#SoCS: My Compulsivity

I joke at times about being a bit OCD, but the photo above is not far from my truth in the kitchen. I can obsess about keeping the counters clean, running my hand across the top, looking for crusty smudges I missed the last time I wiped them off. And I cannot wake up in the morning to a sink filled with dirty dishes. Natasha used to wonder about that – why I had to do dishes every time I ate something. Well, there’s something about not having a pile of them at the end of the day or the next morning. I can make a mess in the kitchen, but in the end, I want it cleaned up ASAP.

That being said, I am NOT a clean freak. If I get around to general house cleaning (vacuuming, dusting, washing floors) every two weeks, that’s a good thing. Not that I make big messes since it’s just me and a cat, but usually by the time the Swiffer hits the kitchen and bathroom floors and the vacuum canister fills up, I tend to realize that I may be a day or two or week late in household duties.

My compulsivity comes in bits and pieces, in choices, or perhaps in waves. When working, I remember a time when I would walk by the mail slots and stop to straighten the papers in them while my own desk looked like a tornado hit it with full intent. (It was organized intent, though.)

At home, my “office” area, sock drawer and closets are neat and tidy for a while, but then build in a crescendo of disorganization and messiness until the “I-can’t-stand-it-any-longer” bug hits me and they become neat and tidy again. If you walked into my apartment, you may not see it, but it’s there – compulsive neatness or messiness, in hiding or out in the open. It depends on the day.

Lately, food compulsion is part of the menu. I go to the grocery store with a list of six things and come home with almost two shopping bags full. Oh, that looks good…oh, I want to try that…oh, quick lunch for me…oh, I think I’m out of this (although I have two cans of it at home).

I’m a little bit OCD, a little bit perfectionist, but most of the time I try to ignore myself. There is so much more to do in life than clean and straighten and buy more coconut milk than one needs. Case in point: I haven’t done my filing since before Christmas. I had three months of winter in which to explore this, but would look at it, shrug my shoulders and whisper, “Maybe tomorrow.” This is one of those things that compulsion ignores. It probably harkens back to the 44 years of office work and filing and the many years of also keeping control of mom and dad’s paperwork. I’d really rather clean the toilets than do filing of any sort. Weird, huh?

Compulsion is a strange bedfellow. It can make people do things that they don’t really need to do. I remember years ago being at my ex-husband’s niece’s house for a party. She had serious OCD as she was cleaning out a kitchen drawer rather than being engaged with entertaining guests, as if it couldn’t wait. I used to feel that compulsion with straightening the mail slots until one day when it hit me that this was completely unnecessary. I asked myself, “What in the heck am I doing?,” and made a vow to start ignoring that disorganization. I was okay most days after that, but once in a blue moon…

Compulsion hasn’t taken over my life, but as I said before, it’s there in bits and pieces. I try to ignore what is not important or necessary, but I can’t go through life with the feeling of chaos either. Right now, my home office desk is not neat and the filing remains, but I have order in the kitchen and the vacuuming and dusting are complete. The wash is done. And soon, I will be eating the remaining remnants of my last compulsive shopping trip.

Balance is good.

Speaking of which, any compulsive cleaning or organizing may be taking a summer break when I start balancing on the bicycle. Personal priorities come before disorder. Always.

What is your compulsion, blogging peeps? Do you have a closet full of shoes? A shelf over-flowing with books? A clean kitchen counter top? We all have them, right? So feel free to join the club with your witty and compelling comments.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is socs-badge-2019-2020-1.jpg

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is the brainchild of author Linda G. Hill. Every Friday, Linda provides her followers with an inspiring blogger’s prompt. It can be a word or words and sometimes bonus points are involved (my favorite). Linda asks us to write without editing, other than correcting spelling errors.

Just go with the flow.

Like a babbling brook or rain drops. Click HERE if this type of writing floats your boat or helps with your decision-making. Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “comp.” Find a word that starts with or contains “comp” and use it in your post. Enjoy!

32 responses to #SoCS: My Compulsivity

  1. I like organized and clean tops of things – desk, dresser, kitchen counters. If I get things out I usually put them back so I’m back to the original status. Of course, there is the exception for when I have to remember something because then I need it front and center. I have an unnatural relationship with my big square printer. I want it put away but I also need to print. I keep putting it back on the shelf and then getting it back out to print. It is too stupid to address, and I recognize it’s a problem which I guess is the first step. 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Judy, perhaps you need a small square printer? Or a printer stand? I’m guessing you put it away because there’s no room for it otherwise, but I get where you’re coming from. I store a heavy cast iron skillet in a drawer under the oven and it’s a beast to get out. Yet, that is where I want it to rest. Perhaps we can call this “getting a workout,” lifting things up, putting them away, taking them out. What do you think?

  2. Sadje says:

    I think we are related somewhere down the line. I do exactly what you do. And my hands are very dry with hard cuticles because I’m always washing dishes.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Ha! Sisters in dishwashing! I have a pair of pink gloves for use in soapy water that I rarely use. Why? I don’t know, but it probably explains the band-aid on my thumb to cover a nasty crack in the skin.

      • Sadje says:

        My hand are very dry too. I don’t like using gloves either, seems a lot of hassle.

