Do you ever have moments, hours, or even entire days when you feel like you have been running on autopilot? I do. Maybe not entirely offline, but sometimes it feels like it.
Take cycling home from work, for instance. I turn the pedals, the bicycle travels along, and I daydream about anything and everything – at least until an incline, when my concentration shifts to “how far does this hill go on for again?”. While weaving my way in and out of traffic, I suppose a greater proportion of my brain comes online – both to protect the idea of my continued life, and to invent new insults to mutter at idiotic or thoughtless car drivers. “Wanker” always seems to be a good go-to word when nothing else comes to mind.

When I stop to think about it, I perform most of my day on autopilot. I turn toilet-rolls around without a second thought if they are on backwards, I make beds as I pass the children’s bedrooms (this drives them nuts for some reason), and I will absent mindedly pick up clothes and fold them while continuing conversations in the same room. I unload the dishwasher while waiting for coffee, take garbage out, and a hundred other things – all without consciously thinking about them.

I laughed at myself after arriving home this evening – I needed to use the bathroom, so wandered in, and locked the door behind me. I am home alone. I have been here on my own all week. Why on earth was I locking the door behind me ? There is nobody else in the house. It got me thinking about how many other things we do because we’ve always done them, regardless of any sensible logic.

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