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When I say I “obsess” I sometimes mean it in that fangirl way a lot of us do when we find a new show to binge watch. Or I mean it in the way only a goal-oriented, driven person can.
But sometimes I mean it clinically. As someone with high-functioning OCD, my thoughts really can become obsessive. Not always in a harmful way, thankfully, but certainly in a distracting way.
Currently, I’m obsessing over our move next summer.
Oh, hadn’t I mentioned that? Yes, John Brownstone and I are moving next summer. All we know about it is that it will be somewhere in Florida that’s more affordable than where we currently live. And yes, we know a year in advance…because that’s how planners roll. (And by “roll” I mean we’ll carefully and strategically move forward in a circular motion. Rolling sounds too chaotic.)
Our job between now and then is to figure out where, find decent schools, get our home ready to sell, and find a new place to live. Yeah, that’s all.
I’m also obsessing over our home purchase a year after that. (Thanks to a foreclosure after my divorce, our timing is screwy.)
Not only am I looking at homes that won’t even be on the market in a year or two, I’m constantly calculating mortgage payments, debt-to-income ratios, and annual wages. How much do we make, how much do we need to make, and how much can we make? None of it matters right now. Our mortgage guy told me what we need to do and where our income needs to be in 2020. This information has already been gathered.
But still I calculate. (How much sex writing and kinky fuckery can buy a house? In a year or two, we’ll find out for sure.)
Part of it, I think, is that it’s an unknown and so much of it’s out of my control. Typically, my OCD behaviors (like checking the oven and jiggling the door handle) come from a fear of forgetting or a fear of danger.
This isn’t the same thing. Well, if I’m honest, I’m terrified my income will drop dramatically, terrified we won’t find a place to live, and terrified that a mortgage company will laugh their ass off at me in 2020 when I’m eligible to buy again. But not obsessively terrified. Just your run-of-the-mill worried which is kind of a relief. It’s not every day I experience “typical” anxiousness.
I think, if I let myself analyze my own OCD (something almost impossible to do — especially if you get caught in a feedback loop of your own making) is that I want to know. I like certainty, and I love plans. But these future plans don’t lend themselves to certainty, not yet, anyway.
In fact, they’re too far out to know anything for sure. Life can change in an instant, and I’m well aware of that. Other people, with better hardwiring would say I need to stop worrying, overthinking, and planning. But those people, clearly, don’t obsess and worry the way people like me do.
I wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night calculating. Every time a client offers a gig, I mentally add it up in my head — before I figure out if I have room in my schedule. For someone who is decidedly a words girl, I have too many numbers running through my mind.
Thankfully, I’m a woman of many obsessions. While I can’t always control which obsession hits me when, I can often distract myself from one with another.
But in the meantime, I may slip away and start adding numbers up again, just to make sure…in case of…well, who the hell knows, but in a year or two, it’ll all make sense.
Until then, I obsess.