Written in September 2008 – first published in May 2009
I think too much. You might think this is a good thing but I think you’d be wrong. Too much thinking is definitely bad. I wrote this article last September and thought I’d already posted it but it seems I didn’t. So you’ll just have to use your imagination and think it’s last September instead of now, otherwise you’ll think you’re in a time warp…
Even if I’m thinking about something totally abstract – for example I just saw a clip on TV of American Republican presidential running-mate, or whatever job title she has, Sarah Palin. For weeks now she’s been reminding me of a cartoon character and I just haven’t been able to think who it is. Yet every time I see her or hear her name, I start thinking ‘who the hell is it?’ Although in some ways this is a good thing, because while I’m thinking that, my head shuts off actually listening to what she’s saying or what anyone else is saying about her. And that’s a good thing because why should I waste my time considering her gibberish when I have no control over her future or not as one of America’s leaders? Despite working in a place full of Obama supporters, I couldn’t give a stuff who’s in charge of America next. Surely anyone’s got to be better than George Bush junior and one egocentric American loony’s pretty much like another so far as I can tell. But all that’s beside the point – where was I?
Oh yes, …even when I’m thinking about something abstract, my mind takes that thought in every direction possible. And what really annoys me is that even if that thought initially starts in a good place, the opposite argument soon raises its ugly head and before I know where I am, I’m feeling as glum as Murun Buchstansangur. So then I think, ‘how on earth did I get to thinking this?’, and I think about that for a bit and soon I’ve completely forgotten about what it was I was thinking about in the first place and make my head hurt trying to think what I was originally thinking.
I’ve tried not thinking – but have you ever tried not thinking? It’s impossible. The more I try to stop thinking, I find myself thinking about not thinking. Someone once told me to try meditation by thinking of a subject to concentrate on and then only thinking of things related to that subject. I picked snow as my subject. Snow boots, snow balls, snowmen, snow business like show business like snow business I know. But it was snow good – however hard I tried, my brain just wandered constantly through a list of mental images I was creating. Admittedly some nice images as I’m rather fond of the cold white stuff but hard as i tried I just couldn’t stop thinking.
In a moment of self-analysis and wondering where all this incessant thinking started, I remembered how as a child I couldn’t stand to eat meat. The fact that my mum usually overcooked it so it resembled shoe sole (sorry mum!) probably didn’t help but I used to chew it and chew it until it was just a bit of rank grey sinew that I just couldn’t bear to swallow. And I’d end up in tears, the last one at the table being refused pudding because I hadn’t eaten my meat. This is kind of how my brain works. I take every thought and chew it over until it’s just mental gristle.
The thing that frustrates me more than anything though, is having to live in a world where so many people hardly seem to think at all. One part of me envies them – their lives must be so much easier never thinking about things before doing them or analysing the things they’ve done afterwards. The other part of me hates their time-wasting stupidity and willingness to create needless tasks that could easily be avoided if only they thought more.
But despite the annoying stuff, thinking has its up-side too. My imagination is my favourite personal attribute. With it I can live any life I want and without it all I’d get is what the real world lets me have. And day-dreaming has to be one of the best ways to pass the time when you’re doing drudge tasks. Plus thinking about better, quicker ways to do essential but dull jobs means I have more time to think about what to do next. Or to think about who which cartoon Sarah Palin reminds me of – and I finally got it: Peggy Hill from King of the Hill. Google her and you’ll see what I mean.
Enough thinking for now. I’ll leave you with a little saying my sister always used to come out with whenever I said I was thinking about something – Thought thought his feet were sticking out of the end of the bed so he got out and went to have a look. Think about it.