Thursday, March 02, 2006

Right Brain vs. Left Brain


Here I sit; amidst my own mess. Papers all over my desk. Looks like a real disaster, right? For some reason this is how I work. I am writing a grant for a nonprofit and am obviously struggling with writers block (hence a switch to a blog entry).

The rest of my life is a sharp contrast. Closets neatly organized, clothes hung in a rainbow and a pantry sorted by the food pyramid. It doesn't stop there--shelves in the garage labeled and directional laminated signs hanging in the attic like it is Target. I am only scratching the surface.

This is what it is, it is my life long battle between right and left brain. I guess most people are a combination, but for me, it seems to be a regular struggle. When I am finished with a project, I neatly package it up in a file folder with a label. But, while I am working on it, I am only comfortable and feeling creative when there is a big mess in front of me. Papers across the desk, all out of order, files on the floor, Post-it notes everywhere.

Honestly, I consider myself to be a creative person. Which, sort of doesn't really fit with my high (and I mean high) need for organization. When I cook, the kitchen is a disaster. The counters are covered and I love it. I get into the creative moment, but all along, I am making notes of how I will tackle the clean-up. The whole time I am planning for the other side--I anticipate the emergence of the "closed" sign on creativity and hear the neon flickering as the "open" sign warms up on my organized side. I tackle all the spots with antibacterial cleaner where I dripped raw meat juice. I methodically stack items that go back in the fridge in one spot and move dishes from the counter to the sink and prepare them before they are sorted into the dishwasher. I really struggle sometimes when someone else cleans up because throughout the meal making process, I have been planning my clean-up strategy.

Okay, so not that big of deal, right (or maybe you are thinking I am much weirder than you thought)? You can be creative and organized I suppose. In fact, I am rather creatively organized. Everything in our house has a place and I certainly like everything in its place. I am one of those people who can walk in the room and tell instantly that something has been moved--even the slightest bit. Within just a few more seconds, I can usually identify what it is.

How to deal? I am not sure. Except to say if you come to my house and see me cooking or working, know that the rest of my life isn't really such a mess. And, if you come to my house and open a closet and think, gee she is organized, know that I don' t work like that, sew like that or cook like that (although I do almost everything else in a highly organized fashion).

Last note, oddly enough, there are actually a few things that should be organized that I need messy--weird, hu? A few activities that would probably take less time if I did them in an organized fashion, but something about them feels better to do them messy.

Which is dominate, my right or left brain? For now, the needs of my life pull more left brain out. While my job requires creativity, it is sometimes bogged down with the "business" side of things. Regular life often requires more left brain responses. But, it is interesting to think about what life would be like if I just let that right brain rule a bit more often!

2 comments:

mary ritti said...

Kris, I just have to tell you how much this made me smile. I am not surprised at all to see you started a blog--for crying out loud you started an underground paper at an private all girl's catholic college! Reading about your color coordinated closet system brought back memories of that closet in the living room of our apartment!

mary said...

Kris, I just have to tell you how much this made me smile. I am not surprised at all to see you started a blog--for crying out loud you started an underground paper at an private all girl's catholic college! Reading about your color coordinated closet system brought back memories of that closet in the living room of our apartment!