beware the thought-cookers

I’m cutting it close, arriving at work almost on the dot of 8am – or just past.  For some reason this happens to me a lot.  I tend to not be early or cutting it really really close.  It is not on purpose.  It just is.

You never know how interesting you are until you pay attention to yourself.   Is it weird to find yourself interesting?  Maybe.  Hey, at least someone does, right?!  And hey!,  at least it is someone who’s opinion you’ll care about, right?  Hmm… yeah sure, this isn’t weird at all.

So, what is my problem with being (not) on time?

What I realised the other morning while getting ready for work is that I get lost in thought.  At the strangest times.  Doing the most mundane type things.  I’ve had myself under surveillance for month now.  It’s bad.  I found several thought-cookers tempting me every single day.  It’s difficult to escape the ones that doesn’t form an integral part of my day and almost impossible to fight the allure of the ones that does.

Thought-cooker  also known as thought-stimulant, usually gets triggered by the act of performing mundane tasks like taking a bath, cooking a meal, doing dishes, driving and so forth.  It can also be a place.  A person experience no passage of time with the result that time seems to fly.

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yep!  Oh yeah,  I know that!  What I find most interesting though is that each cooker stimulates different thoughts.  Cookers do not seem to be conducive to continued thought processes.

So now the other question is – does your thought-cooker(s) say something about you?  Oh my, I don’t know.  It will be SO weird if it did.  Right?  Riiigghht?

Well,  I’m now of the opinion that my cookers REALLY don’t like it that I have to go to work 🙂

Why else will a 10-minute bath turn into a 30-minute time warp?  Or a 5-minutes coffee into a 15-minutes one?  Or the 1 minute it should take to tie my boots become 5 minutes? Or the 10 seconds to lock the front door turn into 2 minutes?

It all adds up!

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dream, dream, dreeaaeam

I never really thought about it, but a person actually dreams in more ways than one.

The most familiar form of dreaming is when we are in a state of rest – what the experts call REM sleep.  Think about it.  Where do you go, what do you do, what do you experience when you are in dreamland?  There are so many connotations assigned to the perception of what and why we dream.  We might want to escape into a reality where we made better choices.  Or where our “bad” choices had better outcomes.  While in dream state we might actually be communicating in a higher, freer plain of existence.  Some of us may think of a dream as a message, a forewarning of what is to come.  A prediction of sorts.

The other form of dreaming is born from somewhere else.  The hankering to be more.  To make a difference.  It is the kind of dream I would refer to as a “life-dream”.  But how would one define a “life-dream”?  Or wait, a better question might be:  Should a “life-dream” be limited by a definition?.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”.  It is probably safe to assume that this question falls under the “life-dream” category.  It is also the question most often asked of young minds.  As children we see a hero at least once.  It might be a doctor or a nurse who helped heal a loved one.  It might be a policeman who helped your family out of a jam.  A veterinarian who saved your dear pet.  A fireman who rushed into a burning building to safe a total stranger or someone you know.  A teacher.  The list goes on.

There should be more questions under the “life-dream” category I think.  How often do we think to ask them?  Maybe we don’t ask them because we assume that a young mind is just that – too young to understand the question.  That might well be true. So we focus on the one question that everyone asks and everyone answers.  Isn’t there danger that choices will be ruled by the answer to that lone question?

In my opinion questions train us to search for answers.  Our brains work harder to find solutions, the truth… our truth.  It even helps with emotional growth.

So, what questions would you file under the “life-dream” category?  Here are some I would add.

* Who do you want to be as a person?

* Where would you like to live when you are a grown-up?

* Do you want to focus on only one career?

Who can say when a life-dream will be born?  Or what a person’s life-dream(s) will be?  It is different for everyone.   Some of us dream big, some dream small.  Some think they have no dream at all.  It is all a matter of perception and opinion.

One can never be too young or too old to start dreaming.

number 7 – is it bad when they know you by … face?

7.             Keep it personal

A repeat customer is someone you get to know. Nurture that by keeping your relationship as personal as possible. For instance, get to know customers by name. Connecting on a personal level with customers is one of the best competitive advantages. Everyone loves it when they go into a coffee shop and the server remembers their name and their favorite beverage.  … more

I remember reading (or hearing) something along these lines some time ago.  As I’m not in the marketing or advertising industry I don’t really pay attention to these things.  The company I work for does however service the public so sometimes the odd thing about customer care is bound to catch a ride in my memory banks.  And a couple of months ago this memory decided to say hello.

Every now and again (less now than again) I crave one of my favourite junk food meals at the local Wimpy.  A few weeks ago as I approached the take-away counter the lady who was on duty looked up, smiled a little and completed the sale she was busy with.  I was looking over the posted menu and special offerings when the lady focussed her attention on me and asked “The usual?”.  She continued with: “With chippies? It’s kind of hot out, so a milkshake today? Kiddies or normal?”.  Forget the menus!

