I love my computer. It tries hard. But between you and me, it has a very tiny mind. Mostly, this is not a problem. We stick to one thing at a time and it chugs along fine. But – attempt something complex, (opening 2 programmes at once) and sure as sausages: it panics, freezes and then shuts down.
This is also my brain. Born to uni-task – but no further.
For example: In theory, I have a driving license. In practice it’s been 17 years since I got behind the wheel*. I drive brilliantly – in straight lines, when no-one is speaking. Ask me to perform A Parking Manoeuvre and it’s a different story, (one where all the pedestrians die). Synapses fire – but not the right ones. Instead of parking, I wonder: why is manoeuvre spelt manoeuvre and not manoeuver? Who invented cat’s eyes – and where are they now? What’s the best flavour skittle? (Green). What’s that honking noise? Chillax people: there are lots of tasks in my head and I’m sorting them through.
But it’s not just in the car that my brain falls to pieces. I wake up and before the shower hits my skin, I’m drowning in choices. Have I sent those letters? Is it going to rain? What happens when I die? When is the hospital appointment? What cereal should I eat? Did we transfer the money? Who’ll collect my mum? What should I say to X? Are the cats getting enough protein?
All these questions seem equally important. All of them are urgent. But like the computer, they send me into overload. I panic, freeze and then shut down.
- I follow my heart, (which is lost)
- I’m frightened of a life I can’t control so I focus on what I can. This means there is no small stuff and all of it is sweaty. Every decision is scary and every consideration is big. This means
- I must make the Right Choice – but I’m paralysed by indecision.
- Instead of talking to my fears I listen to them.
- I need distraction because my real fears are too big to face. So
- I look to circumstances to make me safe. I obsess about yoghurt and coconut water – because in the face of death and disease, THIS IS ALL I GOT.
If I won’t trust God, I gotta put my faith in something else. But nothing else stands up.
*I passed first time. But driving home, I was distracted mid-whoop by other cars flashing and honking, (presumably to offer congrats). Turns out I was going the wrong way down a dual carriageway: fastest 7-point turn ever.