November 30, 2011
Zen And The Art Of Legos
Owen loves Legos. So do I. We get out the bin of Legos, dump them on the floor and play them all the time. And it's then that I realize just how completely patient Owen can be. Because I'm a pain in the ass to play Legos with.
I'm not obsessive-compulsive by any stretch of the imagination. I used to think I was but then a shrink told me that I was slightly anxious and slightly depressed. That said, building Legos calms me in much the same way that lining up all my books used to (they've been donated) and making sure all my digital music has the right cover art does (I'd line up my CDs but they took up way too much room so I ripped them and packed them away). There's just something relaxing about making sure things are just so, lined up, symmetrical.
I think I know why this is. In life - mine, at least - there are few binary things, few things that are right or wrong, on or off, black or white. There's an undeniable symmetry to Legos, an order you can impose. An order that isn't subjective. It's just there.
You can totally tell, now, that playing Legos with me is no fun, right? I totally overthink it. But that's pretty much how I am about most things.
Posted by Chris at November 30, 2011 7:56 AM
Now you're making me think I should get some Legos. I actually do have OCD, and I remember how much playing with Legos used to calm me as a kid.
My 5 year old is just now discovering the endless joy of Legos and Lincoln Logs. Right now he still wants me to build things for him, but that does eventually lead to him building his own stuff. I am a stickler for building something "the right way" if it a set that comes with a picture and instructions, but I purposefully sought out just a big bin o'legos for his birthday, for freestyle lego-ness. There will be more for Christmas.
Given your career field, one might argue that your work life is nothing but ones and zeros ;)
what are lincoln logs?
I loved legos. I think my kids are outgrowing the big block variety and we should move on to the regular sized lego kind now.
While my daughter and I play with legos, she is building and i'm organizing the legos according to different sizes. Drives her nuts but makes me feel happy. ;-)
I'm not OCD, but my wife likes to call me "highly organized," so I know where you're coming from. I spend an incredibly large amount of time going through my Goodreads book queue to make sure that I have the exact right edition in there for the book that I'm actually reading.
I actually have the opposite compulsion when it comes to legos though. I'll sit down with the intention of building a spaceship and end up builting a tilting stack of awkardness, and I'm fine with it. It used to drive me crazy when my son would wait until I had built a certain amount and then break it for fun, but now I look forward to those times. For me, playing with legos is almost liberating.
I grew up with entire space stations of Legos and loved every minute of it. Much like their older brethren Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs, anything I could build something with was enough to keep me occupied and out of trouble. I'm still that way, more or less. I'm pretty sure you could keep me happily occupied in a room for hours if you stocked it with Legos and Lincoln Logs.
I feel the same way about math. Don't ever try and help your kids with their "new" math. Or you will end up like me, in a room with small furniture getting loud with a third grade teacher and insisting that the answer to math questions arn't "what they THINK the answer should be" but an actual, concrete, ya know, always reliable answer which is what seperates math from, say, psycology. Or maybe you'll be cooler about it lol.