Thursday, August 19, 2010

Under-stimulated Fox Terrier Syndrome...

We used to have this little black and white Foxy named Pete.  Boy was he cute!  Like most terriers, he was pretty bright, excitable and energetic.  Unfortunately for him, living with our family meant living in the back yard and occasionally having a couple of children to play with, but mostly just hanging out with a lethargic (possibly depressed) and certainly traumatized (before she came to us) Afghan Hound!!!
Orissa was magnificent, and had a gorgeous, gentle personality, and mostly we thought she was a dumb a she was beautiful, but in reality she was probably also very bright and like Pete, extremely under stimulated.

Anyway, getting distracted, which kind of leads me to my point.  I didn't realize when I was eight that the reason Pete would obsessively chase a tin can up and down our barren, drought ridden, back yard, was because he was terribly neglected and under-stimulated and his poor bright little mind was desperate for any kind of stimulation.  Back then, we would laugh at the blighter and call him "dumb" because he seemed completely taken with the cylinder of rusty metal...

Sometimes, like this morning, I can deeply relate to Pete.  This morning I participated in a Miscellaneous Mum's 4th Birthday Book Trivia Quiz.  I don't really want to admit to how many of the questions I had to Google, because as an aspiring writer it's downright embarrassing.  Having sought my answers, I then realized I probably could have just cut and pasted from the consensus of replies, but that's not the point.  The point it, the quest for answers was FUN and stimulating!  And interesting, and I learnt stuff completely unrelated to the quest itself.

This got me thinking.  I've just been participating in a discussion on my Facebook page about religion, and the definition of various religions.  It is hard to define religion in this day and age because, well, people tend to think in a post-modern, whatever you believe is the truth, turn-your-navel-inside-out-and-call-it-insight kind of way.  There is generally a consensus that there is no truth except personal truth and that is mutable, and even the truth about personal truth is questionable, as is the questionable nature of questioning, blah, blah, etc. ad nauseum...

But, yes, I've studied theology (not just Christian Theology), and so this is an area I really like to get to the nuts and bolts of, while it tends to bore other people beyond, well, this is what I believe...

And it was in thinking about this that I realized I'm very much like Pete the Foxy.  I LOVE puzzles, pretty much for puzzling sake.  I love to have my mind stimulated and woe behold the poor beggar who crosses my path when I haven't "eaten" in a few days or weeks (anyone been watching the grizzly tales of "Hyde" on the ABC?)...

This is most likely why I'm constantly looking for "the next course of study".  It's why I just can't relate to other stay at home mums content with caring for their families (which is completely admirable and which, I'm sure my own family would appreciate if I just could it a LITTLE more than I do!) - yes, I know they read books, and watch educational television and read newspapers and keep abreast of world events - but I guess I'm talking about systematic challenges to the intellect where there is danger of failure and thrill of achievement and such like.  Hmmm, I think I may be putting my foot in my mouth here.  I guess I find living by a recipe - do this, now add this, and voila! - not stimulating enough.  I much prefer, this is your outcome, now go and figure out how to get there...  Parenting is a bit like that with highs and lows, but I'm too impatient to wait 20 years to see if I got it right, I need something challenging with a much shorter time frame, in the mean time!

I think I need to be more mindful of this Under-stimulated Fox Terrier Syndrome (UFTS) and try to stimulate my mind a bit more often with NEW puzzles so as to save my friends from frenzied attacks brought on by boredom...

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Teenagers and the failing parent...