One of the more odd parts of my personality is I have what I think can best be described as a hyperactive brain. It doesn’t mean that it is smart, just that it well needs constant attention. Yes, seriously.
What I mean is that I go crazy if for more than a few seconds I am in a situation where I have not go something to do mentally. Hell on earth for me is being stuck on a plane with nothing to read or watch or someone to talk to.
But it is not just for long trips. If I’m in a taxi I’ll reread yesterday’s newspaper or start ringing people on my cellphone during the trip, even if only five minutes. I will read a book while waiting in a five minute queue.
If I am having to eat alone at a hotel, I will take a book to dinner so I stay sane between ordering and eating. On a plane I not only will open up and work on my laptop during the flight, I’ll also need something to read during the few minutes of descent – yes I even start re-reading the safety cards or memorising the statistics for the aircraft I am on. That one hour trip literally takes 3,600 seconds if I have nothing to do during the trip. I’ll even start counting backwards from 3,600 just so the brain is engaged and not in neutral.
My brain also likes to multi-task, in fact almost insists on it. I often read a book while also watching television (and yes I do recall both) – sometimes I will even work on the laptop, read a book and watch TV at the same time (book reading while waiting for laptop to perform a calculation etc). A few weeks ago after a meeting, one of the people there mentioned to me how astonished they were because I was the most active participant in the three hour discussion, but the next day they noticed I also blogged half a dozen posts during the meeting.
I can not fall asleep easily. And I can not handle just lying in bed while trying to sleep. So if by myself, I will *always* read a book until I fall asleep reading it. If I have nothing to do for ten minutes I will go to Wikipedia and start reading random articles.
I am fine when with someone else because talking to them fulfills my needs. Hence I love talking to people and catching up with people. My worst fear would be solitary confinement in prison – I would go insane quickly (except if I could spend all my time plotting how to break out and get revenge on whomever put me there).
At ad breaks on television, I will phone people to fill in the four minutes (270 long seconds on average the ad breaks are). On long car trips I may end up phoning everyone from A to Z. As I read exceptionally quickly I will sometimes take over a dozen books to read on overseas trips, and even for a two day trip to Auckland (where I currently am) I will take two books with me
The one exception to this constant need for visual and audio stimulation is when I am out in the wilderness. There is something magical about just having such natural beauty around me, that I can just relax and enjoy the scenery. That’s one reason it is great to live in NZ.
Anyway just thought I would share that aspect of my personality. Yes I know it is almost an obsessive-compulsive disorder, but trust me it can’t be changed. And on the plus side it means I get to do a lot of stuff!