I am obsessive. Anyone who knows me can insert their guffaw right now. I am aware of this tendency and try my best to temper it. It’s not a completely awful trait to possess though–my house is almost always clean and my laundry is always done. I am organized and can complete a project (any project, just try me!) in record time. I am easily motivated and am almost always willing to tackle a job. Yes, those are the upsides of being obsessive. The downsides aren’t nearly as pretty. I have tunnel vision when I’m in the midst of a project. I neglect the people in my home. I can get crabby if I can’t complete things on MY time frame. Come hell or high water, I will get things done! Probably not too fun to live with at times. Obsessive tendencies also make me highly sensitive (okay, oversensitive) to how things look (can you NOT see that the rug is crooked?!), smell, or sound (can you NOT hear the sink dripping?!).
Certain things can really set me off. Things like stressful situations, not enough sleep, a chaotic environment that is beyond my control. Those things get the OCD ball rolling for sure. It’s like my brain will focus on one thing and everything else becomes a blur. When I’m focusing on something it makes me feel grounded, in control. Sort of makes me forget that there might be another issue that needs to be dealt with. Seriously, if you see me straightening pillows and rugs, sweeping miniscule fuzz off the floor, and cleaning windows, (oh, and vacuuming for sure!) you know I’m upset. Some people cry or yell, I just tidy.
As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I have figured out when I’ve gone too far over the acceptable limit of obsessive behavior. When I can’t even sit still without thinking about how I should get up and wash the windows (inside and out), or clean the baseboards, or gosh maybe even paint the baseboards AND the windowsills, that’s when I know my brain needs to take a vacation.
How does one make one’s brain take a vacation you ask? It’s easy. I just stop making decisions about anything. I stop planning any projects. I stop going to the store even. When I’m not overwhelmed with making decisions about everyday stuff my OCD brain stops obsessing about what I should be doing and lets me just be still. Do you think I’m crazy?! I’m okay if you do. Really.
My brain is currently on vacation and I’ve allowed the http://www.motivatedmoms.com/ to do the thinking for me. Their chore list is simple, easy, and thorough. Not too much busy stuff or ambiguous tasks to complete. I just print off my weekly list, hang it on my fridge, and check things off as I complete them. My tidy nature is happy, my obsessive nature is fulfilled, and my brain is not planning anything. It’s awesome.
I’ve also started using the archives from http://www.menus4moms.com/kitchen/weeklymenu/archive/index.php to plan my meals for the week. The archives are free and contain both the recipes and the shopping lists for an entire week’s worth of dinners. I might make a few little changes to the recipes and I might omit certain gross meals, but I’m still vacationing with my brain!
These are just a few of my favorite resources to help keep my family’s daily rhythm smooth and consistent.