The last few weeks at work have been an exercise in frustration as my projects get held up with waiting for meetings, people being away sick, and the general Christmas lead-up making everything go a bit haywire. So I've spent a lot of time twiddling my thumbs, reading the entire internet and contemplating my navel - ie, being bored out of my tree. This week I decided to take the initiative and do something - anything - to relieve the boredom.
What I've been doing involves creating queries in our monstrosity of a database (whoever made up the naming conventions in this thing ought to be given to fuvenusrs to play with, seriously), then crunching numbers in spreadsheets. Not hugely convoluted stuff, and not very exciting, but definitely outside my normal scope of work activity. It involves *GASP* logic.
I find logic hard. Not because I lack the brainpower, but because I don't do it very often. My job is mainly about wordsmithing and communication, about gathering information related to people and translating two different styles of English into something that most folks can understand, then making them relate to each other. My study is in the humanities - and anything related to humans seems to drop off logic at a very early stage and get into the realms of motivations and possibility. The things I do for fun are mostly related to art or physical activity - or again, people. So that part of my brain gets way more stimulation than the poor little stunted bit that knows how to do logic.
So anyway, this week it's had a bit of a poke. Now, if my brain were a muscle, it'd currently be full of lactic acid and complaining every time I moved it. Instead, it seems to be expanding (I don't have the heart to tell it that soon it'll have to go back to sleep), and wanting to do more. This morning, for the first time in weeks, I woke up with my brain going "Yeah! Let's do it! Hurry up and go to work!". But that's not the weird thing. The weird thing is the way my peripheral vision has suddenly improved, the way I feel more awake and focused and, well.. balanced*.
I've read a lot about left brain/right brain theory, and while there's some pretty compelling evidence out there I am not completely convinced that the simplified 'left brain = logic, right brain = creativity' thing I was fed as part of my training in education is completely true. I think it's probably more of a symbiotic relationship than that**. But anyway, what I'm finding interesting is that doing something 'new' doesn't seem to be taking energy (that is totally the wrong word but we'll go with it anyway) away from any other parts of the 3-dimensional pie graph that is my brain.
Shut up, I'm allowed 3-dimensional pie graphs if I want them.
So my skull and what's inside it is a finite system, yet (based on my sample size of one experience that I've actually thought about) seems to be capable of infinite expansion. Hmm. I've also read that we only use (10%, 25%, 50%, pick a number) of our brain. I'm not convinced of that either.
So my conclusion from this? I don't have one. It feels nice to be using part of my brain that doesn't get used much, and find that a) it still works and b) it has a beneficial flow-on effect outside of what I'm actually doing.
This somewhat incoherent ramble brought to you by the letter B (for brainfried), the number 10 (number of hours sleep I had last night) and the colour pink (because pink is awesome).
* I realise that in context there are lots of other things that could have caused this, and they're probably all related. But it's been one hell of a long time since my brain got tickled by work enough to wake up thinking about it.
** I read a study in which people who had lost the use of one side of their brain were given LSD. People who could only use the right side of their brain got caned off their tree. People who could only use the left side of their brain felt nothing. Which implies that the chemical reaction caused by LSD only affects the right side - it probably happens in both sides, but only in one does it affect cognition/behaviour. Which is kind of compelling, at least in relation to use of hallucinogens and left brain/right brain.
Last night was a pleasant chat with allyn (which I'd like to make more of a habit of), and I met tcpip for the first time IRL *waves* and was charmed by his easy conversation and positive vibe. I also met a whole bunch of other people I didn't know before, and almost ended up at TNC for the first time ever. But.. a girl's got to eat and I don't like curry, so.. you know. Nice to randomly meet new people though. ;-)
Did you know John the Orienteer is still in the country? He's coming to Fidels tonight so if you'd like to catch up, you should come down!
I have one more day *starts singing New Order songs* before my life goes insane for a couple of weeks. I hope to use it to finish my Christmas shopping. Wish me luck!