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Nature v/s Nurture v/s Just Plain Dumb

lolcat watermelon Yesterday my friend Thomas said to me, “I took a bunch of cold medicine, but I feel regular. But bottle has dire warnings on it telling me not to drive and/or operate heavy machinery because the meds will cows drawsiness.

Me: Did you just say “Cows Drawsiness?”

Him: No… Wait. Did I?

Me: Please do not operate any heavy machinery.

ALSO yesterday, I realized it was the second, and that I had resolved (Not in a New Year’s way, just in a general way) that I would begin wearing my Fit Bit again. I got out of the habit on book tour.

DIGRESSION: I didn’t take my Fit Bit with me on tour because I felt I would have limited control over the number of steps I took, and I didn’t want it YELLING at me. MOVE! JOSS! my Fit Bit shrieks, harpy-style, and it doesn’t care if I am sitting on a plane and the captain has not turned off the fasten seat belts lights.

It also sometimes says SMOOCHES, JOSS! When I am doing a good job and I REALLY hate that. I do not want a little gadget that lives on my bra threatening to kiss me. Skeeves me RIGHT out.

I ALSO didn’t take it on tour because I felt I would lose it.

Here is a partial list of things I lost on tour: 1 Phone charger. TWO iPod Chargers. A Mesh Net Bag that Scott’s special Battery thing goes in. A pair of Jeans. Scott’s Winter Gangland-Style Murderer Hat. 5 books (I did not lose these so much as SHED them the second I finished reading them). An entire TRIBE of pens. One expensive athletic shoe.

List of things I did not lose: Any of the free hotel soaps.

WHICH, REALLY? I somehow left A SINGLE REALLY NICE ATHLETIC SHOE sitting in the middle of a hotel floor somewhere, and yet I made sure every single speck-like sliver of free SOAP was in my bag? END DIGRESSION

mango what fit bit My Fit Bit is currently IN its charger. But the little rubber clicketty thing that hooks it to my bra….well. That is GONE, BABY, GONE.

When I left, it was on my desk, sitting RIGHT by my monitor. The week before I left on tour, I noticed Mango had become enamored of it. He kept trying to steal it for batting around and pretend-murdering purposes.

And so, being a person of foresight and moderate intelligence, I of course MOVED IT to a less cat-accessible location.

BAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH! BA HA! HA!!! *wipes tears from eyes*

But seriously, wouldn’t it have been GREAT if I had?

Instead I am a person who is me, which means that I took it away from him multiple times and set it RIGHT BACK WHERE HE FIRST NOTICED IT EXISTED. Then I left it there, utterly unattended, for about 6 weeks.

I imagine it is in pieces or eaten or has been batted way back into a cranny that is deeper than Mango’s arms can go, and I shall never see it any more in this life.

My Fit Bit now sits alternately threatening to kiss me and demanding that I MOVE! JOSS! from its charger, not counting my steps and being useless. Anyone know where I can get a replacement clicketty bra thing?

AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, why did I not MOVE IT 7 WEEKS AGO?

Posit this, Oh Ye Philosophical Beloveds: Posit there are 2 kinds of people in the world. The kind that MOVES the object once they see the cat WILL take it if it is not moved, and the kind that takes the object AWAY from the cat multiple times without ever thinking to move the object.

Which kind are you? And, more importantly, is it POSSIBLE to swap kinds?

Because it never even occurred to me to NOTICE I was taking it away from the cat. I just took it and put it back. NO thought or connection. My brain was VERY busy doing important things like pretending I had just won that 700 million lotto and setting up a charitable foundation for indigent novelists. Can I BECOME a noticer? CAN YOU? Or are you born one?

14 comments to Nature v/s Nurture v/s Just Plain Dumb

  • I was a born noticer, but as I age I am also a forgetter of things I notice. I get distracted. So I might have done the same thing. I got a Fitbit for Christmas…one that goes on my wrist. I’m using it now to track my calories in and out and drop a few of those pounds that I got when I was excessing in December. My family thinks I am nuts, running around in circles around the house at 9:30pm, trying to get those last few steps. I am half insane.

  • Andrea

    NOT noticer. I cling desperately to my husband, trying to absorb some of his noticing, problem solving, actual THINKING abilities. So far it hasn’t worked. BUT!BUT! I think I am definitely the happiest person that most of my people know. And the dog and cat like me best. So perhaps the not noticing isn’t ALL bad…
    PS, I just read your resolution post, and I love it. Dwell in happiness! I put a quote on my bulletin board the other day that goes like this: “We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
    (Carlos Castaneda)

  • Karen V

    I think I was born a noticer.
    I thought it was primarily a man/woman thing in that I notice things while guys tend to sit there oblivious to the mess around them. I have been called by my husband to help him find his checkbook while I was living in a different state… and of course I remembered where I saw it last. I suppose it may be more of a photographic memory type deal, but I thought most women had that noticer/finder of lost things gene which grows exponentially as a side effect of motherhood.

