Chris Miller

Walking the Mind Poodle

My in-laws have a four-year-old standard poodle they raised since he was a puppy. This dog gets between 3-6 walks a day. There’s a good reason for this. As my father-in-law likes to say, “You need to give poodles projects, or else they come up with their own.”

Poodle projects (self-motivated) are often a mess; destructive and sometimes requiring a trip to the vet.

Which brings me to the subject of fidget cubes.

My wife has a few fidget thingies that she uses and the new ones are fidget cubes. Often I hear them clicking away when she is doing things.

I’ve never understood what these things are for. We are of two different generations, she’s a millennial, I’m GenX. Worse, I went to Catholic school as a kid, where the urge to fidget was beaten (metaphorically in this case) out of me at a young age. So the fact that fidgeting seems to be embraced in the last several years confused me. To be clear, I don’t think it’s bad or “ruining our way of life,” – I just didn’t understand the function.

So I did the rational thing. I asked.

She explained to me that many of her tasks require 70-85% of her attention. That remaining percent leans toward distraction. Rather than let her mind run away with her, she uses the fidget cube to give that part of her something to do.

“So you are walking your mind poodle,” I said. We were both delighted by this way of thinking of it, and now I understand my wife a little bit better.

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