My dad recently turned 70 and, as a result, received a whole range of benefits; not least of which is some free loft insulation, which was great, except…
It necessitated clearing the loft. And, given my parents had moved into their house in 1964, it took some time to do. A few weeks ago I helped with the heavy stuff and we dumped everything into the garage… which ended up looking exactly as the loft had done; a complete mess, just without the hassle of climbing a ladder.
I was at my parent’s again this weekend and my dad proudly declared that he had something to show me and marched me to garage, whereupon he flung open the door with a great flourish to show me its interior.
I have to admit, I was a little surprised… all that was missing was the sherry!
The contents of the loft which we had dumped in the garage a couple of weeks before was now neatly stacked and very tidy; it was still stuff that will never be needed ever again in the history of the universe… but at least it’s tidy.
(Side note: my dad has even built a bench along one side of his garage. When I pointed out that the bench prevented the car being put away my dad, quite correctly, pointed out that the car hadn’t actually been in the garage since 1978 which I had to concede was a fair point.)
Somehow, and I don’t know how, I got round to thinking about that garage as a metaphor for the human mind. You see, if (sorry, when) my parents accumulate more junk, they’ll have no-where to put it. The garage is full and the loft has new insulation.
Does this happen with the human mind? Do we ever fill it so full that the only to get new stuff in is to chuck old stuff out?
A delegate last week asked for a break because she’d taken on board so much information she thought her brain was full! She didn’t get much sympathy from me because our brain’s storage capacity is close to 2.5 petabytes (a million gigabytes). If your brain was a digital TV recorder it would have capacity to store 3 million hours of TV – the equivalent of 300 years continuous recording.
It’s very difficult to fill our brains up. Maybe she just needed some time to do a bit of tidying to increase capacity?