My obsessive nature

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I’ll admit. I’m a bit of a control freak. I’m a huge control freak. And I thought it would be time to come clean.

That picture pretty much sums me up: list making, neat, structured, neurotic, obessive organizer and overactive worker. I could have taken a picture of my diary of this week, or last week, or the one before the Christmas vacation, or well any week really. It actually looks worse than the picture above, but I didn’t want to give you all a heart attack.

I’m obsessed with order an d organization. Not so much with cleaning though, which doesn’t make me OCD. At least, that’s what my psychologist told me. The best description is ‘neurotic’. I get nervous about the slightest changes in my schedule. I arrange things timely and get antsy whenever I have to rely on others to get things done. I have a tendency to say: oh I’ll do that, just because I don’t ‘trust’ others to do the job. I make lists for everything: groceries, to do lists, ‘wish lists’, etc. In other words: if things happen which are out of my hands, I get stressed out and I can’t function.

I simply love structure. Everything at home has a certain place. When you peer into my room, or my housemate’s you’ll see a shocking difference. Her room is always a gigantic mess, while mine looks neat. It tends to be a bit cluttered as I live my life on 30 M2, so I keep all of my stuff in that one room, but it’s neat and organized. I alphabatize my books, CDs and records, color code my socks, t-shirts and sweaters and hang washed clothing and stack washed dishes always in the same way. Once an object has a place, it will never move from that place unless I am cleaning up. I can take all of my records of their shelves and regroup, reorder and reorganize them, just for fun.

I love getting stuff done and make lists on a daily basis. It’s pretty much the first thing I do when I get to my office. In a way, I’m a nightmare to work with, but it has never come up in my job other than a comment from a colleague that I seem to feel that ‘standing still’ is like moving backwards. My anxiety about getting stuff done does not allow me to sit down and reflect on things. Rather, my aim is to finish my list as soon as possible and I cannot rest until the list is done. I have this continuous drive to keep going, going, going.

This obsessive structuredness does have its advantages. The only reason why I can manage traveling 3 hours a day, working a 80% job and full time studies, is because I’m structered and hyper organized. If it weren’t for the lists, the time tables, and the color coding, I wouldn’t be able to juggle so many tasks all at once. Since I’m so focused on orgazing things, it is also something I like to do. For instance, those trips I blogged about on Friday. It is me who’s figuring out the flights and hotels. In general, people tend to like that and I’m having fun while at it as well.

However, when you’re as structured and organized as me, there are also a few disadvantages. I cannot go to bed or get to sleep before I have cleaned up everything. I cannot imagine leaving a glass in my room and not put it in the kitchen before going to bed. I usually feel like I’ve forgotten something if everything isn’t organized and put away at the end of the day. Whether it’s shoes, left overs from dinner or a stray CD, I simply cannot sleep if the place isn’t tidy. On top of that, being able to juggle many things may sound like a good thing, but you can also juggle too many things and that’s when things go wrong. You lose all sense of control and, when you like control like me, that is the worst case scenario.

I briefly told you about being under a lot of stress as a teacher, but add to that my obsessive nature and you’ll get the right recipe for disaster (meaning borderline burn-out). If it wasn’t for attracting mono and that being the reason for my crashing so badly a little over 2 years ago, I most likely would have ended up with a burn out. Fortunately for me, things didn’t get that bad. I have had a fair warning and am now aware of the signs of me getting overworked and having to take a break. With that being said, I notice that I am still struggling with being an overactive, overorganized person who has to watch out for not getting too caught up in things.

Question: What are your crazy habits?

9 responses to “My obsessive nature”

  1. Petra Avatar

    Well, to some extent this doesn’t sound that obsessive to me! I have my books and cds alphabetised too (how else am I going to find anything?), I have a preferred order for dishes and clothes, preferred places for things, and most of the time, the placement means something, e.g. the first thing to use is on top, the oldest T-shirts are at the bottom of the stack, things put in direct view need to be handled in some way, etc. And I’m always putting stuff back where it belongs after being used, including the stuff that has been used by my hubby 😉 It seems like life exists of creating order, because if I let it go, the house will be a mess in no time (one day, possibly) and I cannot handle it, I almost literally don’t see it.
    The only thing I cannot seem to handle is magazines and newspapers. I’m an information junkie and cannot throw anything away that may contain something worthwhile reading. If you have a solution for that, I’m happy to hear it.

    PS Somewhat more obsessive: always putting stuff back at right angles (90 degrees), including pictures in other people’s houses, and setting the volume of the tv at an even number *shame, blush*

    1. indiequeen84 Avatar

      Hahaha that sounds just like me. But you know me and how finicky I am about my pillows! Frodo still makes fun of me for that! BTW I love how you reply in either Dutch or English. Seems to be completely random!

      1. Petra Avatar

        I guess it depends on my mood 😉

  2. AWildDog Avatar

    It’s not that obsessive hun, some people are just like that. The not being able to sleep because something is out of place – that’s more obsessive.
    When things start to affect you’re life, that’s when it becomes obsessive, bt no real danger in being really organised.
    I’ve had OCD (managed to overcome most of it) so I know how horrible it feels to feel things are out of control. x

    1. indiequeen84 Avatar

      I know it’s not that bad, but sometimes I just wish I weren’t so picky about things. That I could just let things be. Because sometimes I do feel like it takes over my life. I’ve managed to let some of it go, but I can clearly tell that things sometimes nearly spiral out of control again. It’s usually when I feel out of control that I try to hang onto structure and organization more than usual, which is when it can get very frustrating.

      1. AWildDog Avatar

        I do much the same hun, but in different ways. But letting some of it go one by one is how I got over my OCD so you’re going in the right direction. x

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