Brain space

I have a concept in my mind that both makes sense to me and doesn’t – the concept of “brain space”. It’s a lot like the idea of spoons, where you only have so much energy in a given day and you need to choose wisely what to spend your spoons on. It’s similar with brain space where I have different hobbies, chores, and interests that I’d like to do every day, but I feel the need to deeply prioritize because each activity takes up a certain amount of real estate in my mind.

I experience black and white thinking as a result of past experiences and mental illness. All or nothing. This or that. I often feel when it comes to things like hobbies and interests that I need to either pour my heart into it or don’t do it at all. I know this is flawed thinking, and I attempt to correct it with DBT exercises, but it’s kinda just the way my brain works. It also comes down to brain space.

I feel like I only have room for a certain amount of interests in my daily life. I need time to rest during the day because of fatigue and often severe drowsiness due to medication side effects. I need to factor in my relaxation/recharge time each day. This time doesn’t include a nap, which I often take a short one during the day to then sort of reset my brain. The idea of brain space for me is like that of a computer. There’s components like the hard drive or solid state drive, the RAM (memory), the power supply, etc. that make up your computer. The brain has a similar structure, so to speak. My hard drive can only juggle a certain amount of things per day.

What this means is that when I pick up a hobby or get more serious about a current endeavor, I feel the need to “offload” or even “delete” other interests. All or nothing. Black or white. This or that. I have been going through this a lot again lately. I keep trying to narrow down what I want to focus on most. What is most important. Then go at it full force. I know that this type of thinking doesn’t exactly serve me, but at the same time it makes me feel less scattered and random. It makes me feel like I have certain goals and I am working toward them. So, whenever something new and shiny comes along, this is what I do. I reevaluate. I plan. I think. I obsess. What is most important to me? What can I change to streamline my day? How can I be more effective?

I think about offloading older hobbies. I’ve always been the type of person who does a lot of different things, but I’ve wanted to be the type of person who is great at a couple of things, not a Jack of All Trades. There are many hobbies and interests I’ve had over the last several years – which I’ve been pretty good at but didn’t pursue with much dedication – and I feel like I’m ready to narrow it down. I’m 30 years old, I’d like to settle on some things a little bit. I know 30 is far from being “old”, but I’m ready to settle on a few things.

I’ve decided on a few things, so far, that might stick: moving my body creatively, gardening, working on self-care, and probably a few other smaller things in the mix. I want to dance with my flow arts – dragon staff (my newest and shiniest flow art), silk fans, rope dart, and my hula hoop of course. I love flow arts. I love moving my body. I workout a few times a week, walk every day multiple times per day. I still have a decent amount of drowsiness and fatigue, so I take breaks when I need to of course, but I try and push through it to do things I enjoy.

I decided that I don’t want to just watch the amazing flow artists on Instagram…I dream about being one of them. I need to work hard at my arts, and that means dedicating more time and energy to my endeavor. Flow arts isn’t just a fun thing for me. It heals me. It helps move emotions through my body. I want to keep doing it because it’s healthy for me, and because becoming proficient at my arts will make me feel good about myself.

So, what then do I offload to give more time and energy to flow arts? I’ve been contemplating it for a little while now. I decided to reduce my blog writing recently. I was finding it difficult to keep up with blogging and my personal daily journal, plus I feel like I don’t have many interesting things to write a daily blog on. I’ve reduced my working in my Etsy shop and I’m reevaluating how I want to run it in the future, or if I want to keep doing it. My shop was taking a ton of time and energy for about a month there, it was overwhelming but not completely in a bad way. I haven’t been selling, so I’m starting to rethink all of it. I am still considering not continuing with belly dancing, even though I like it very much. I don’t put much practice time into it, and I often use that time for other things anyways.

Honestly, reducing these couple of things has already improved my feeling of brain space. I already feel more free in a way to do the other things I want to do. I also need to reduce or stop some things so I have more time to start working on holiday gifts. It’s never a bad time to start on that stuff, especially since I’m crocheting two blankets and making several coaster sets.

It’s going to take more time and thought, but I think eventually I might get my brain dialed in.

How about you? Do you have a similar concept as brain space?

Much love,

~kiti

4 thoughts on “Brain space

  1. I totally get it. I think about how my brain space has changed over the past 30 years. Now it is very much filled more with work and the daily survival stuff. And that stuff really clutter things up.
    I love your committment to your arts. Never lose that!

    Liked by 1 person

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