Saturday, February 27, 2010

A reassuring theory

A couple of days ago I had a phone call from a friend who has suddenly found herself very, very busy. Not because of anything that has happened to her, but because of things she has made happen to herself. She has booked herself up for the next two weeks with music performances, a marathon, and goodness knows what else. She also has two small children and a very busy husband.

"I've started talking to myself when I'm alone," she said, worriedly. "Out loud. It's getting quite scary. 'Put the rice on, kiddo,' I tell myself. 'Good girl. Now you can do some practice, but don't forget the sheets are in the washing machine and need to be put in the drier after they finish. And while they're drying, you need to start on the veges. You can go for a run after the kids have eaten.'"

She sighed. "I hope I don't start doing it in public. I think I might be going crazy."

"You are not going crazy," I told her. "You are talking to yourself so that you DON'T go crazy. If you start talking about the weather, THEN you can worry."

"What do you mean?" she said.

"You're slowing yourself down," I said. "Inside your head everything is on fast forward. There is too much going on, and you're trying to think about it all at once. You think faster than you speak, so saying stuff out loud slows it all down."

"Oh, yes!" she exclaimed. "That's it! It keeps me focused!"

"That's right," I said. "You are not going crazy. You are carefully NOT going crazy, by slowing down the babble in your head."

By the time we hung up she was feeling quite reassured, so I decided not to tell her that this was a theory I had just made up.

Besides, I think it's quite a good theory.


Keera Ann Fox said...

I agree! And not only good, but sensible.

And you know what? I'm going to try it next time I'm feeling rushed.

Wait, did I say that out loud?

Lia said...

I also think it's a good theory. You've reassured me, too.