For the next 20-odd years I’ve been doing typing tests every once in a while, sometimes much more than once in a while, not necessarily to improve my typing but because typing serves as my fidget spinner.
Anxious about an exam? Typing test.
Anxious about an important upcoming meeting? Typing test.
Anxious about a job interview? Typing test.
Typing is like chopping wood. It’s calming; rhythmic; and gives instant results. (Kind of like running really, another of my loves.)
A wonderful thing about having consistently logged my typing at the same site is that I can see trends of my typing progress.
Being the analytic geek that I am, I love this.
One day I noticed something very peculiar: as I was typing I realised I was typing much faster than usual. I had no idea what that was about so I just though it was a normal course of improvement through practice.
The next week though, my results reverted to the mean, and my speeds decreased. So much for improvement!
Then the following week my speeds decreased further, and I was typing 10-20% slower than my usual. This was very odd.
Maybe a system issue?
Then I had an insight: what if my typing speeds corresponded with my mood, with how I felt about life? And what if it could better present my moods to my conscious self than my mind could?
And so I looked back at some of the stuff I was journaling about and looked at how positive or negative they were, and they correlated surprisingly well to the speeds I was getting.
It was interesting, but I wasn’t too sure what to make of it.
There was once I was typing and typing horrible. I could feel my mind wasn’t in it, but at the same time I wasn’t feeling particularly down.To be honest though, I wasn’t sure what I was feeling. As I typed though, the speeds reflected on the screen were clear enough: I wasn’t feeling anywhere near OK.
It gave me a reason to pause and take stock of my life.
Same thing happened another time when I was just typing and everything just flowed so smoothly. I couldn’t believe how fast I was typing (it was 10-20% above my base average). So I stopped for a while, and asked myself if I was actually feeling good about life.
And I hadn’t noticed it at that time, but I was! If anything, I felt free and unburdened, and joy came naturally.
Typing has, when my internal emotional meter fails to notice, become a nice unconscious-to-conscious proxy of my emotional state.