Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Psych Job

New Year's Day and it's snowing out — again! I cleared the driveway this morning before heading to the kids' for brunch. When we returned three or four hours later, there was more than there had been earlier. Good Wife assumed that I would rush back outside to clear the drive off again but I haven't, for I am rather hoping that Good Neighbour with the blower will come by. She was out when we drove in, but I don' know if she still is. Whatever the answer, she hasn't done ours — yet — but I live in hope.

After reading previous posts, you would be forgiven for thinking that I love and live to shovel snow. In point of fact I don't or not always anyway, but I can usually condition myself to enjoy the activity. However, I was speaking with Althegal, my younger daughter who has a degree in psychology and is working on her Masters, yesterday and she opined that I was experiencing a phenomenon known as Cognitive Dissonance. It is her opinion that my brain is tricking me (in a sense) into enjoying a repetitive, boring, and unpleasant task. Apparently, there are studies to support this kind of occurrence.

While I concede that she might be correct in her assessment, I am inclined to humbly disagree. I think it's an act of will on my part. I will myself to develop an attitude that will result in me enjoying the chore as much as possible, and I try to perform said task in a way that will increase the likelihood that I will, in fact, enjoy it.

I don't think that's my brain playing tricks on me but visa versa. I know that seems to be impossible — to trick my own brain because, by default, it seems pretty darn paradoxical to claim that I can use my brain to trick my brain. But I say that it's a complex organism up there above my neck and that I I have the ability to choose to use the willpower that I can muster in one part of my grey matter to affect how another part of my brain perceives the task. Maybe I'm really using my conscious brain to affect my unconscious brain, which may, in point of fact, be opposite to the occurrence Cognitive Dissonance, but I guess I should leave those ruminations to the experts.

Regardless! I do rather hope that Good Neighbour will still happen by in the next hour or so because old AC is rather tired on this New Year's Day and would love recline in warmth with a good book. But I rather doubt that will be my lot and that I will quite likely be forced to psych myself up again. And I can do it, by golly.


ChrisB said...

Snow has been forecast here for later in the week but it might miss us like last time. It would be nice to have some white stuff but I don't want the work that goes with it!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

When you expand this psychological essay add sections on guilt, duty, and shame that motivate us. You then could blame on your parents your wishing for a "saviour" ( bring in the religious and it gets really complicated) and your reluctance to get one with the job!

I am of the minimalist school of snow removal. To park the car I just take a run at the snow bank and ram it in far enough to be off the road. LOL

Maya's Granny said...

There is a book, "Chop Wood, Carry Water," by Rick Fields that deals with this issue. You might enjoy it.

Donna said...

There's and old Cherokee saying from my Grandfather..."he who sits on butt, does nothing"...LOL I believe you've got all your bases covered!

Anonymous said...

I think you should perhaps take some cookies around to good neighbour. The snow blower will on your drive before you can say "Where is my shovel!"
I hope we don't get any snow... It may be pretty but it's no fun to drive in!

Kathy said...

Happy New Year! :)

I hope you two enjoy the Christmas songs. (i didn't realize it would take that long to arrive..i mailed it the day i asked)

Loved your Christmas photos! Hello to Cuppa for me.