    Not being a noticer and being blissfully unaware of things must have its benefits in that you are less stressed out on a daily basis until you lose something and have no idea where to find it. I on the other hand cannot stop noticing things, which does get tiresome when you realize that your mind never stops.

    I think you could learn to be a noticer in certain situations. Like if you habitually lose your keys, you would probably be able to make yourself remember to notice where you put them down. Though, I am not sure becoming an intuitive noticer is possible. There is a whole brain process involved with the noticing and then subsequent reasoning after the fact. Some people walk around objects on the floor and could not tell you what they stepped over, where as I notice what object is on the floor and think, hey I should move that before I trip on it once the lights are off. Noticing is useful, but tiresome.

  • Katherine

    Mostly I am a noticer, but what I would likely have done in that situation would be take it from the cat a few times, then move it to some very special place the cat couldn’t get at, and then FORGET where I put it! End result, no better than your method. Then I would find it again only after I had ordered a new one and used it for a few weeks.

  • I think it’s like your blood type: unlikely to change without causing scientists to want to come study you as a test case.

    I’m the other kind of not-noticer, the kind who–without noticing–takes the thingy and hides it from the cat, and then has no memory of where it is hidden. This is why I cannot have cats. Or fit bits. Obviously.

  • Jessica (the celt)

    There is a third type. I only know this because I am a combination of the second and the third type, and I thought that what you were going to say is that you did move it but couldn’t remember where you put it. See, there’s the type to move it to a safe location, the type to just keep putting it back in harm’s way, and the type to move it to a “safer” location but immediately forget wherever the heck that particularly safe location was thought to be. What I do is either (a) ignore it as long as possible so that it either is destroyed (i.e., “Dangit, I should have moved that before I spilled water on it! I knew that would happen! Why didn’t I mvoe it?!”) or (b) move it because I recognize that there is potential danger and then forget where I put it (because the place it originally was is the place it should still be in, according to my brain, because that was obviously the logical place to put it first). With (b), I just end up kicking myself for moving it anyway, because I have no idea where it ended up even though I put it there.

  • Lookie here: Only $14.95! https://www.fitbit.com/order?productId=1507

    I am a noticer except when I am not. Then I can’t be sure if I did notice and forgot or never noticed in the first place. This is problematic. Just ask my husband. (Though he insists he told me stuff that he never told me which, if you ask me, if equally problematic.)

  • I am just thinking that wearing something on my bra all day would drive me NUTS. Never mind what my 8th graders would think if my boobs started talking during class.

  • I am not a noticer. One time a large box was sitting on the back of a recliner in the family room and I had to walk around he back of the recliner (and thus the box) to sit in the chair. I did so. The box fell on my head and I cried out in surprised objection. My mom witnessed the whole thing and had a good laughing fit on my behalf.

  • Zoe

    NOT A NOTICER. Now, see, I had to laugh at Roxanne’s reply, because teacher. High school, even, and that talking boob stuff ain’t hap’nin’. The moving-desirable-toy/objects-away-from-the-cats thing is moot, because they now know what it looks like and how it smells, and can find it no matter where I move it. If I put it IN something, maybe not, but then I will never see it again, having the brain cells of a below-average goldfish.

  • I would have definitely moved the fitbit bra strappy-thingy, but only because I have a two year old as well as two cats. All sorts of little, funsie things need to be moved to higher elevations or hidden away. Sometimes I hide them too well.

    Also, I just finished SELS and I loved it. I think I may have actually hugged the book when I finished the last page. I also loved the inscription you wrote: “Your have an awesome husband. Enjoy! (The book, I mean – what you do with him is your business)” Too funny!

  • Jabberwocky

    I am a distracted noticer. After about twelveteenth time of taking it away from the confounded feline I realize that I should MOVE said catbait.

  • Martha

    I have a fitbit that I wear on my bra. My husband refers to it as my “titbit”.

  • Michelle-who-is-Shelley

    I think that like all character traits, there is a trade-off. Yes, you could modify your behavior to become a noticer, but you would notice ALL kinds of little things, not just the things that might lead to saving a Fit Bit from your cat. And in doing all of the noticing you would have to give up the pretending and free thinking and all of the creative thinkings that your brain has going on and THAT kind of thought generates your books and your blog and your personality which in my opinion, is a much more valuable thing than a Fit Bit holder or two matching athletic shoes. Just sayin’ .