The Bitch Slap: Just…Shut Up

Bitch Slap shut upYou can’t be quiet for a single second, can you?

Blah-blah-blah all the damn time. You’re like a Speak-and-Spell that’s stuck on Speak with the string snapped in two.

Seriously? You can’t take a single moment to shut the hell up and leave me alone?

Yeah, Brain. I’m talking to you. You’re getting Bitch Slapped.

I’m incessantly guilty of Busy Brain. It rarely shuts off and if I give it an inch, it’ll take a yard. A few weeks ago, I started doing hot yoga. Part of the so-called allure of said practice is the ability to tune-in and (ahem) quiet Brain down and connect to whatever convoluted Humble Tree Swan Dive pose you’re asked to assume. Well, it’s pretty difficult to tune into a pose when all you can think about is not tipping over and you’re looking around the room in sheer awe of the exact posture the other eleven people have achieved with their left foot.

I fill my days and I tell Brain it’s HIS responsibility (yeah, my Freudian triumvirate is distinctly “dude”) to deal. He assumes his responsibility with prowess, but not a whole helluva lot of efficiency. Ya see – he never stops. He’s always dealing.

And here’s the thing: Brain needs to take a vacation. The little fucker has eight weeks of paid vacay on the books and hasn’t seemed to take a single day. Is your Brain the same way?

I’ve had to come up with ideas to outsmart Brain – beat him at his own game. Because honestly, I can’t understand why the guy won’t go to a movie or grab a drink with the guys on occasion. He’s a clingy little bastard and I really would like it if he’d leave me alone every now and then.

I can think things to death – it’s times like those where the writing comes in handy. Dumping Brain onto the page seems to help (yet inevitably gets me thinking about other things).

How do you deal with Brain?

Every Bitch Slap in this series begins with ME and my experiences. This week, I’m wondering if you’ll join me in Operation Get Brain the Fuck Out of Town.

I’m getting better at leaving my shit at the door when I walk into yoga, but I need to get better at socking my shit away during other times in the day. I’ve never really understood why I can spend so much time toiling over something or other but less time cleaning my damned office. Is toiling really so much more enjoyable than producing tangible results? My office is screaming for a maid and I’m somewhere screwing around with Brain worrying about something or other.

It’s time to send Brain to Tahiti. Tell him (or her – whichever yours might be) to pack it up and move it out. You need your sleep, your YOU time. And wouldn’t it be delightful to spend that YOU time doing something other than standing by as Brain does his workaholic thing?

Consider yourself slapped, Brain. I’m onto your bullshit and buying you a season pass to Six Flags. You need to get out of the house and leave me alone every now and then. And between you and me, I hope you throw up a little bit on the roller coaster.

39 comments
Shelly
Shelly

I have not found an effective way to deal with brain either... but I'd love to figure it out... so I am ALL FOR "Operation Get Brain the Fuck Out of Town" :)also - I say He can stay here and I should go to Tahiti...

The Redhead
The Redhead

Oh, I keep money out of my head at all times. Sex? Good luck on getting THAT to vacate!Thanks for stopping by, Serge :)

Serge
Serge

Please don´t be so harsh on the brain. It´s not his? her? fault but ours becuase we want to cram as much crap as possible into such a small space (remember you are what you are thanks to your brain). The important thing is to stop thinking about all the prestige, money, good looks, sex, food, work, deadlines, words, arguments... and start daydreaming a little. Daydreaming and remembering the good stuf is good: http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-brain-20100... . Reminds me of those commercials where they offer you some natural plant shit to calm you down and the only one who calms down is the smart guy who sell the stuff ($$$).

Shauna Stacy
Shauna Stacy

Your brain's kryptonite is *meditation.* It does not matter what kind you practice, if it's spiritual or not, just start.In the meantime, you're just going to have to listen to your needy brainboyfriend. :)

Natalia M. Sylvester
Natalia M. Sylvester

That's genius. I read your reply right before going to bed last night so I tried it. Didn't make it past C before passing out (for some reason I only stuck to veggies and completely forgot about fruit. Oh well. Still works :)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Laughing...All I can see is a roadside cleanup crew of Brains. :)

Carole
Carole

< I’ve never really understood why I can spend so much time toiling over something or other but less time cleaning my damned office.>Lucky you. My brain bitches and moans about my messy house, so I drag out the vacuum and waste an hour or so cleaning up, during which my brain whines at me that we're going to go broke if I don't quit fucking around and get my ass back to business. I'm the one who deserves a vacation. He needs six weeks with a rake and an orange shirt doing community service.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Good for you, Claire :) Way to go get your YOU time!

The Redhead
The Redhead

It's possible your gnomes know my gnomes...

The Redhead
The Redhead

I have used the fruits and vegetables game. I lie in bed at night and go through the alphabet naming fruits and veggies that begin with each letter. Pretty soon, I *do* forget whatever I was thinking about! produce therapy.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Welcome, stepchild :) We're gonna get along just fine.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Well, that's just how I think of my brain! Don't really have any other explanation. :)

Fastskiguy
Fastskiguy

why do you refer to your brain as "him"?

Natalia M. Sylvester
Natalia M. Sylvester

Is your Brain reading my Brain? Because mine never shuts up either. It answers work emails in my dreams and thinks about blog posts and new ways to market my business as I walk my dog in the park at sunset (meanwhile, I'm like, HELLO?! How are you not seeing these beautiful hot pink splashes of sky?!)I'm taking small steps to make it shut up. I've booked a real vacation for the end of this month. I'm thinking of trying meditation. And honestly, what absolutely always works for me is reading a damn good book. I know technically that means Brain is still thinking, but it's thinking about other far off places and I like it when it gets out of my head every once in a while. Let us know if you find anything else that works!

