It's why we don't watch the same thing in the same room now.!

hope said...

Maybe it's as much a Guy/Dad thing as physical.

My husband does the same thing, often pointing at the screen and huffing, "That is utterly ridiculous! That would never happen"...and then launch into why.

I just smile and say, "It's just a T.V. SHOW. Entertainment, not reality, remember?"

You two could have a blast watching "Chuck" together while Rogan and I just laughed. :)

Pat said...

I stop thinking when my head hurts.
Rogan has a point - sometimes it's good to just lie back and enjoy.

Fay's Too said...

I understand this. With MS and fibromyalgia, fatigue and brain fog are my biggest enemies. Really bigger than pain or loss of coordination.
I've also been told all my life that I think too much. I'd think it was mania, but I've always enjoyed sleep too much for that.
Two ideas (free of charge and possibly worth every penny) You may be thinking at a normal (closer to most people) rate now. Sucks, doesn't it and 2)adderal. It has really made a difference for me. Slowed me down enough to think clearly and at my old speed again. And if that makes sense, it probably applies.
Peace

Thrup'ny bits said...

My initial reaction to the title of the post was, 'well yes, I sometimes think myself into inaction'. As usual a pithy post. It's the reported conversation I enjoy . . . and as usual I followed the link without then wandering off into the ether of the WWW . . .

"Plot:When a twenty-something computer geek inadvertently downloads critical government secrets into his brain .... " Big hint to suspend disbelief . . . which is what most watchers of TV do.

Aran O' Grady from Ireland "Chuck is like Marmite.....you either love it or hate it. I LOVE IT!"

nunyerbiz from Detroit, Michigan "Chuck might have some potential underneath the muddled scripts"

I wasn't going to read all 190+ reviews. I've never seen the show. S'funny how it's the lame scripts and shows that make one not so much think but howl in derision. Is that a bit OTT?. I'm sure someone, [Jasper Carrot?], has compared the differences between what Americans think is humourous, or in their case humorous, and the cerebral amusement Brits find funny.

Kim Ayres said...

Aoife - there is much to be said for finding an inner stillness. Emptying the mind is something that's been sought by mystics for time immemorial. And this is something I've been trying to do more often. But I miss it when my brain was supercharged.

UjSen - it's the nature of siblings to disagree as much as possible :)

Hope - I just like to watch things where I don't know what's going to happen next. Remember my "Clash of the Titans" review? ;)

Pat - on one level I know he's right, but I can't actually help it...

Fay - I'm afraid the words, "Slowed me down enough to think clearly and at my old speed again" don't really make any sense. And I looked up Adderal and the potential side effects were a bit worrisome. I don't think I ever suffered from mania. In fact I've bemoaned the fact before that I'm more like a manic-depressive without the manic, which makes me feel a bit cheated...

Alan - The only reason I've been watching Chuck is my son had the first 2 seasons on Box Set and has been on at me for nearly a year to watch them with him. So in the interests of father-son bonding type things I agreed.

So now about 2 or 3 times a week we watch another episode together. I think we only have about 8 episodes left of season 2.

Then I'm going to put him through my Babylon 5 DVD box set...

Carole said...

I'm pretty sure if I thought too much there would be a rift in the space time continuum that couldn't be bridged, so for the sake of the world I'm going to just sputter around with a thought or two a day.

I can't imagine having your brain, but I am sorry about the energy CFS drains from it.

mapstew said...

And that's why I stopped watching most TV! Especially the dreaded soaps. I was ruining it for the family, predicting what was going to happen next, next week even!
I have learned not to think into things so much though and to let my mind 'go loose'. The youngest taught me how, she said "Dad, just let your mind go loose"!! :¬)

debra said...

when a was a kid, I loved going to movies with my folks. What I hated was not being able to experience the magic without my dad trying to analyze it. It's a fine line between drinking in the experience and examining it.
(o)

Roschelle said...

i think too much too much. it's pretty overrated if you ask me. even with all cylinders not firing i guess a teenager would think we adults are still far too analytical.

Anez said...

I like thinking, I dont get the whole Idea of thinking too much .. Dont understand what people mean when they say that.

Kim Ayres said...

Carole - your sacrifice for the sake of the world may go unappreciated by 6 billion others, but we on this blog salute you!

Mapstew - I have learned not to think into things so much though and to let my mind 'go loose' - is this just a euphemism for getting drunk?

Debra - I'd never interrupt someone's viewing pleasure in the cinema. I might moan about it on the drive home, though...

Roschelle - Most teenagers hate the idea that we can work out what they might be getting up to...

Anez - whether it's good or bad is probably down to whether it enhances or interferes with your life. Or in the case of other people levelling the accusation, how much your thinking interferes with their lives :)

litzi said...

Hi Kim,
For someone who claims that my brain is only working at a fraction of its previous capacity you’re doing a damn good job of utilizing what is functioning!

The Pollinatrix said...

I'm reminded of a time in my very early twenties when someone told me I take things too seriously. I went away and thought about that for some time, and then came back and said, "Why would you tell someone who takes things too seriously that they take things too seriously? What good can that possibly do when you know the person is just going to go off and take your comment too seriously?"

V said...

Thinking too much will always be better tahn not thinking enough....some folk should try it!

mapstew said...

No Kim, quite the opposite in fact! 'Go loose' means not thinking too much, let's just see what happens, kinda thing. I think WAY too much when I'm drunk! :¬)

Kim Ayres said...

Litzi - that's very kind of you to say. Unfortuately there's the world of difference between the impression given by a blog post once or twice a week and the day to day living with it

Pollinatrix - superb :)

V - very good point!

Mapstew - on the occasions when I've been drunk, I'm not sure I've been thinking enough - Certainly I talk excessively, but it's usually complete bollocks

Hindsfeet said...

some of my synapses have gone a bit sedentary over time as well...and sometimes I wish more would, as it seems that the people who accuse us of "thinking too much" are happier and less angst-ridden than I am with their simple acceptance of life as it's handed to them......

...but, at the end of the day, for better *AND* worse, every fiber of my being rejects the permission slip to "let go", to "not think too much"...

I'm with John Adams on this one..."Let us dare to THINK, read, write, and speak!"

There are plenty of people not "thinking too much" these days...perhaps we ought to keep towing the line, my friend.

; )

Jayne Martin said...

Over-thinking or constantly analyzing seems to be a way to try to control the outcome, which we all like to fool ourselves into thinking we actually can. The transition to a quieter mind may bring with it some pleasures that will surprise you, if you can stop comparing who you are to who you were and giving the current you the short end of the stick. Does that make any sense, my friend? Or am I over-thinking? ;)