  3. Dan Antion says:

    First off, I came here to read about your quirkiness, not share mine. Mary 😉 My habits are dictated by an OCDog, who must walk, have toast, and sit at precise points during the day, or the day is lost. In general, life is too precious to get hung up on the things we get hung up on. You will realize this when you start balancing on two wheels. I will realize it when my shop is warm enough to spend several hours in. To warmer days ahead – cheers!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I forgot about how our pets aid in OCD behavior. Yesterday, after I fed Gibbs and thought he’d settle down, he came out to the livingroom and started singing a song to his people. Well, it was a song to me, to come out of the kitchen and sit on the couch so he could lay down beside me and take a nap. As if he couldn’t do that by himself. So, you know I get the Maddie edicts because I have a few of my own. By the way, I would have responded to you sooner, but there is that compulsive cup of morning caffeine that pulls me away from all else, even a whining cat.

      • Dan Antion says:

        Hahaha – we are all creatures of habit, but it beats fighting with ourselves. Enjoy your second cup 😉

  4. lois says:

    We must have been separated at birth. Not a clean freak, but the house will be in order before I turn in for the night. HAS TO BE. I cannot work in a mess, so organization is paramount for me. Then I can breathe…

  5. JoAnna says:

    I can definitely relate to compulsivity in bits and pieces, as well as preferring toilet cleaning (and picking up pet poop) to doing paperwork. Cleaning countertops is a must here as the weather gets warmer. Soon, ants or other bugs will start to come find any crumb or cat food left out for more than a few minutes. But I do have piles of clutter, because “There is so much more to do in life than clean and straighten.”…As long as I do my ritual stove check before I leave the house. Enjoy the coming of spring!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I have teeny little flying bugs that show up even in the middle of winter. I’m not sure where they come from and I’m pretty sure there is no compulsive action I could take to totally eradicate them. As long as it’s only one here, one there and none for days at a time, it’s okay. In the meantime, I think I’ll see what’s for breakfast and wash my kitchen floor. Have a great day, JoAnna!

  6. Maggie says:

    I love this post because I, too, have ‘pick and choose’ compulsions. If I fold something, the edges really need to be neat. I hate my granite because I cannot ‘see’ what I am sure lingers there. Vacuuming is a chore and I allow it to wait until I just cannot stand it anymore. If hubby helps out and folds the towels, I usually refold them before I put them away. When I wake in the morning, it is a clean kitchen that starts my day off right. But please, no looking at my compulsion of art supplies in every nook and cranny. 🙄

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Ha! The towel re-folding reminds me of something I do at church. They have weekly missalettes (folded brochures) that a volunteer folds. When I sit in church, I refold the one in my hand because they are never exactly perfect. I can’t help myself.

      I cannot judge you on the art supplies. I think that’s an awesome compulsion to have. And, by the way, I’ll come and do your vacuuming if you come here and clean my bathrooms. Okay? ;-p

      • Maggie says:

        I could see me refolding the brochures, too.

        But on the bathroom front…also not a favored chore. I am afraid I would choose vacuuming over cleaning toilets. 😂

  7. J-Dub says:

    No dishes in the sink for me either. I make my bed every day. I fold the clothes when they come out of the dryer, no sitting in a basket waiting to be folded and/or put away. We plan our meals a week at a time. Sounds kinda rigid because it is. lol

  8. quiall says:

    Bookshelves. I have several hundred books and they are, for the most part, alphabetized by author. I explain that it actually quite practical in that when I go to buy a book I know quickly if I already have it. That’s what I tell people. I just like my books alphabetized.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I alphabetized my CD collection, but didn’t think to do the same with books. Although, Pam, I don’t have as many as you. Maybe I need to buy a few more… 😉

  9. murisopsis says:

    Hehe! I’m rabid about water spots on my faucets and sinks. I have to wipe them up immediately. If not they leave a mineral deposit that requires massive work to erase. I prefer to avoid hard labor so wiping up is the best deal. Sparky is the one who makes the mess and he just can’t see the water! As for dusting – I hate to dust and will let it go until I can wipe dust into pikes and make little sculptures!

  10. slfinnell says:

    I’m told I run a tight ship with my daycare. Children love predictable routines so that must be my thing lol Thanks for visiting my blog😊

  11. I can relate to your comment about not wanting to deal with paper after having to deal with all my mom’s papers when she passed away. I can tell that I have her compulsion of keeping things that might be important someday! LOL. I agree, it’s all about balance – and seizing the sunny days and nice weather instead of completing the projects I started the day before! Happy Spring, Mary!!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The multitudes if paper drive me crazy and, yet, I let it sit. I don’t have compulsion to keep it, but first I have to be intentional about finding a shredding event in Appleton. It’s only been sitting here a few years… 😉

      • I know how you feel. It’s easy to ignore the papers until you have to move the piles or boxes again. I hope you can find a shredding event – it is so freeing to drive through and drop of boxes at those events!

  12. dweezer19 says:

    OMG. I so get this Mary. Are you a Cancer by any chance? My compulsion comes from being a nester and you know what they say about birds and their nests. For me it is the obvious, like clutter and things out of place. If things look neat and I can see open spaces or neat stacks, I can ignore the two week dust bunnies under the beds. Dusting furniture is the bane of my existence but I don’t like seeing it in the light. Hubs and I agree about dishes, they get done after the meal. Nothing worse than having to face cold dirty dishes when you are tired. I guess for me it boils down to not being a procrastinator. I like my list to be checked off so I can have my own time to be outside, write, paint or just daydream. But for the right invitation I can walk out like Scarlet O’Hara and think about it tomorrow. 🤭😀

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I am a Libra, Cheryl. I’m supposed to be balanced in life, so perhaps it’s messiness/procrastination and OCD/perfectionism on their separate sides of the scale. Sometimes the scale tips more one way or another, but that’s okay as long as the dishes get done and I don’t obsess over a messy desk when it’s time to be outside.

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