Sarah
Sarah

Guys, you know who can beat Brain at its own game? Brawn! I mean, serious exercise. I tried yoga too because of the stress in my job but it didn't work so now I'm off to the swimmming pool every morning (evening too in emergencies) to do some serious competitive-level swimming. With slow things like yoga you can still think, forget it!

Matt Meeks
Matt Meeks

Yet another excellent post, Erika. Must be going around-I just came across a TED talk by Stefan Sagmeister about the power of time off: http://www.ted.com/talks/stefan_sagmeister_the_...I've been thinking for a while that I spend far too much time thinking and far too little time DOING and far, far too little time BEING. As the saying goes, were are human beings, not human doings. I think we could all benefit from turning our brains off for a while, or at least turn them to pursuits other than what we do for a living, or minutia like cleaning the office. Mine looks like a bunch of asshole gnomes threw a party, followed by a small tornado, then some shithead dumped a truckload of paper recycling into it. Maybe it's time to take time off working and do some mindless cleaning.

Claire Wagner
Claire Wagner

I have that monkey mind the Buddhists refer to. Same thing. The only thing that shuts it off is going to the baseball park (not a big sports nut so I still don't get this AT ALL but it works) or singing in a choir (so much focus required). But my husband and I were just talking this AM about needing a real shut-off/disconnect/don't-think vacation like a cruise or all-inclusive resort. Dumb down and zone out.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Seriously - don't some companies FORCE people to take accumulated vacation?!?! BRAIN - OUT - NOW!

Cherry Woodburn
Cherry Woodburn

Fantastic post. I don't have to read the other comments to know that they're all saying "yea, me too". I can get it to stop sometimes during yoga but not always. People say meditate and I agree but if Brain is on a roll, meditation is NOT happening. Even if bitch slapped. Loved the built up vacation line. Cherry

Dawn Barnhart
Dawn Barnhart

I am afflicted with the exact same Brain - altho mine tends to switch genders, I think - don't ask me why.I've tried the yoga bit, the exercise bit, every little bit I can think of, and Brain keeps on keeping-on. I'm with Jim above, usually the only way to make it shut the hell up is a lovely little pill. If you ever figure out a better method - I'm all ears (and Brain).

jim
jim

Sometimes the only way I can shut my brain up is to feed it a sleeping pill.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Sylvia - we are truly fortunate to have "the page" to vent our busy brains. Who *are* these people who sleep late on the weekends???

The Redhead
The Redhead

OK, the Kanye West reference scores you 17 Random Redhead Points. #WIN

The Redhead
The Redhead

Damn - you have Busy Brain, too? Lordy. Imaging what all our brains could do if they got together!

Dean Fitzpatrick
Dean Fitzpatrick

I think most writers can relate to that...it's just a function of your right brain orientation. So smile: you're one of the lucky ones! Sure it's mind numbingly aggravating at times to not be able to get a handle on your thoughts, but imagine having the alternative: "linear" wiring is patently BORING!! The key, of course, is to "embrace the waste (brain inefficiency, lack of focus, etc.)" How do I handle it? Well, you know the 'ole "priority management system" they taught back in the day? You know "do, delay, delegate, or drop". Yeah, that one. Well, of late, I've been droppin' $%*t like crazy!! 10:00 a.m. status meeting? Not gonna happpen. Class starting at 4:00pm? In my Kanye West voice "I'ma be late for that!" Has it been effective? I don't know, but it sure as hell feels good!

Frank Dickinson
Frank Dickinson

good god - yesterday afternoon I thought I was gonna go freakin' made because so much shit was going on in the old noodle.I'm with ya -->shut the hell up every no and again!

Sylvia
Sylvia

Yeah, I know exactly where you're coming from. I wake up in the morning and it's there, running at 100 miles per minute. Going back to sleep on a Sunday when I actually could do that? Not a chance in hell! It makes me crazy, and yes, I too think things to death, and it has brought me some not-so-very-nice situations. You are also correct in saying that writing helps. If we didn't write, our heads would have exploded a long time ago.

The Redhead
The Redhead

I often think about how I think too much, too. BLAST!

The Redhead
The Redhead

I will keep slapping if you keep reading. Thanks for stopping by! *smack*

Jane
Jane

Amen. I, too, have started going to yoga for a little dose of zen. It has certainly helped, but I have a habit of overthinking and overcomplicating every detail of my life. The worst part is, I am so aware of this so then I just get lost in thinking about how I think too much. Today's bitch slap is well deserved and needed. Merci.

The Redhead
The Redhead

I don't think our brains are actually getting any action - it's more akin to dry humping, methinks. ;-)

Dlschubert
Dlschubert

OMG, your brain and my brain must be mind fucking together. Mine (a female) never shuts the hell up. One way tickets to Tahiti are in order. Sleep sounds like a dream, and thinking of my soon-to-be-ex is a waste of my precious time. Brain? Consider yourself bitch-slapped!

Redheaded Stepchild
Redheaded Stepchild

Amen, sister! I find that doing morning pages à la The Artist's Way (just 3 pages of whatever your brain is thinking) right when I get up helps somewhat. But, yeah, I'm so there with you!

Amy Oscar
Amy Oscar

I am soooo FedExing this to my Brain. Totally worth the extra money for Saturday delivery. Hilarious.

Prplgrl1228
Prplgrl1228

Dude!!! I thought it was ONLY ME!!! Only my doctor wants me to take CRAZY PILLS to make Brain relax and stop not just WORKING but STReSSING and makin me all anxietal and shit. Glad to know I'm not the only one ;o). Look forward to your bitchslaps every week!! Thanks for sharing Erika! A Very Prplgrl, a.k.a. Ellie Lucas

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