Yesterday was filled; we’re restoring the house. Three painters (banging metal ladders against the house) ran out of trim paint and needed me to buy more NOW, the tub re-enameller needed help from the painters to haul the tub upstairs NOW, I jammed my toe straight into a rock OUCH, had to plan a monster shopping spree for a dinner party at 7:00, go to Back-To-School for my son and pick up the dogs’ prescription. All this before noon.
Life, just as it is, is overwhelming. A new study shows that we are bombarded by the equivalent of 174 newspapers of data a day. 25 years ago, that number was more like 35. One hundred years ago, you were lucky to have read 50 books in your entire life. Today? By 10 years old, most kids have seen 100 movies. Boil all this down? Between email, twitter, Facebook, magazines, radio, Netflix, billboards, Yahoo, and your thumb drives, the vast amount of stimulation coming at you is enough to yell, “Tilt!”
Is there a saturation point? When your mind just can’t possibly take in one more bit of information? The same scientists who gathered the aforementioned data don’t know the answer to that query. Maybe our minds have a saturation point, when our brains pop from being just too full of crappy info. As if one day, unbeknownst to us, we’ll hit that split second when our cerebral hard drive is just so jammed full of texts and tweets that BOOM. It’s over.
Those neuropsychiatrists don’t know if we’ll blow - but I think we do.
It may not be a statistical answer. It’s a personal one. A whisper that bubbles up from your small, inner voice, “If you don’t slow down…”
I heard that whisper just yesterday, after cabinetmakers, repairmen and painters had gone home from the day. The dinner party was in front of me but Django, my boyfriend’s 9-year-old son snuggled next to me on the couch as I wrote on my to-do list. He laid his sweet hand on my lap and I stopped.
“Can I draw on you?”
“Sure!” Django said, turning his forearm up as a canvas.
That’s all it took. The fleshy forearm of a little boy to stop the world. One long doodle, chit chat about a bird he saw in the backyard, what he found in his backpack, the song he’ll sing in the school play.
When I was done with his ornate doodle, he leaned forward and studied it carefully.
“Just the tattoo that my arm needed,” he muttered.