Sunday, September 20, 2009
Right-Brain/Left Brain: A Recipe for Sanity
I've always been a pretty clear cut right-brainer -- no question. A math-a-phobe from an early age, I've fancifully flitted between interests like acting, writing, beading, and sewing. The single trait that might generate some gossip about my being a closet-leftie is my love of lists. At any given time, I have at least two or three seperate lists filed away in my planner. Ooops....did I just out myself again by admitting to having a planner? Sometimes I may seem a few flakes short of a box of Wheaties, but I actually do a pretty decent job of herding the feral thoughts racing around in my brain and lining them up real pretty-like on a piece of paper (preferably Hello Kitty notepad paper). Maybe because I know that if I don't get those ideas and to-dos out of my noggin and documented somewhere, I would never get anything done. For example, this morning I started my day by creating three lists: a Sunday list, a gotta-get-done-this-week list, and a big-picture list that contains items I don't have to do right away, but are simmering on the back burner. At some point, the simmering will need to be cranked up to a full boil and I'll bring the item to the front burner.
My brain is like the Mission Control of the family -- I suppose most moms play this role. What would happen if I abandoned my lists? Would the kids go to school with dirty clothes and no lunch, denied field-trip participation due to unsigned permission slips? Would the cats grow gaunt and sluggish from lack of food in the pantry? Would the cable company pay a visit to collect the digital box and (perish the thought) the Tivo? I'd like to think my magical Mission Control mom powers are just that important, but I realize that nothing completely crucial would occur if I tossed out my lists. But I like to think that my commitment to classification and calendarocity (do you like the new word I just created? That's the right-brain talking) keeps me and my family on track. When life feels somewhat in order, I can allow my creative side to lace up her roller skates and groove alongside left-brain for a nice, cooperative, disco-ball-illuminated-all-skate.
Right-brain, left brain... I think it's all about knowing your strengths and shortcomings and then finding the perfect recipe to create a tasty fusion that works for you. It's about knowing when to move the pan from the back burner to the front, when to crank up the heat and when to cover the pot. And like lists, writing down recipes is important; however, you have to leave some room for spontaneous, creative spice. And Hello Kitty.