On my iMac I have a program called Memory Clean. It's a cool, little third party application that lets me know on my dock how much memory is being used at any given time, which applications are using significantly high amounts of it and has a quick function that cleans out the used but unnecessarily overloaded memory so the damn machines can move more quickly, more smoothly, and more efficiently. I like it because A) it works the way it's supposed to and B) it gives me a sense of control I otherwise wouldn't have.
As tired as the Computer Brain = Human Brain metaphors are, this is one more of that stripe.
I realize that when my mental space is overloaded with useless shit (a highly indignant reaction to an article I've written, the fact that that pizza last night suddenly manifested itself into five extra pounds overnight, the inescapable desire to punch my former assistant in the face till he looks like Jared Leto in Fight Club) I find myself distracted. Lost in the minutia of detritus and nonsense. I lose my train of thought. I fixate on those odd, pointless moments and the spiral of my RAM goes over and over as if thinking these moments obsessively will change them or my circumstances.
I need a Memory Clean App for my medulla oblongata.
When I've spent so much time reading articles about how horrifyingly racist America is to the point that I can't take the despair and anger and feeling of complicity and impotence? Clean out the RAM.
When I'm stuck in a rut of interpersonal drama with people whose opinions didn't matter to me in the first place? Clean that shit out.
Money frustrations? Fed up with other people and their shitty driving? Perpetually clogged bathroom sink?
...I don't have an app. I have to make do with perspective, a mental boot up my ass and some activity to clean out the distractions. I need reminders and the gym and maybe a shot of rye whiskey to dust out those cobwebby fixations and get focused on the business of my day.
Just like the Memory Clean App, though, the pernicious use of my personal RAM gets slowly utilized and hoarded by these wastes of my time and I have to find an extreme clean method once every couple of days.
So far, the best methods for an extreme clean are:
• A serious work out.
• A day at King Spa with my wife.
• An afternoon at the beach with my wife.
• A marathon deep sleep (also known as a "Lumping Day" or some "Van Winkle time.")
Sort term clean ups include:
• Some push ups.
• A 20-minute nap in my car.
• Writing about it.
We aren't machines and if my iMac had emotions, the Memory Clean wouldn't be as efficient. It's pretty easy to get caught up in the bullshit, to find oneself in the weeds. It's also pretty easy to free up that unused RAM and get back on track—you just need to be aware of what derails you and press the button.