Thursday, April 5, 2007

"Not in possesion of one's senses"


"non compos mentis
The term non compos mentis comes from Latin, non meaning "not," compos meaning "in control," and mentis, genitive singular of mens, mind. and means not having a sound mind; not sane.

It is most typically used in its negative form, non compos mentis, that is, not having control of one's faculties, as in a phrase such as "It was determined that the criminal was non compos mentis" (i.e., insane); one might say the criminal was compos mentis, i.e., the criminal had full knowledge of his/her acts and is competent to stand trial.

Although it is used as a legal term, it can also be used colloquially. In its colloquial form the expression is often less severe than the strict legal sense. For example, "He was not fully compos mentis as he was still suffering from a hangover" means he was not fully in charge of his faculties. Another example, using the negative form, is "I'm feeling a bit non compos mentis today," meaning "I'm feeling a bit out of it" or "...a bit spaced out".

The colloquial word nincompoop = "stupid person" may be (authorities differ on this) a distorted form of non compos mentis."

This must be what's happened to me: I am Non Compos Mentis. First of all because I took a chance yesterday and told a few people about my blog. It could be a dangerous thing for my sisters and friends, who know so much about me, to add comments, (and corrects?) to my entries.
Then I looked for Widgets to add to my site. Specifically Catholic ones. (Oh a widget is an addon to your site like the ads, daily readings, counter etc.) I was sure I'd a site that had a rotating Saint of the Day. Well I found one but the link has an error in it. I also found one for Catholic Tidbits. Sounded harmless enough. The example was a quote from GK Chesterton. I've never been brave enough to tackle his work so I'd look pretty smart right?

Then I see the first one today: Non Compos Mentis. Yep that's me.
I'm just not in possesion of my faculties. I've been blaming it on turning 40, that was a while ago now. I often feel like my brain fell out of my head that day and hasn't returned. The reality is that I'm thinking about too many things at once and think about them in a deeper way. It can take a long time to sort through a problem from all angles. I'm usually too quick to share a new idea and then when I've thought out all the angles realize it was a bad idea.
Keeping this blog as a secret for a while was a step in the right direction for me. Its an understanding of myself. I need to put words to things in a concrete way in order to better understand them, organize them and then decide if its worth pursuing, if the timing is right.
Its also an understanding of the people around me and the effect I have on them. I can be a 'twirl a whirl' of a ride. It is unsettling for others and sometimes I have to curb my enthusiam for something until I have really thought it out.

DH is great about dealing with it. He knows now when I need a sounding board. I've seen him fold his hands and just wait. I can almost here the mantra, "She just needs to talk, she does not want me to fix this for her"
I think this writing is helping keep me from dumping on him. For one thing there is something about posting to the Universe that inspires one to actually edit first, or at least go back. I've even remembered to spell check;)
But also I know anyone can just click onto the next site and never come back if they don't want to and I'll never know and be hurt.

The flip side for me is that when I lose the enthusiasm, the absolute certainty that my latest project HAS to happen, the it doesn't. The slightest discouragement, the realization that I don't yet have the talent or training to do something well, and I find all kinds of excuses not to finish.
Currently it's my quilts. There is just one part that's hard for me. The machine quilting is difficult only because I need to take over the dining room and that kids use that as our school room/craft room. I can give them other things to do but its always dirty. By the time its clean its lunch time. So maybe I'll wait for a week of good weather. Then the kids can eat outside, play, draw nature etc. They'll be happy And I'll finish. Yes that will work. No more guilt that its been a while. Its just not the God Ordained time.

There! I'm Compos Mentis now.

No comments: