— Life —

OCD or not OCD? That is the Question.

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For two hours, I’ve been trying to get to my desk to work on my book, but first, there were things that had to be done. I walk around the house, barefoot, most of the time, so I can feel when the floor is dirty more than I can see it on this espresso-colored wood. This morning I felt it was particularly crumby from last night’s cornbread, so I had to sweep. And, I couldn’t leave the breakfast dishes in the sink, so I had do them, and the bed… Usually I make it the minute I get out of it, but this morning I needed coffee more than I needed a neat bed. Now I’m rushing to accomplish everything so I can sit down and write.

“What would happen if you just left that stuff until later,” you ask? Well, nothing, except I know I can’t–insert ‘won’t‘–do that. I’d worry about what was undone.

You know that nagging feeling when you leave the house: “Did I leave the iron on?” No, bad example. Who irons anymore? Okay, the small voice that haunts you: “Did I lock the door; remember to feed the cat; close the garage door, or lock the back gate so the dog won’t get out, again?” Yes! That voice would bother me the whole time, distracting me until I got up and checked to make sure I did them.

I also leave my home in immaculate condition when I go on vacation. God forbid I should pass-away… I’d hate to have the people settling my affairs thinking I was a slob. I know I’d be beyond caring in the afterlife, but until that time comes…

There’s a certain amount of chaos and disorder each of us can tolerate, and I’ve learned my threshold doesn’t include an unmade bed, a filthy floor, and a sinkful of dirty dishes. I’d never be able to lose myself in my imagination. However, a hundred sticky notes all over my desk can easily be ignored. Go figure!

I looked up the definition of compulsive behavior. The good news: Monk is OCD. I’m not. The bad news: It turns out I may have anal-retentive behavior. Am I going to let this bother me? Not in the least. I’ll put a positive spin on it and proudly proclaim I’m a highly detail-oriented woman. How about you?


  • Esther Zimmer March 15, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Donna, I love your honesty and humour! Unmade beds and unwashed dishes are intolerable to me too, yet for some reason I find I’m actually more productive if I’ve got sticky notes galore and a pile of papers on my desk! Esther xx

    • Donna O'Klock March 16, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      We are Soul-Sisters, aren’t we, Esther??? I fantasize about a sleek white desk with nothing but my laptop and a glass of pens… but, that ain’t gonna happen!

  • 1010ParkPlace March 15, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    While I do leave a clean house when I go out of town–same reason as yours–my friend, Virginia, can no longer call me “Nancy Neat.” I let that side of me slide while my house was being redone last fall, but I’m working hard to get back to being Nancy again. xoxox, Brenda

    • Donna O'Klock March 16, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      I wish I could be Nancy Neat all of the time, too. Sigh. I am certain you will get there, Brenda. Not so certain I will. Maybe I can add one hour of organization to my schedule on M-W-F?

  • Susan Tolles March 15, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Love this, Donna! I’m right there with you…I even make my bed when no one else is home, or expected for the day! Then at night, I wondser why I went to all the trouble. Maybe we are just doing nice things for ourselves, to show us how much we love us!

  • Donna O'Klock March 16, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you, Susan! My Dad was military – and ran a tight little ship! I think with 5 daughters he was hoping to instill order and prevent the eventual chaos! We were all expected to “make our bunks” first thing in the morning.
    When I moved out, and rebelled, I found out that I hated the look of a messy bed…
    I think we are doing nice things for ourselves, and by doing what makes us happy, it does show how much we love ourselves!

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