Attuned to the weekend

Happy Independence Day! To commemorate, daughter #2 is in California and daughter #1 has taken two visiting friends to celebrate the 4th with a third friend who now has her own apartment in one of Houston’s trendy neighborhoods. So never mind America, I’m thrilled that I’m raising/have raised two daughters who seem to thriving in their near-adulthood independence.

All in all, it’s been a fairly nerdy weekend. The visiting friends are both engineers, so the house is full of four practicing engineers and me. When I’m with non-engineers, I revel in my engr training/thinking, but when I’m surrounded by them I am constantly reminded why I bailed out of the field. Where are the archaeology majors when you need them?

On Thursday we helped JimO celebrate his 61st birthday with a happy mixture of engineers and non. Held my own with the tech talk at the table, at least in following along if not actively participating. My favorite conversation of the evening was with Jere. She’s more a friend-of-a-friend and I don’t see her often, but we had all been together about a month ago and she had talked with the daughters about their respective career interests. She started a conversation with, “After talking with them, I was attuned to the subject and I saw the most interesting thing on the History Channel about old weapons and archaeologist/engineers who attempt to authentically recreate them.” We then had a great chat around and about that subject, but what struck me for blogging was her comment about being attuned.

I think it’s amazing how the brain filing system works and how all your senses access it. I’m sure this happens to everyone. Someone who’s opinion you value mentions something you never thought of before, and suddenly you notice references to it everywhere. From cars to poetry to people who have been to somewhere to careers in archaeology to small towns to birds. Which feeds back into my thoughts on passion….when you’re passionate about something you continue to notice and you start to act on this “thing”. If it doesn’t grab you, it slowly moves back in the brain filing cabinet and isn’t so readily accessed. Jere might not even have stopped the channel flipping on that history channel show if she had not recently been talking about engineering and archaeology, but instead she found it especially interesting. I find that it happens while reading books, too. There can definitely be a right time/wrong time to read certain books, when the themes/characters can resonate with you and your recent experiences/interests and sometimes you just want to say, “it wasn’t a bad book, I can’t pinpoint anything that was wrong with it, I just wasn’t in the mood for that.”

I realize this entry got a bit rambly, but what I think we all should do is slow down and notice a little more. Maybe try to keep the brain filing system organized with positive stuff towards the front and negative stuff pushed to the back so that the first files our senses rifle thru are positive ones.  Positive thoughts, always learning, follow your passions…three great mantras.

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