Help! My brain switch won’t turn on!

Does anyone else have a brain response switch that flips on and off?  A switch that allows and doesn’t allow you to respond to your emails and comments?

Or does everyone else in the Universe read their email or blog comments and nicely respond within five minutes?  Or within the hour?

My friend, Susie Q, brought this to the forefront this morning.  (Thanks, Susie !)

She had written me a nice email yesterday.  Or the day before.  She asked questions and requested photos.  Then she wrote another nice email this morning discussing something else. When Kathy had not responded in an appropriate time manner she finally asked, “Hey, are you getting my emails?”

Yes, Susie Q.  I am getting your emails.  Except there’s this brain problem.  The switch that says “Respond to your 23 emails and messages and blog comments” is not turned on.

You can’t jump-start these brain switches.  Usually.  Either the switch is on or off.  You have to wait until something magically turns the lever back on.  I never know what that might be. 

It’s a kind of communication switch.  Here’s what happens:  A creative outpouring bursts through the circuits and turns on the switch.  Out comes the blog, the comment, the connector.  The circuits sizzle.  The circuits dance.  Communication hath occurred!

Then…often in my case…the switch turns off. 

(Unless the communication is pressing and needs response immediately.  That flips the switch automatically.)

The brain says, “Wasn’t that lovely communication?  Didn’t we enjoy that?” and then it enters Passive Mode.  It cannot speak unless directly addressed.  That’s not even true.  It cannot speak even as comments, emails or hellos appear.  It remains mute.

It’s interested.  You can’t say it’s not interested.  It is very interested.  It is often fascinated and engaged.   The brain reads and processes and the heart says, “Oh this is so cool!” or “Oh this is so sad” or “Really?  Really this happened?” but nothing translates to turn on the brain switch and respond in written form.

Usually within 24 hours something happens and the circuits open.  What makes them open?  Who can tell?  Suddenly I find myself responding to 23 emails and comments in a flurry of connection. 

You have to respond asap.  Because you know the circuit will shut off soon and you’ll be left mute and silent until the next circuit opens. 

I keep telling myself, “Why even read your emails until you’re ready to respond?  Why not wait until the response circuit is open and then check your email?” 

But something inside must love this mute place of receptivity where no response is possible.  It loves being able to simply receive for a while instead of responding.  It loves holding everyone in a place of love before it responds in words.

So if I don’t get back to you within 24 hours…please be patient.  It’s really not me.  It’s the brain response circuit.  It’s still not open to allow for much communication.

What about you?  Does your brain response circuitry turn on and off?  Or are your responses steady and in-the-moment?  (OK, sometimes my brain responses are in the moment.  Really they are!  It’s just that quite often everything goes into silent receptive mode.)

Susie Q, that response is coming soon.  I promise you it is.  Well, I can’t promise.  But the brain connectors eventually DO turn back on!

P.S.  The worst-case scenario is when the switch turns on and writes a second blog before you’ve even responded to the comments from the first blog.  Then the switch turns off again just as you’re preparing to answer. That is the worst.   (Sorry, yesterday’s commenters…I promise to get to you, too, as soon as the switch turns on again.  Sigh…)

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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26 Responses to Help! My brain switch won’t turn on!

  1. Elisa's Spot says:

    OOOOoooooooooooooooo….i really like today’s pictures thank you for sharing them!

    That child is beautiful too!!

  2. P.j. grath says:

    If only more people had your problem (?), the world would be a much more peaceful place, Kathy. How many people do you know who don’t seem to have an OFF switch at all? And isn’t that exhausting? Forget instant response. Take your time. Well, you are already, so just accept and enjoy taking your time. Unless you’re working on an emergency rescue vehicle, most things in life can wait a while.

    • Kathy says:

      That’s an interesting thought, Pamela. The world would indeed be more peaceful perhaps if we listened more to our inner rhythm and followed its direction. Sometimes I wish I had an “OFF” switch for writing blogs, too, but that doesn’t usually happen… (because it’s so darn fun!)

  3. bearyweather says:

    My brain switch is more muddled … I have been writing a post on fear for over a week and the words are still muddled. Love the picture of the girl.

    • Kathy says:

      Pondering muddled brain switches, bearyweather. Who can figure how and why the brain works half the time? Not me! (although I like to pretend that I know, lol…)

  4. holessence says:

    Kathy – I especially appreciated when you said:

    “But something inside must love this mute place of receptivity where no response is possible. It loves being able to simply receive for a while instead of responding. It loves holding everyone in a place of love before it responds in words.”

    The wait is well worth it when you head and heart are doing this type of dance.

    • Kathy says:

      I think it’s so important, Laurie, for this head and heart dance to work together. We don’t want the head tripping on the heart’s feet and looking awkward, do we? Much better when they partner well!

  5. Robin says:

    Fantastic photos to go with your post. 🙂

    My brain is a mystery to me… lol! When it switches off, it stays off for a long while. That tends to happen more in the winter months.

    I like what P.J. Grath wrote about the world being a more peaceful place if more people were like you. Some folks, it seems, never switch off. It must get tiring.

