Emptiness… When the cup is full, it becomes empty. Managing a full mental cup

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A full cup

When it’s empty, you end up beneath the surface. I can have several ideas and inspirations in the morning, but then the cup fills up with the buzz from the surroundings, the dog’s demands for attention, and questions from my family about this and that. Suddenly, my creative brain shuts off. It’s empty of ideas

The worst part is that I can’t even remember what those ideas were about. I’ve long thought about writing down my thoughts and compiling them into a book. The morning walk gave me the idea for a title. Now, after my son’s half-hour chatter about some boxer in a game, I can only remember one word, Troll. I don’t even recall how I contemplated the relevance of trolls in my life, but just an hour ago, there was a whole concept with a script for several chapters in my mind. Now it’s just empty. Maybe it’ll come back when I have time to relax and recover. I usually need to hit the reset button to succeed in that.

Going down, below the surface when it becomes empty

My wife finds it irritating; my go-to reset these days is playing a computer game by myself for half an hour to an hour. Most of the time, my brain kicks back into gear, sometimes not. I believe it’s the distraction that’s needed. When I was younger, I used to watch TV for an hour in the afternoon with the same effect. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work anymore as most TV programs have become more fluff than substance. It might be because I’ve grown tired of TV, but I’m pretty convinced that the increasing quantity of programs contributes to the decline in quality by a similar proportion. Already in 1999, the trend was clear; we had gone from two major TV channels to perhaps 30 in about ten years. Today, streaming services have exploded in number, and the quality has again dropped.

I understand that my wife gets annoyed when I spend over an hour playing a computer game, but the alternative isn’t better in my world. A book in the same time, while it does reset me, also makes me very tired. TV works only a few hours a week, and I never get to watch undisturbed when I really need it. Listening to music would probably work, but I’m the only one in the family who appreciates it, and wearing headphones isn’t sustainable in the long run.

She thinks I should lie down and rest instead; it’s her solution when life gets too tough. The problem with resting is that it only pauses my brain; I can’t restart it.

Small dresser that I have done my magic on.

When my creative brain comes to life, I know things will come out of it—ideas about bookshelves, house constructions, the garden, moose hunting, improvements in the work environment, reorganization proposals, selling spots in the store, birthday parties, new decor, and a lot more.

When the brain shuts down, it’s incredibly tough, staring blankly into nothingness, knowing that I had an idea of what to do and how, but now it’s gone, is incredibly frustrating. Suddenly, only the basics work, and I go from having an IQ of 129 to maybe 80 at best. Doing the dishes at those times is practically impossible unless I had labeled all the drawers in the kitchen with content labels.

The first time I attempted the train driver test, I was in that state, IQ 80. Wondering what the train driver test is? Well, it’s an entrance exam that you must pass to undergo training as a train driver. A kind of intelligence test with several parts similar to the various sections of a university entrance exam. You have to match and see connections in various logical images, language understanding, etc. As you might understand, it didn’t go very well, and I was incredibly frustrated because those were questions and tasks that I knew I could easily handle if my brain was just switched on. Maybe it’s like that for everyone in everyday life sometimes, but you might not reflect on it as long as you don’t crash your car into a divider or miss getting off at the right subway station. My roommate for a few years was often like that without having a troll diagnosis. It was very entertaining when he forgot where he parked his car and then reported it stolen or when he tried to unlock the door to the neighbor above and called to ask if I had changed the lock. For my part, it’s just tough when I don’t get the chance to do a reset or when I have many days in a row with a constantly full cup. It’s at those times that I forget to pay bills, return the book to the library, or forget my wife’s birthday.

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