My Math Test Mind-Pop

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I got a 100 on my math test.

I tell people that on occasion.  Oddly, I’m not taking a math class. Hell, I’m not even in school. Even if I were in school it’s a brag I would have no rights to considering I barely passed math at all.  No, the statement does not apply to me whatsoever. But it is a phrase that pops into my head at the strangest times. So strange that my family and I agreed that when it does, I should just blurt it out so perhaps they can understand and possibly attach reason to my moments of insanity. Here are some of those moments:

– I blurted it to my brother while we walked through the Summerfest apparel tent drinking our beers. The conversation went something like:

Bro:      “I like that hat.”

Me:       “I got a hundred on my math test.”

Bro:

– I’ve said it when standing in the kitchen visiting with family during a holiday gathering.

– And just yesterday I whispered it to myself while walking down the hallway at work. (Better than whispering, “I see dead people.” Especially since I work in a hospital.)

The strange thing about yesterday is that I hadn’t had the phrase “I got a 100 on my math test” pop into my head for at least a year or so. “It’s back,” I thought to myself. After a long reprieve, the nonsensical daydream has returned.

Now, one would think I should be concerned about my sanity. You’d think I would be worried that I was losing my mind. On the contrary.  I already know that’s happening. But while walking down the hall I wracked my brain… “Why here? Why now?” And then it occurred to me. These past couple of years my brain has been in overdrive dealing with some stressful stuff. If my mind wasn’t focused on resolving one stressor it’s because it was distracted trying to deal with another.  But yesterday…yesterday my mind felt free to wander. Finally.

Finally I was in a place mentally where I could take a breather.  But, still curious as to why my mind occasionally wanders to me garnering an A on a math test, I did a little research.

Turns out these random thoughts that spring to mind are recognized by researchers as “mind-pops.” These mind-pops can happen with a word, phrase or image. Rarely can the cues be identified for what’s caused a mind-pop, most likely because they are subliminal. And while the studies of mind-pops are in their infancy, early research suggests that the phenomenon is genuine, common and occurs while people are performing routine activities and the mind is relaxed to wander.

That’s right… “the mind is relaxed to wander.” Hallelujah.

Finally I understand a little more about my mind-pop. Even so, I’m still going to blurt it out when it comes to mind. If, for nothing else, it will remind me and my family that I’m not “cra-cra,” anxious or stressed, but rather perfectly relaxed and comfortable at that moment.  And that, my friends, while not a 100 on my math test, is still a great small feat to celebrate.

I wish for you many mind-pops today.

Do you have a repeated mind-pop? If so, what is it?

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