Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Empty Head

I suspect that men are different from women. Duh! Why don't you just state the totally obvious. Actually, I'm thinking about how men and women think. I recently saw a PBS special that claimed women are constantly thinking, even when at rest, and men's brains are typically quiet when at rest. Actually, what the PBS guy said was that a man's brain at rest was typically empty, waiting for stimulation.

At the time, I thought, "Wow, that doesn't sound like me. I'm thinking about stuff all the time." And actually, it feels true. At least part of the guy species are always thinking about a project, a plan, something interesting to learn, or a fantasy.

Now I will admit that what I'm thinking about doesn't have much to do with my emotions or how I feel about stuff, so maybe my thoughts wouldn't register on the PBS science guy's scans. But these thoughts, these plans and projects, keep me busy and interested all the time. I look forward to thinking about them like looking forward to reading a good book. I might be having a nice conversation with you, but in the back of my mind, the ongoing story is just sitting there waiting like I've pushed the pause button and it will start up again the first time there is a spare moment.

This on-going commentary in my head has been a nearly constant companion for all of my life. Those rare moments when its not available seem strange and disconnected. Actually, I'm going through one of those blank periods in the last few weeks. In part, I'm writing about this in hopes that the act of writing about it will get me off center, bust me out of my writer's block in that small commentary inside my brain.

There is nothing special going on in my life. Nothing unusual. I'm plenty busy at work, doing interesting work. I have a new co-worker that I'm getting to know and its even a little unusual because its a women engineer (a married mom, naturally). My work is actually quite satisfying in terms of good results and satisfying decisions. Just otherwise blank.

So to you women, the next time you are talking to a man, just be aware that he may have an empty head after all. That condition may be temporary or permanent. And to you guys, here is wishing you the next project, plan, or fantasy to keep that inside story going.

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