    • Kathy says:

      This is really interesting to me, Robin. The whole brain subject. But it is a mystery. Haven’t there been studies out which show that when our brain doesn’t shut off and relax, we’re really not as efficient as we think we are? That multi-tasking really doesn’t work as well as we think.

  6. K Odell says:

    that was my last week! I was reading- I just couldn’t engage enough to respond!

    • Kathy says:

      You know, K, just thinking…maybe what we need to do is just accept and honor that there are those times when we’re going to be disengaged and mute. Hey, maybe we’re balancing the frenetic world at those times. Maybe?

  7. Cindy Lou says:

    I like the ‘off’ switch and like Robin – it does tend to hibernate more often in the depths of winter. I’m OK with that.

    Your pictures are beautiful today, Miss Kathy – the lake has been hammering this week, hey?

    • Kathy says:

      The lake indeed has been hammering this week. These pics were taken at Presque Isle last weekend. Oh, I probably already said that. You are lucky to see the lake every day you go to work. I can see the Huron Bay through the trees, though.

  8. Colleen says:

    Kathy, don’t you wonder if this is a necessity, a survivial mechanism of sorts. We’re always so available and accessible in todays electronic world. E-mail, texting, Blackberries and the like, Skype, electonic answering and tracking devices and the list goes on… seems as if we’re on call 24 hours a day. We need that blessed off switch! And holding everyone in a place of love before responding…… it feels as if we’re the ones who are being so very blessed. No other response needed.

    We’re having storms this weekend too but our delta waves aren’t quite as fierce. Lovely water pictures. Brrr….

    • Colleen says:

      When our little grandson was learning to read he kept asking his mom how he could stop. “I can’t stop Mom….how do I stop reading. I always have to read everything. Mom…….. I can’t stop!” He was quite desperate for a while. We’re still laughing about this one.

      • Kathy says:

        That is really funny, Colleen! How sweet…some of us are still saying that, “How do I stop reading?” “How do I stop checking email?” “How do I stop feeling guilty about it?” It’s so good turn off that switch, as you say, and just rest. To hold the world in arms of love. (I am saying this to remind myself…it’s so easy to forget, isn’t it?)

  9. Carol says:

    Oh,I do have that! I hadn’t put it into words other than getting frustrated with myself, but yes, indeed, that’s what happens. Sometimes I’m right there, other times I just don’t have it. So I read blogs, but cannot think of a comment that someone else hasn’t already made. I read my email, but can’t make my fingers move on the keys to form a response. So I flag it and go back later. It usually turns back on within a few hours. I read most of my blogs in the evening and some nights I think my brain has just shut down and doesn’t care to elaborate on what it’s just absorbed.

    • Kathy says:

      It’s good to know we’re not alone, isn’t it? That we all experience this at times…perhaps in different ways, but similar periods of inabilities to comment or share or respond. I tell Barry that I cannot work after 8 p.m. Like if there are outside chores to do. Can’t do it. The body simply won’t turn back on. Likewise, it’s impossible to talk on the phone past 9:30. Mumbled sentences come out.

  10. John says:

    Just a simple Thank You for sharing yourself with us again.

  11. flandrumhill says:

    Dearest, we are similarly afflicted. If I ever figure out what switches the circuits back on I’ll be in touch. In the meantime, I wonder what Dr. Frankenstein would suggest…

    • Kathy says:

      Dr. Frankenstein! Amy-Lynn, you are a Hoot. We will ponder this some more. (Or maybe just accept that this is What Is and wait until our brain circuitry turns on–or off–again.)

  12. Jay James says:

    I know this blog was written a long time ago and i will most likely not get a response but I found this so interesting. I feel like I have a very similar thing but with me it’s in conversation which is annoying because it’s face to face. One on one I’m not as bad (I guess because my brain knows it has to interact or the room will be in silence) but as soon as there is a bigger group (at times) my brain seems to shut off its response systems. It listens and like you said it is fully and completely engaged in what’s going on but even though I may want to reply a lot of the time I can’t. I begin to think about wanting to form a response other than ‘really?’ or a fascinated ‘did it actually?’ but as I think about wanting to respond the moment passes by and then the process goes on loop as it repeats itself for the rest of the conversation. It’s annoying because I’m not a hugely shy person I just wish I understood how I could change this.

    • Kathy says:

      Jay, thanks for sharing what happens to you sometimes. I’ll bet that does feel hugely frustrating at times. Wondering if it’s something you do need to change or if you can just accept that there are times when we’re simply meant to be quiet. The rest of us are just saying “really?” and “did it actually?” but maybe it’s OK to just be silent until an answer decides to come by itself. Conversation passes so quickly in a group. Maybe you can just email the person later and say, “Hey, just wanted to share something additionally…” Just my thoughts this morning. Thanks for reminding me of this long-ago blog which, of course, I’d forgotten even existed!

      • Jay James says:

        Thanks for the reply, i guess that’s very true and the fact that it does only happen every now and again is something that i suppose i can learn to deal with. It’s comforting to know the you’re not alone in situations like this. Thanks for the advice, hope you’re well.

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