I was restless all last week, not knowing what it was I was restless for, which happens to me sometimes.
Now, when I get depressed, then I need to change something. But when I get restless…I need something new. Why it’s taken me so long to figure this out, I don’t know.
What did I need last week? Something new. Anything new. I ended up going to a new restaurant, putting holds on some forensics books, and reading How Pleasure Works by Paul Bloom. I was also planning to go to the Fine Arts Center, but by the time I got done at the restaurant, I was good. Twitchy for a week, and that’s all I needed. A new restaurant and some nonfiction to balance all the novels I’ve been reading.
One of the cool things that came out of the book by Bloom was that people spend a lot of time in imagination-based activities. I think he said it was like four waking hours a day, but it may have been half–there was a study where the researchers gave the participants buzzers and had them write down what they were doing whenever the buzzer went off (randomly), and half the time, they were doing something using their imagination, from daydreaming to looking at porn.
I disagreed with quite a few things he said in the book–saying that there was no evolutionary reason for people to like bitter or spicy foods, for example, when we’re finding out more and more that bitter compounds include a lot of antioxidants–but it was a spur to imagination, a lookit book.
I think the phrase “just look at it” first came up, as a meme, on BoingBoing, but I could be wrong. Certainly, they’ve been mocked for using it, then turned around and done it on purpose. At any rate, I picked up the phrase and turned it into “lookit,” because that’s what little kids say (or “lookit dat” or just “dat”).
Besides spending a good deal of my day in imagination-based activities (being a writer), I spend a good deal of my day in lookit-based activities. I use social media to lookit other people’s lives. I use websites to lookit curious things. I read books for lookit; I eat strange foods for lookit; I go to new places for lookit; I break my routine on a day-by-day basis for no reason other than lookit. Some days are just lookit days: I get done what I must, then just…lookit.
Some days I only need a little lookit. Other days, I need a lot of shallow-level lookit. Last week, I needed some in-depth lookit.
Freakonomics had lookit.
Malcolm Gladwell books have lookit.
Stephen Hawking books have it.
Most novels don’t have lookit, but Neal Stephenson’s do.
The ocean always has lookit.
A new skill or even a new game has lookit.
Where is your lookit?