Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Little OCD Goes a Long Way

UPDATE: I updated the room layouts for greater accuracy. sigh.

I've diagnosed myself as being a little OCD (that's Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). I say "a little" in the sense that it sometimes annoys me, but it really doesn't interfere with day-to-day life very much. It may irritate others as well, but I prefer to ignore their discomfort; I've got plenty of my own to deal with.

One of my doctors said OCD is often a way of coping with ADD, which explains a lot: when you are liable to keep losing track of things, becoming extremely organized and detail-focused is a good way of balancing the lateral vagaries of your mind.

For the most part, this peculiarity has actually helped me. A colleague once described me as "almost obsessively organized" -- in a good way. As a team, it helps to have someone who is watching all the loose ends.

But it does have its downside. For example, I am always irritated by crooked pictures, and there are a couple in our house that NEVER seem to hang straight. Like the one at left. It hangs at the bottom of our stairs. Because of its composition, it always seems to be tilted, ever so slightly. I'm pretty sure I straighten it every time I walk by.

I need to just get some nails or superglue or something and fix it permanently.

One day, I was at our veterinarian's office and noticed that one of the diplomas was off-kilter, ever so slightly. I tried to nudge it straight, but it seemed to be snagged, so I lifted it off its nail. Big mistake -- I could not get it back on. My efforts became more frantic the longer it took, until the vet walked in, looked at me quizzically and hung it for me. Awkward.

Another time, we rented a house for a 4-night long weekend with some good friends. The house was graced with a large, open family room with a grand central fireplace flanked by beautiful, 2-storey picture windows. The furniture layout, however, irritated the heck out of me for two full days before I rearranged it. Yes, I rearranged furniture in a rental accommodation that I was only going to live in for two more days. But, look, it was really stupid:
BEFORE: Sofas perpendicular to the windows
crowded pathways
I mean, I understand why they did it that way: the windows were such a focal point that it sort of made sense to align the furniture to them. But we moved things around to this:

AFTER: Furnishings focused on the fireplace,
parallel or perpendicular to main walls.
MUCH better, eh? A small change really (though I will confess to also moving the TV, the rocking chair, the plant stand and ... maybe a few other things as well). My arrogant self thought the rental agent/owners would walk in and think, "Oh, yes! That's what we've been missing!" But, alas, when we went back the following year, everything had been restored to its original position.

Yes, we did rearrange the furniture for that subsequent visit as well, though just a little bit.

The 80% solution - less fuss, but still an improvement.

It's worth noting that, though I was the only person bothered by the layout, my hubby and friends were happy to go along with my interference. That's love, folks.

Anyway. Hope you all had a good weekend. I'm going to go alphabetize the fiction books. (Non-fiction, reference, and self-help will have to wait for another day. A girl can only do so much at a time!)

1 comment:

  1. That's OK, the non-fiction is already alphabetized!


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