It was while I was waiting for my order that the “number 7” memory popped up and I started mulling it over.  I started wondering how I really felt about the fact that the Wimpy-lady knew me so well that she could order for me, when my best friend and even my family would be hard-pressed to.  She doesn’t even know my name!  Do I look like my favourite Wimpy-meal?  Is a picture of that meal reflected in my eyes (picture animated dollar-sign-eyes) when I have the craving?  Do I visit the eatery more regularly than I thought?  Is the meal I order so unique that it is memorable?  Maybe this meal is actually a popular choice even though I’ve never seen anyone else order it?  Oh grief!, am I really that predictable?! Or is it simply that Wimpy-lady took “Number-7” to heart and has a knack for remembering what people eat?

How come I’m not offended by the fact that I barely have to say anything whenever I want this favourite meal?  Me, who usually dreads shopping.  Me, who marches into supermarkets and alike, eyes forward and with grim determination to get this done and be gone before anyone pays too much attention?  Me, who gets chills when I think of doing an errant at shops where there are chatty (very friendly) people waiting to do my bidding?

Well, either I’m denying the (obviously subconscious) truth about Number-7 or…  I just REALLY like my junk food more than I mind my own predictability.  Okay, let’s go with that.  I don’t mind (yeah right!) my own predictability as long as it speeds up the ordering process.

a prospective property owner’s … dream?

Driving sedately through a quiet neighbourhood with a butterfly-stomach and a racing mind seems somehow at odds.

And then there is only this vague sense of knowing the destination of this trip. Rounding a corner, further up the street an assortment of vehicles are visible. Yeah, okay this is it. Climbing out of the car seems like a great effort. The heavy rhythm of a bouncing heart is not helping. Something doesn’t feel right. But… Dad’s car is here too. This must be mine. My property. My house. Finally!

Heartened by the thought I walk to the open front door with a lighter step. Wait! The feeling of doom returns. What am I missing here? Entering the house, to the right I encounter a wall. My mind scramble to try and make sense of it. There shouldn’t be a wall. The house has an open plan design. Right? I creep a little forward to look into the room. Tiles, a horrendous shade of pink, unevenly spaced, decorate the opposite wall. To the left… shouldn’t there be a kitchen? But that is an open bathroom – no walls, no doors. A tingle start at the back of my neck and render the rest of my body momentarily motionless. What is going on here?!

Finally going to explore the rest of the building I find a tiny, tiny space which seems to be the kitchen at the back of the open bathroom. No-no-no-no! This can’t be right. The rest of the place is all nooks and crannies too. Hearing voices outside I turn around and storm back out the front door. My Dad is talking with a guy. The builder?

Time seems to pick up speed as I confront the builder guy – demanding to see the house plans. BECAUSE! This is not what I wanted!! This is not… I look at the house plans and it is exactly the same as the house behind me. What?! And why isn’t the plans signed off – no signatures, no stamps? Was this even approved?! Searching frantically over the paper my eye catches the number of the plot noted on it. Hey! HEY!

It isn’t mine! IT. IS. NOT. MINE!

scary house

scary house (Photo credit: Janek Kloss)

I wake up, my heart still pounding, my mind and body weighted down with relief!

Phew!  That was a close call.

the story behind dreams and the art of waking up

The human mind is extraordinary and it fascinates me.  Um. . . yeah, you probably heard me say it a time or two before.  I wonder if this fascination is the reason why I’m such a fan of fantasy and sci-fi type stories?

Take Medium for example.  The word itself is ordinary enough, but in the television series Medium it has a very specific meaning. At lack of a better description I guess one could call it channeling.

The fifth season of the show is currently running here in South Africa. I missed out on most of the first season which is always a shame if a series run longer.  The story is based on Allison DuBois, a mother of three and wife to Joe, who are able to “see” things in dream world and talk to ghosts in the real world.  And the dreams are always open to interpretation – nothing is ever cut and dried.

Before I continue, let me just say that I never knew that the simple act of waking up could be transformed into an art form. This is something that Patricia Arquette seems to be very good at.  She has quite the repertoire.

Right-o, I’m grabbing a cup of coffee to mull over this dream business some more.  I know it is said that everybody dreams but that one doesn’t necessarily remember the details. Well, that is true for me most of the time.  The only dreams I remember are the odd ones, the ones that doesn’t seem to make much sense.

There are some questions that run through my mind from time to time – things I’m curious about but not sure whether or not I really want to find the answers to.

* Should I pay more attention to that little film that blitzes through my consciousness just before I wake up?

* Do I sometimes feel that I received a message or a warning, for myself or someone else,  through my dreams?

* Is the reason why I don’t remember the dream significant?

* Is having bad dreams after watching a thriller or after eating certain food stuffs late at night really related?

* And the big one – should I have my dream interpreted?  And following that – is there really someone I will trust with something like that?

Hmm. . . there might be easy answers to these questions, there may not.

For now I’m just grateful that I’m not in Allison’s head.  She really has some disturbing dreams at times.

Sweet dreams, dear Reader.