Friday, June 15, 2012

The Doorway Paradox

Ever gone into a room and realized you have no idea why you went in there? There's actually a slang term for it: Destinesia. I like that.

We're lucky that we live in a time when all the important questions have already been long since answered. Of course, this leaves scientists and medical professionals with lots of time for figuring out how it's possible to enter a room and have no idea what led you there in the first place. It's good that there's enough money floating around to fund such important research.

Two big theories have emerged from the various studies which I'm sure were tested to every possible detail. The less popular of the two can be explained fairly easy. In the effort to create a "to do" list, your mind is constantly updating your personal schedule. The idea is, that when attempting to complete a task, your mind is instantly jumping to the next thing on the list as well as running through the other objectives even further down. Thus, your brain gets so far ahead of you that when you arrive at the location for task A to be completed, your brain says, "Don't look at me dude, I'm 14 steps ahead of that one."

The other, which is actually all over various websites (look it up!), boils down to your memory. The best way I can explain it is to think of your mind as a camera. When you're in a room, it's constantly taking photos of everything to update you as to where you are. That's pretty stupid. When I'm in the kitchen, I don't need my mindbrain to remind me of my whereabouts by iBraining me a photo of my oven. The process begins again when you enter a new area. So their theory is that doorways create a sort of transitional memory block. Thinking, "Hey I need a fork for my dinner" while in the dining room, might not make it to the kitchen where your brain goes into photo overload (photoverload - that's a good one), causing so much havoc in your memory that you are unable to remember your original task. The experts say that stating your task aloud while you move between rooms can actually help you fight the memory issue. That's why I always announce what I need to do in the bathroom while entering. I don't have time to sit on the toilet for 20 minutes only to remember that I just needed to comb my hair.

My personal fight on this topic has led me to become a big fan of the actual "to do" list. I keep my stuff on a white board in the kitchen. As the boys have grown, I find that I accomplish less and less, but the organization of it really helps me. There's still those moments though....


It's hard to start this story without giving away the ending, so I'm just going to say that through various events I found myself holding Carter. I love my Carter time. William is in a phase where he's not interested in snuggling or things that don't involve screaming. So I guess it's not uncommon for me to wind up holding Carter so I can get my affection fix. Still, he's not exactly my little, tiny, baby boy anymore, so holding him for too long becomes less enjoyable and more workout. Which is why it really bothered me when I was at the top of the stairs holding him for what seemed like no reason at all. He was very content with it all. He smiled and rested his head on my shoulder while I walked from room to room in a desperate search for that magic visual key that would cause the memory to flood back. Perhaps it involved William? I searched his room, which as always was in a state of destruction, but none of the "important" toys were around that couldn't be it. I gave up hope for the upstairs, while Carter remained happy and patted my chest with what I felt was a sense of encouragement. I would figure this out. Downstairs there was nothing new. William was playing in his pile of couch cushions and there was nothing in particular to suggest a reason why I would have found my way upstairs.

I was defeated.

I walked into the family room as best as I could, dodging William's mess which I'm not allowed to clean until nap time. Assuming there would be a nap time. As I went to sit down, Carter got a little fidgety. He had been in my arms for a while by that point and obviously needed a break to just run around. No sooner did his feet hit the ground, then the wave of reasoning crashed around me with a gust of wind that completely enveloped my whole body. I felt like I was given a gentle air hug filled with the sweet scent of.....


I picked Carter back up, who was a little less smiley about round two of the journey upstairs. When his diaper was changed I felt at ease, because that was definitely why I was upstairs.

I think.

All that searching, and the answer was right under my nose.

(I'll be giving out free high-fives to all you pun fans later)

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