(Guys, just change the gender for your brains!)
All in all, I think I have been very good this year.
I have tried to hang in there, processing 400 Billion bits of information/second, day in and day out, occasionally under some pretty harsh conditions. I try to keep going when I am hungry and tired or lonely, but sometimes I make a few mistakes. And sometimes when my pre-frontal cortex wears down, my judgment can be a little off. I am sorry.
I can get a little stuck on some old stories or feelings. And I certainly seem to forget more these days, but I do remember some really weird stuff. Sometimes I let that mean inner critic lady get out of control—she’s been helpful in the past, but she can be a pain, too. And I know more than a few of my 100 Billion cells have quit lately, but I’ve been working to wire together some others.
I work so hard to do my job well, constantly monitoring the external and internal world, to keep my person safe, even when she has wine and chocolate for dinner, or hangs out with that “negative Nancy” person, or decides to run a marathon and solve world peace in one weekend, or even when she goes on one of those crazy lemon-water diets. It’s hard! And sometimes it makes me a little negative or I start that over-thinking thing when my frontal lobe brakes wear down. I am sorry.
Once she’s safe, I try to keep my person aware of what she needs to be satisfied, even when she ignores me. I know she only processes 2000 bits of information/second, but she gets slower when she forgets to eat, sleep, laugh, or hug people enough. When she finally gets quiet, it’s my turn to remind her.
Once I make sure she is safe and satisfied, I try to get her to connect more—to her friends, her family, her values and beliefs, and her community and world. Sometimes this is the hardest part. She can forget how important this is, and how healthy and happy it keeps her. I will work harder on that this year.
I want you to know I can always change and learn to be better! Really! So here’s my big list of what I would like this year. I know I won’t get it all at once, but any small gift is very much appreciated!!!
- This sounds sort of simple, but sometimes my person forgets to take a few deep breaths or move around to get the blood flowing. I love oxygen most.
- Again, sounds simple, but just 1% dehydration reduces my cognitive performance. Sometimes I remind her with a headache, but that’s usually not until I’m really thirsty.
- I kinda need this one to do my job and keep her healthy and smart. My person is one of the 1/3 of Americans not getting enough sleep and this is putting her at risk for so many chronic conditions. I could do so much more with a little more sleep!
- I know this sounds like the same thing, but after I work for 90 minutes, I have a hard time keeping up with neurotransmitters and fuel. When she takes just a little break, maybe even a few nice deep breaths and a stretch (LOVE both of those!), I get to replenish, connect ideas, and make stronger memories. She could try the Pomodoro method. It’s fun!
- ACTIVE RELAXATION. This one is a little different. I just love it when, instead of surfing the internet or plopping in front of the TV, she meditates or does deep breathing or progressive relaxation. All those renewing parasympathetic signals and chemicals feel so good, help me repair my broken connections, and make me less over-reactive or irrational. It’s great stuff!
- SOME GOOD STUFF TO EAT. I make do on anything, but I really love omega-3’s, colorful fruits and veggies, and nuts. I really like whole foods and variety! And since I don’t have any fat or sugar storage, I don’t do as well when she skips meals. Of course, a dark chocolate treat in my stocking would be awesome!
- When my person goes to yoga or takes a brisk walk or goes dancing, I feel those chemicals come flooding in! It’s like Miracle Grow for my wires. I don’t want her to overdo it, and I like variety, even stretches. I just wasn’t designed to sit still all day in front of that computer thing.
- FUN! I love when we do new stuff, especially when we do it with curiosity and playfulness. That helps me explore new ways to wire up and get creative. When my person gets too serious I get lazy and use a lot of old wiring.
- I really need some time. Time to ponder and review what’s working, what’s not, to think about cool stuff I seen or learned, and day dream about what might be is all so wonderful! It let’s me do my best tricks!
- Babies who are loved and touched grow more complex neural wiring to grow up smarter and healthier. I still feel that way! When my person hugs someone, it’s so good for all my 100 billion cells. When she focuses on her connection to the world, I get motivated and help keep her on task.
- I don’t mean everything should be rainbows and roses, but I just love when my person seeks out ways to remind us stay positive and focused on what really matters. That gratitude journal helps me use emotions more wisely.
Santa, I know this is a long list. And of course, I promise I will make the most of every little gift I receive. I will make new connections and help my person make good choices. Each tiny present helps me live longer, work harder, play harder, and keep my person’s body humming along. I love to help her use her smile wiring more!
Thank you for all you do!!!
Xoxox _____’s Brain