And this is how my brain works: revisited.

Welcome back to another rousing edition of “And this is  how my brain works: revisited.”

Today we bring you Jessica.

She has a serious case of OATT syndrome – or for the laymen out there, “Overthinking-All-The-Time” syndrome.

Her symptoms? Simple, really:

She thinks. A lot.
She over-thinks. A lot.
She’s plans, plans, plans. And then plans some more.
She then re-plans the plans she so carefully constructed in her mind.
And then she shares those plans with her sister and fab friend who have a slightly less serious (but very contagious) cases of OATT.
And then the re-planning, over-thinking cycle restarts from the beginning.

Key indicators that an OATT flare-up is pending?
…let’s evaluate in case study format:

Jessica finds herself with a couple of free hours. Unplanned free hours.
Previously reserved for a rundate with her husband. That rundate went to the wayside when she happened to mention a slight ache in her knee. To exacerbate things, the hubs had last-minute after-work plans that fouled up said rundate anyway.

Achy (but nothing serious, I swear) knee + husband unavailable for rundate = an entire evening unplanned.

…an OATT flare-up is about to ensue.

Jessica sends an email to her sis and friend (noted above) to discuss these free hours, free unplanned hours. What to DO with those hours? Free time is usually spent working out. But the run is off the table. And barre n9ne class has already been attended (earlier that morning). Free hours and that time isn’t being spent working out?? Hmm, now what. Jessica is at a loss.
She can’t possibly plop down on the couch and do nothing with this “found” time, now can she?

No way. Must think. Plan. Scheme. Devise.

Ultimately, her night ended up filled with two errands, some writing (ahem, this post, er case study), some prep for barre n9ne classes to be taught on Thursday and Friday, some online shopping, er browsing, in preparation for an epic wine country trip in June, and some stretching, ah yes, stretching! – that’s exercise, whee! <–whoops, sorry, went off-character there for a second.

Back to the case study.
Ah yes, poor, poor Jessica.
Serious, VERY serious case of OATT, indeed.

Official Prognosis:
This patient clearly does not know how to turn that brain off, stop thinking and just veg. Clearly this is an ingrained quality in her. Sadly, there is no cure at this point in time. Jessica will simply need to re-train herself — her brain, rather — to relax. Through breathing techniques, meditation and perhaps a good dose of “downtime” — even if that dose is administered against her will.

<< Editor’s Note: This very tongue-in-cheek post brought to you courtesy of a very antsy blogger over here. Not only have I not run since Saturday (oh the HORROR! haha) to preserve that achy-but-nothing-serious-knee, but to have free unplanned time around these parts – unheard of! At least now you know how this brain works — even more so than you did before — and can see why I get all up in my head now and then. Must kick the OATT syndrome for good. Now, who wants to volunteer to adminster that dose of “downtime” to me?? ;-P >>


55 thoughts on “And this is how my brain works: revisited.

  1. LOL! I love this! such a riot, but so true!! I would have gone through the same range of ‘what to do’-itis and then probably do just what you did. Clearly. OATT up in here!!

  2. That is funny the acronym OATT, at first I was thinking another tribute to heavenly OATTS and oatmeal :).

    On another note, it sounds like you a doing a GREAT job with making sure the knee is healthy. I ignored tweaks in my knee and kept running, so now its all cross training for about a month .

    Happy Weds Jess!

    • Kinda clever that OATT also sorta ties to my continued obsession with oatmeal huh? I’m so clever sometimes, I even impress myself LOL 😉

      Yes…I am now on day FOUR with no running (partly due to a sinus issue that cropped up last night, but mainly due to that knee ache). I want to go into this race strong as ever and come out of it ready to start marathon training. NO injuries allowed thankyouverymuch!

  3. LOL – seriously love this post and your humor. And I too suffer from OATT – hello planning not to plan 😉 Why is it so hard to let ourselves just relax? Just sit, breathe, do something totally frivolous like watching mindless tv? Men can do it. Why can’t we? I definitely have a hard time figuring out what to do with free time. Typically I clean or cook, or find something to “organize.”

    • I thought you might get a kick out of this one — sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself, OATT and all. 😉

      It’s so true though — I can’t just sit and veg. I have to be using up every ounce of my time DOING something, and something productive too. Last night’s free time was put to very good use if I do say so myself, that online shopping was very productive too, I might add.

  4. I have a serious case of OATT. I am waiting to hear something (I think I mentioned it in an email to you) and every second is consumed with what if it doesn’t happen because of this, what if it doesn’t happen because of that. Jason’s like, “If it happens, it happens, it’s out of our control now.” but my mind just can’t really understand that.

