A Key To My Mindset

I find that the small bunch of keys I carry around in my pocket can sometimes give me an insight into where my sub-conscious thoughts are.

It isn’t rocket science either.

Sometimes, when I get home from work, I will try to unlock the front door with the office key. As soon as I do it, I realise that I haven’t really come home at all and my brain is still mulling over work-related matters.

In the same way, I can often try to open the office door with my home key. At those times, I know I really don’t want to be there at all – I’d rather be at home.

Like I said, not rocket science.

When I come back from lunch, I have a little game I play where I try to plunge the key straight into the lock from two foot away using a single fearless thrust. If I can do it (and I usually can) it gives me confidence that I am on top of my game and that nothing the afternoon can produce will phase me. Those times that I don’t succeed means that there are some serious dents in the lock plate and in the end of the key too.

Finally, in my youth, my keys occasionally used to bring on some serious feelings of homesickness.

When I started living in Dublin, at seventeen, to go to college, I used to travel home for most weekends. Whenever I got back to my accommodation, late on Sunday evening, and put the key from my home up to the door… I knew where I wanted to be.

Do your keys ever tell you anything?


Matthew S. Urdan said...

Yes, in fact. Often my keys get lonely and like to have conversations. Once, my key to my old Jeep Grand Cherokee told me that I needed to lose some weight--that the car was getting pretty tired of lugging my fat ass all around town and urged me to get into the gym. Now when I confronted my Grand Cherokee, he denied any knowledge of such a conversation with the key--leading me to believe that the key was just lonely and starved for attention, which is in fact what proved to be the case.

I solved that problem by stroking my Grand Cherokee key in my pocket every once in a while. It made us both feel better.


Jena Isle said...

I have several keys. One set of keys for work and one set for home. I have a different key holder for each, so that I won't interchange them. My keyholder for the keys for work is a small square steel plate with my name on it, while my house keys have a tiny slippers to bind them all. It's just like saying, being home is a comfort and being at work means being strait-laced.

Thanks for sharing this post. It made me smile and remember too how I often long for home when I was also in college.

All the best.

Jena Isle said...

Btw Ken, I have awarded you the Brilliante Web Blog Award at my Random Thoughts blog. Just wanted to let you know. There's no obligation on your part to pass it on. Happy blogging.

Fiendish said...

Gorgeous post.

My keys feature three loops: one for the keys of my mother's house; one of the keys of my dad's house; and one for my school locker keys. That pretty much accurately sums up my three little worlds. Whenever I am absent-mindedly looking for a key, the one my fingers automatically "look for" is my mother's house key. I guess that's sort of the "home" key for me.

Anonymous said...

I have the keys to my friends' house on my keyring. They live about 150 miles away, although I used to live in the same house. They've had two new locks since I left 15 years ago and each time I've been given a new key. When I spot them on my keyring they remind me that I am welcome and that I have somewhere else to go.

Anonymous said...

My keys are missing....err....I have no house key at the moment, and I have no idea to what most of the keys go.
I do recognize the key to my Dad's house, and the one to my car. But, other than that......

Does that mean they have no significance to me? :)

Tam said...

Trying to open the door of your house with your work keys.

I have done that exact same thing a fair number of times this year. I just put it down to being a bit dizzy.

Reading your post makes me wonder. I certainly wasn't mulling over work matters, but it could have been my subconcious not really wanting to come home. Hmmm, possible.

Super post btw.

J. C. said...

Borges once said that keys are following our destiny. There is something to it.

Jim Murdoch said...

What gets me is the fact I hold onto keys for locks that are no longer there, for cars I no longer drive, houses I no longer live in and cases I no longer carry. I have keys for things I don't even know what they are, toy robots possibly or piggy banks. If I found a key on the street I'd probably pick it up and take it home. And what's the point to that I ask you?

Mike @ Celtophilia said...

Great perspective, Ken. Keys actually do bring back some oddly fond memories, like the first time I was considered "responsible enough" to carry a house key to school, in case my mom was out when I got home. I had to wear it on a string around my neck, but I had my own key.

hope said...

Chalk up another person who thinks keys unlock subliminal messages about what we really think.

Although I have separate rings for work and home, each has color coded tabs on the ring end. This started because there are many doors to open at work, and I also had ones for home, hubby's business and the aunt in the nursing home who I'm responsible for.

I never thought about my system until the day hubby grabbed my keys [because they were closer] and asked which one unlocked his shop.

"The green one. Just like the one for my office," I replied.

"Green is for work?" he teased.

"No, my back door at work is green. It was easier to remember."

"The door to my shop is white," he observed dryly.

That's when I realized I'd subconsciously picked green for his business as "the color of money".

Chat Blanc said...

I haven't thought about this before! Not sure my keys say much about me other than I have a failing memory! ;)

Ken Armstrong said...

Thanks for your really top-notch contributions guys.

Flann O'Brien (The Third Policeman) had a molecular theory wherein we all exchanged particles with the inanimate objects we constantly rubbed against - he was particularly (pun) interested in bicycles - in that way we became like our bicycles and our bikes became like us.

Perhaps there's a little bit of us in our keys and a little of our keys in us...

Kat Mortensen said...

Hmm. Let's see. We've got the key to the house, key to the car, key to the mailbox outside the house, 2 keys to my parents' building and apartment, mystery key, rape whistle(!), car-door alarm and remote-opener, "I love my cat" plastic thingy, 3 keyrings, War Amps plastic i.d., M & M's shop discount thingy, library card scan thingy - all on a mountain climber's hook that reads "Not for Climbing". My husband calls me "The Janitor".
Yes. I'd have to say my keys actually mirror the melange of stuff in my head and my life.

Not hard to find them, but very hard to manouever with anything in my arms, screen door pinning me between the car and the entrance, 4 cats clamouring to escape - not to mention the fact my key is identical to my mother's apartment key.



Kimmy said...

I read a blog today that basically said we all suffer from abandonment issues. And then I look at the keys to my house in Chicago, that I haven't lived in for 23 years. I am a holder of unimportant useles keys. Thanks for the Sunday night ponder. Now I will never sleep! Have a great week...Kimmy