Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Now that I know I am a contemplator...

I've always felt I had some character defects.  For instance, I think, and think, and think about stuff, especially if there is a problem to be solved.  I can't stop thinking about it until I come up with solutions.  Like when I was a supervisor in our Christian School.  I had charge over the learning and accomplishments of all the 4th, 5th and 6th grade students.  They called this classroom "The Intermediate" learning center.  They should have called it "Precious".  Man, I loved those kids.  I got addicted to helping them succeed.  If they weren't going to make at least "B" honor roll, I would lay awake at night figuring out what the problem was, and how I could make it happen.  Then I would hover over their "offices" (cubicles) during the day making sure they were "nose to the grindstone".  When it was time to calculate their grades at the end of a quarter, if they were "this close" to making it, I would search through every one of their paces, looking for points that had been deducted for things that could legally be overlooked in emergency situations, such as a comma left out of a Scripture memory verse, etc.  It was exhausting.  However, almost all of "my kids" made either A or B honor roll almost every quarter.

So, back to my compulsive need to "think" about stuff...I'm easily distracted when I'm on a search for information.  I've been known to start out looking for information on how to build a composter, and several hours later find I've read 2 articles on red worms, 3 articles on wreath making, studied the inventory of 5 different bulb growing companies, and picked out 2 recipes I want to try for smoking meats.  Oh, and the composter?  well, I'll look again tomorrow for that.

Now all this thinking, although highly satisfying, did not seem to get me anyplace.  Because of that, I've learned to view it more as an oddity, not something you would share with people you meet.  Sort of a secret side that you wouldn't want others to spot you doing, like picking your nose or scratching your rear.

You might imagine that I was relieved and empowered when I attended a life language seminar recently, and discovered that not only was this behavior normal, it was expected of people like me...I'm a Contemplater!  Like Aristotle, or Plato.  That's what we do!  We think about stuff!  Contemplaters love to learn, they love details, trivia, where "expressions" originated.  Have you any idea why the expression "keep your nose to the grindstone" came into use?  Ask a Contemplater, they will probably know the answer!

So, I am simply fulfilling the purpose for which I was think, to solve, to wrestle with ideas, and to learn.   What a glorious revelation!  I will never again feel guilty for spending my time with such pursuits.   I have been set free to think.  And I don't care who knows about it!