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A Little Quirky

July 24, 2010

I have a little bit of OCD. I don’t think that’s news to most of you if you’ve been reading for any length of time. Mine presents itself in subtle and bizarre ways.

For the most part, I attach human emotions to inanimate objects. pennies, leaves, sticks, rocks, all sorts of objects I may come across at any given moment.

For instance, I may be at the grocery store and notice that someone has decided they didn’t want that can of soup after all,  and just dropped it on a shelf in the cereal aisles. On a good day I may not even see it. On a particularly bad day I can’t let it be. It doesn’t want to be there. It want’s to be with it’s friends back in the soup aisles. I have to grab it and bring it back to where it belongs.

Some might say that’s not OCD. But it is. It’s an obsessive need to have something a certain way, I become slightly anxious until I carry out the task. Once done I feel calmer and I can move forward.  That’s pretty much the definition of OCD.

The above example is not a frequent occurrence, most days I can just pretend I didn’t see it. What I have come to avoid is touching items I don’t intend to buy. If I am picking out apples for instance, once I’ve touched the apple, I’ve somehow formed a connection with it. I’ve given it hope. It’s gotten itself all excited that I will take it home with me. I can’t put it back, I just can’t hurt it’s feelings. By now you might be laughing. I know, it’s silly. But it’s harmless, unless you considered the number of times I’ve had to pay for less than perfect produce.

Another example occurs when I go for walks along the Ganatchio Trail, or any trail for that matter.  If something is out of place, for instance someone has pluck a flower from a field and then just dropped it on the path, I can’t leave it there. It doesn’t want to be there. It didn’t particularly want to be picked and die, but I can’t fix that. All I can do is try to give it a better death. Being left on a path to be trampled repeatedly by other uncaring humans just will not do. It wants to be back in the field where it can die peacefully amongst other natural things. This one can be tricky because I often have to enlist Kelly’s help to pick things up for me. Luckily I have a very understanding partner. It’s gotten to be that I can just stop and look at a crushed flower and she says “Oh, it doesn’t want to be there does it?”

Those examples are what I consider harmless manifestations of my OCD tendencies. I don’t really try all that hard to quell these because I don’t really see the harm in performing these little tasks.

On the other hand, attaching such emotions to items can make it very difficult to get rid of stuff. And that is where I have been working to improve. I can not be a hoarder. Kelly would likely suggest that I am, and certainly I am more of a hoarder than she is, but so are you. I can guarantee that anyone reading this is more of a hoarder than Kelly. So if her and I are to cohabitate, I need to get this monkey off my back.

Things with a face are the hardest to get rid off. Stuffed animals in particular, or little ceramic figurines and souvenirs, like the ceramic bear I got ten years ago at a cottage resort in Muskoka. I want to throw it in the trash. I really do. But it’s looking at me. It doesn’t want to die. It’s happy in my basement.

Luckily, I have been in a ruthless mood lately. Not every day, but on days where I recognize it, I take advantage of the mood to dump stuff that I’ve been holding onto for years without good reason. Once it’s done, it feels good. It’s a weight off, a lightening of my life. That’s certainly something to build on.

But every now and then the universe decides to have some fun with me. It takes something with a face, and plops it somewhere where it doesn’t want to be. Just to see if my head will explode I suppose.  I was leaving a store a few days ago, and this little guy was staring at me from the side of the parking lot.

Only two things enabled me to walk away from this. First, I had no idea what to do with it to make its “life” better.  But mostly, I convinced myself on that 95F day, with the blistering sun beating down on us, cooling off in a nice big puddle of water was EXACTLY where it wanted to be.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2010 6:17 pm

    I have recently been on a big purging binge – chucking everything I can find that has little or no IMMEDIATE value. I’ve been filling bags and bags and BAGS and dropping them at Value Village. Paring down clothing! Sorting old socks! Selling old books!

    And the thing is? It’s barely noticeable. That’s how cluttery and crowded things are around here. I’m not touching anyone else’s stuff (yet?) but I’m going crazy with mine.

    I am the queen of sentimentality. I feel the same way about things with a face – eeek! – and if I could just send you all of my stuff, which you would HAVE TO treasure, I totally would.


    You are right – and I’ve noticed it for myself, too – that there is a serious lightness that comes after things are cleared out and gone. It’s beautiful to see empty spaces – or to see the things I really and truly value, on display (with nothing surrounding them).

    But oh, man, it’s hard. You have my sympathies. 😉

  2. July 25, 2010 7:10 pm

    It gets easier! The more you clear clutter, the more energy you free up in your life, the braver you get on the next round of purging clutter.

  3. July 26, 2010 1:31 pm

    Okay, DH and I read this post together, and DH suggests that perhaps that can of soup needed some alone time and that is why it was happy on the cereal shelf or it was happy visiting the cereal, it needed a change of senery. ! Let it be.
    And the apples are waiting to be picked by someone who loves brown spots. So leave it for them please. The flower on the path? It blew there in a flight of frenzie as a last dying wish to be on the path going no where. Please honor it’s wishes.

    All those old things with faces will be delighted to live for a while at the thrift store or Good Will. Someone else needs a chance to love them as you have. It’s their turn. Give them up for a good cause.

    We just did the hugest purge in 22 years of horded/collected/saved stuff in this household. More boxes and car loads than I can count went to the thrift store for battered women. They need the money that others will spend to buy my stuff. (I have to stop myself from going into the store so I do not buy any of it back as I used to frequent that store often). DH had the same problem at the SPCA thrift store, when he did see one of his books still there. Worse still was when minutes after he dropped off his precious much loved books he watched a patron carry an arm load of them to the cash register to purchase!
    I said, great, he can assured they went to a good new home.

    I love sitting in my much emptier home. We are very slowly bringing our remaining belongings back in from the boxes in the garage. But I find I am purging still. It does feel good. Cleansing. There is an echo here (the carpets are gone) and a nice ring to music played on guitar, great accoustics, with the laminate and tile floors and less stuff to absorb sounds. WE ARE FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And all our stuff is happy in it’s new homes where ever that happens to be. You too can feel this FREEDOM!!!!

    • Jacq permalink
      November 3, 2012 11:57 pm

      I concur Syl.
      It is most difficult, but it feels great when u do purge.
      Jacq the Ripper

  4. Kitty permalink
    July 27, 2010 10:42 pm

    The dog does looked thrilled! Lucky guy – his own pool.

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