Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Weekend (In)sanity and the Tetris Effect

What is the goal of the weekend? For me it is trying to relax and spend time with the family.

During the week I live my life through endless task lists. I subscribe to the idea that if a stressful thought is rattling up my brain if I put it on a list it will haunt me no more. To some extent this works.

The downside is that my brain becomes hardwired to check off tasks because of neuroplasticity and the Tetris Effect. No joke, if you play Tetris too long you will view the physical world as shapes to be fit together. So my loved ones and the activities I really enjoy are in danger of becoming an action item on a list.

I know I’m having a good weekend when I can contemplate while looking at scenery and not feel I should be doing something. Or if I am doing an activity I’m not prioritizing the next step, or making a list, or polluting my present enjoyment with productivity issues. 

I know I’m not alone with these matters for throughout history men have tried to cast off the material world to be free of such stress. This is why the notion of the mendicant monk appears in many different cultures. If I were a mendicant monk I would no doubt be in covert competition with the other monks as to whose robe was most wretched or whose demeanor was truly humble and not just a fashion stance (posers!)

This past weekend I was really enjoying myself doing absolutely nothing . The moment passed and my normal self returned, spurring me to commemorate my moment of contemplation with a video .

Over and out from Planet Portland. 

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