I’m All Ears and Hot New Snyapses

Photo by Crashcandy

Photo by Crashcandy

I’ve had several surprises since I began this quest to stop brain drain and gain better sleep.

Yesterday, I didn’t use my right hand. I agree with digipicsphotography’s  comment that a person learns clever work-arounds employing the rest of the body. Today, I was surprised to find that I still used toes and elbows to turn on lights and open doors, even though I could use my hand. Wow. I engaged or renewed some brain pathways and actually allowed my brain to start producing some new growth molecules. WhooHoo.

Today’s experiment was to try not to speak . I expected to become a better listener since I was taking myself out of the equation. I discovered nothing about my brain, but a lot about other’s actions.

A number of people didn’t communicate with me. They weren’t rude, but if they couldn’t use the spoken word, they really didn’t try much beyond, “Hello” or “Are you sick.”

For the two who did engage me in a bit of conversation, they had a great deal of patience, waiting while I scribbled out a note, then waiting again because they couldn’t read it and I had to do a rewrite.

I found I scribbled very few notes. It was tedious to write; therefore I was more selective about what I wanted to express.

It was frustrating at times. But it made me realize how often I’ve avoided engaging folks that had speech impediments, heavy accents, or (I’m embarrassed to say…) stories that I’ve heard too many times.

I knew the kernel of truth in this experiment, but I guess I had to be on the receiving end to make it blossom in my conscious. I realized that when folks genuinely tried to understand me—whether through notes, mime, or signing, it felt like a gift. A gift of their time and affirmation.

Wouldn’t that be a sweet gift to give to every friend, relative and new acquaintance? I hope I keep the residual effects from this experiment.

Tomorrow: I’m driving somewhere I’ve never been before and buying groceries in a strange store. I hope they have chili beans for Friday’s surprise experiment. And…

I’ll use my non-dominant hand to operate the computer mouse, tomorrow. According to “Neurobics” (exercises for the brain), If it’s uncomfortable and awkward, then practicing will help develop new neural pathways.

Join me.


About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Hope, Sleepless Nights, Smiles and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I’m All Ears and Hot New Snyapses

  1. Rose Lefebvre says:

    I sure did miss your voice, and though I tried, I could not get you to speak!!
    You dashed out too quickly and had wanted to show you something on my computer. Oh well….


  2. Alice Lynn says:

    You are such an amazing woman that I never know what to expect, except the unexpected! I was so busy, zooming around like a fly on Raid yesterday, that I didn’t stop to really try to “talk” with you. mea culpa But I have read your blogs now and will try to do better. What an insight on disability.


  3. Roxie says:

    So would you like to learn how to knit? Or weave? Or spin? New muscle experiences and new brain connections.

    Interesting how a physical handicap can cause handicaps in other people. A, “I don’t know what to say to a deaf person,” sort of thing. They’re a person. Make eye contact and say what you like.


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