It’s 3:00 A.M.
Why am I awake? Because when I close my eyes a random slideshow of words, tasks, and images scrolls across my mental screen so fast it leaves me breathless. My “plate” is full. I wear multiple hats for multiple roles. My to-do list has morphed into a complete set of encyclopedias. Not so different from yours, probably.
Am I complaining? No. But the barrage of information and assignments occasionally leaves me with a wedgitude.
In computer language, a wedgitude describes what happens when your computer attempts to process too many commands, too much input, and just can’t keep up with that most superior of all computer systems, the human brain. Too many jobs, squeezed through one little processor, give your computer a wedgie.
In spite of the amazing abilities of the mind, we’re all susceptible to mental wedgitudes. Marked by delayed response time and an inability to perform basic tasks, or by strange and unusual actions … like being wide awake at 3 o’clock in the morning.
For a computer, the solution is a reboot.
reboot: (From boot) A boot with the implication that the computer has not been down for long, or that the boot is a bounce intended to clear some state of wedgitude. See warm boot. (1995-11-27)
As I understand it (and if I’m wrong my 15-year-old will certainly correct me), when you turn on the computer, the boot process triggers a fixed sequence of instructions that load the operating system, Windows, for example. Most of the time, a reboot wipes away whatever commands were clogging up the processor. You risk losing unsaved work, but a reboot gets the system moving again.
Do you ever have so many things on your mind you wind up doing nothing because you can’t figure out where to start? You’re in need of a mental reboot.
Sleep is the brain’s natural method of rebooting itself. Those weird dreams with their disjointed characters and scenes are thought to be the mind’s way of filing information received throughout the day. It keeps the system from getting backlogged with bits and pieces of information received. That’s why we feel “refreshed” after a nap. Why the favored response to any complaint, whether it’s a difficult decision or a bad experience, is “you’ll feel better after a good night’s sleep.”
But what do you do when sleep doesn’t come easily? When you’re so worked-up with, well, work, your brain can’t even shut itself down?
You hit CTRL-ALT-DEL. (Sorry, Mac people, I’m a PC user.)
This magical combination of keys brings up the Task Manager. From Task Manager you can identify the processes that created the wedgitude and shut them down, one at a time, until things start moving normally again.
Fear, worry, stress, anger, unforgiveness, guilt, grief, physical discomfort, or a simple failure to prioritize will bog down the human processor. Insecurity about a new job or anxiety about an uncertain outcome can put your mind on overload. Or it may be a bad case of TMI (Too Much Information.) That’s information your brain can’t file away without further instructions.
It’s 4:20 now, and my eyelids are getting heavy.
I’ve got some ideas about where my current wedgitude came from: we signed papers tonight to put our house up for sale and make an offer on a much smaller fixer-upper that will be something of an adventure in family adaptation; my eldest son’s intense dislike of the idea; where to find a purple sofa and how to remodel a kitchen; why I lost a follower on this blog; what to blog about next week; fitting a visit to the chiropractor into my budget today so that my head will turn properly again; the conversation I had with my Dad tonight; etc.
Nothing dramatic, no major crises, but enough information, apparently, to interrupt my processor.
(YAWN) I think I can head back to bed now. But before I do, I’m going to hit my own personal CTRL-ALT-DEL, which will involve a few minutes with my owner’s manual and a direct link to my heavenly Task Manager. My day will start a little later than I’d like, but that’s better than going through the whole day with a mental wedgie.
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”
1 Peter 5:7, The Amplified Bible