Really, I swear I am. In fact, it seems I spend most of my life staring off into space trying to force the gears to turn. Usually I just get a horrible grinding sound and then–nothing. I used to be able to carry on a phone conversation, an IM conversation, read my email, and make notes to myself about my latest literary endeavor at the same time. Now I’m lucky if I can carry on a phone conversation and do the dishes without those long, embarrassing pauses that last until whoever I’m talking to says, “Uh… Carolynn?”
I’m not even entirely sure where my brain goes. I know some mothers report their minds wander in pursuit of such philosophical dilemmas as “Is my toddler ready to poop on a real toilet? Because if not, I’ve gotta figure out a way to keep those diapers from stinking up my bathroom.” My mind, on the other hand, just takes a little hiatus, forgetting to leave a forwarding address. It’s an unsettling feeling for someone who is used to having her mind constantly racing to suddenly come upon a blank. It’s the same feeling you get when you’re running along and all the sudden there’s a cliff–WHAT?! Where’d the ground go and where the heck do I go next?
Maybe I should start taking herbal supplements to fix my head; that’s supposed to fix the hormonal imbalances supposedly responsible for my sudden disconnects. Another suggestion I’ve gotten is that I’m just too stressed out, so I ought to just relax–as if I can push a button and suddenly be carefree. Others tell me I need to make more lists (that excuse, at least, got me a nice new cell phone with calendar capability. Really, who needs coherent thought when they can keep their brain in their pocket?). My husband doesn’t have any suggestions. I suspect he finds it amusing when his normally verbose wife cuts off mid-sentence and stares blankly at that grape juice stain on the carpet.
My personal theory is that my brain is simply trying to get some of that rest it feels it so richly deserves. After all, it’s up all day and a good portion of the night. Maybe my body held a meeting and decided that since most of me can’t grab naps as frequently as would be ideal, my brain would be the one responsible to make sure we rest. It does work. I not only stop talking, I stop moving. In fact, I’m kind of surprised that I don’t drop things.
Perhaps what I should do is advise my brain to gather all its blank spots for a month, and we’ll go have a spa day together. Then I can blank out all day because the nice girls will tell me where to go next, and my brain can have the break that it’s obviously dying to have. Yes, I like this suggestion. Excuse me, I think I’ll go try and talk my husband into this before one of those brain breaks makes me think what I really wanted was a day in the kiddie playland at McDonalds–