Monday, July 11, 2011

The CEO Decides, Part 1

It's been almost three months since the kitchen fire. Three months, and yesterday I finally got the small set of cabinets cleaned up and put back in place. One of our kitchen bar stools was the perfect size to hold the cabinet while I placed it.

Sometime this week I'll do the remaining touch-up to the cabinet finish, yet another distraction and postponement of the bathroom project.

In the meantime we've sprung a new ceiling leak near the top of the stairs. The leak is situated is such a way that suggests its origin, which is never a sure thing, especially with older houses like this. So I got the bright idea, despite my intense fear of heights, to crawl up on the roof with a water hose and spray one place and then another while Cheryl waited and watched from inside. We settled on the strategy that she would shout the word "Nothing" again and again until some drops appeared.

My acrophobia extends back into early childhood, back to some event that wired my baby brain with a life-time warning about falling. I suspect I fell off a table and whacked my baby head on the floor, and because this theory serves to explain other aspects of my behavior, I have no reason to suspect otherwise.

Anyway, I've been reading a book about the brain. One interesting notion is that the conscious mind is like a corporate CEO, just there to make the big decisions while the vast array of specialized employees (the unconscious mind) do the real work (like breathing and seeing) in anonymity. As a result, the CEO thinks that he makes everything happen. When there is an internal conflict, like when one part of the brain wants to climb up on the roof and another one does not, the CEO steps in to make the decision. When you are unsure about whether to have another piece of pie, the CEO makes the call. Otherwise, he mostly naps.

At the top of the ladder I hesitated for a long time, knowing that once committed to the roof, the hard part would be coming down.

More later.

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