    • Ohhh I can only IMAGINE how serious that case of OATT is for you right now. I would be in the SAME boat (and ha, Scott would say the same thing to me if we were in your situation…how can they be so calm about it??). Stay strong!!!

  5. I think I call it being a women. OATT – as a sufferer as well I try to get out my anxiousness of a run and force myself to unplug – literally.

    Eat, Love, Pray – I wish I could find that meditation zone.

    • This is a really big reason why I LOVE to run. I work out so many anxious thoughts and stressors on those runs. Which is why I miss it SO MUCH this week. Can’t wait to get back to it. Gotta kick the OATT flare-up big-time this week!

  6. Hilarious. I’m almost the same, but not quite as bad as you. I’d gladly help administer that downtime! This is why I read for pleasure, if I find myself with free time, I read. I love to read, and it’s relaxing. Plus you also unplug at the same time.

    • Hehe, I’m such a dweeb. Glad I amuse you so 😉
      And yes, please do administer the downtime dosage, I need it, clearly!!

      PS Reading — I totally should have done that last night, DUH! Great use of unplanned downtime (and I’m halfway thru a book right now too!)

  7. Ohmygosh Lady you crack me up! I was seriously chuckling at my desk:-) I think that this was a very serious case of OATT. The doc should prescribe you a few hours of unplanned time a week to see if it will help cure you….errrr, maybe not 😉

    • LOL why thank you, I try 😉

      Actually, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if I had more of this unplanned time on my hands so I’d have no choice but to figure it out, huh? Although, it could very well backfire and I’d end up going crazy being uber-productive in that downtime vs. chilling out (something I clearly need more of!)

  8. Since I share the same issue as you. Let me share a little secret that you may find helpful. I keep a little mental list of things I can do for when unplanned free time comes up. This is helpful because I won’t freak out when the boyfriend or a friend changes plans and ensures I do something I ENJOY with said time. My list does not include blogging or working out or yoga. No, rather it’s reading a book or a magazine or going shopping for a couple hours just by myself or going to get a cup of coffee and sit and relax or getting a manicure or its a list of chick flicks I’ve wanted to see but can’t admit to anyone that I actually want to watch. And truth…sometimes I do blog stuff but only when it seems fun and not like work. It keeps the OATTS at bay and honestly, sometimes it makes me wish someone would cancel plans so I can have a few hours to myself!

    • This is actually a REALLY good idea — I should not think of unplanned downtime so much as time for productivity. I should look at it as time for ME. To do non-productive but quality activities that I don’t normally have time for. Like reading a book. watching a chick flick or going for a walk all by myself. What a novel idea.

  9. oh man..i dont know if it’s a woman thing maybe? prob not actually my husband does this too hahah. i have been SO bad about overthinking things especially now that im pregnant…its so easy to get worked up about NOTHING…but your mind just wonders into scary territory. when that happens…i get off the comp..the internet never helps! haha

  10. This is hilarious. I adore the acronym OATT. I totally overthink things all the time. I too completely freak out when I have free time + have a million things on my to-do list. Like right now, I should be working but my older son seems to be sick and is having a hard time sleeping. That means I have to go into his room every 30 min or so. Can’t really work during those 30 min AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF!! So, I’m reading blogs 🙂

    • HAHAHAH seeeeee?? It’s like this ENDLESS CYCLE of questioning, wondering, thinking, re-thinking, repeat, repeat, repeat, reepeeeeat. LOL. I’m glad you TOTALLY get the OATT thing. 😉

  11. Bwuahahahaha OATT. I’m so using your case of OATT one day. lol I love it. I over think everything. Herrick hates me most times, because it puts a damper on his spontaneity (I can’t believe I spelled that right the first time around).

    • You are more than welcome to use it anytime you’d like. I’m quite fond of the term myself (maybe because it reminds me of OATMEAL hahah). 😉

      And YES – that’s what Scott can’t stand about me too, it is SO HARD for me to be spontaneous. Nearly impossible, actually. I need to work on that.

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  25. just came across this through the link in your most recent post. I get the feeling that we are very similar. I feel like this ALL. THE. TIME. I feel like I literally cannot turn it off. I see everything, plan everything, and envision every potential next step. It makes me crazy. Even when I have “nothing to do”, I find things. I literally cannot just sit with my husband and watch tv or read. I need to be folding laundry while I watch, or making lists. I am trying incredibly hard to unplug. I really am!

    • I totally emailed you after reading this comment from you — we are SO sharing a brain on this stuff, it’s insane!! But I’m seriously SO proud of you for trying to unplug more — it’s definitely not something that will happen overnight for either of us. Work in progress is better than NO progress, right?? We can doooo this!!

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