Tag Archives: mental health

A little OCD can be good for you

Mrs. Poolman thinks I am slightly neurotic. She is probably right. I am a little obsessive-compulsive. Most of my OCD revolves around turning off hot appliances. An hour or more after using it, I’ll ask myself…

“Did I remember to turn off the oven  /grill / iron?”

Mrs. P makes fun of me, but actually there have been a number of times I have discovered the oven left on overnight. Usually this has been when one of our children had been using it, or we had a party and a guest used it to heat up a dish. All the same, I may be neurotic, but I’m not completely crazy.

I have a way of compensating so I don’t drive Mrs. P or myself totally bonkers. When I turn off one of these appliances, I “tell myself” to remember that I have done so.

“You are unplugging the iron, Poolman. Remember this later.”

I’ll have a solid memory of performing the act to fall back on.

As I have told Mrs. P, “Not all neuroses are bad.”

I thought of this last Sunday, when I sat at Mass and listened to the lector read an entire set of readings that were entirely wrong. I felt sorry for her because she was the only person in the church who didn’t realize she was “on the wrong page.” She read the readings for the same Sunday in the next annual cycle. She wasn’t off by a week; she was off by a year. Ignorance is bliss, at least for awhile. She probably figured it out eventually.

I’ve had just about everything go wrong that possibly can go wrong when I have been a lector. Painful experience has encouraged me to get to the church early and double check everything — the Gospel book, the announcements, and especially the page-marker in the lectionary. I hate unpleasant surprises in front of large groups of people. So I”m pretty OCD about making sure everything is lined up properly.

I don’t know if a little OCD can be contagious. Why should I be selfish and enjoy all the benefits?

Don’t sweat it!

It’s cold outside in Savannah this week — not by the standards of my native Pennsylvania, but certainly by local measures.

On the way to work this morning, I heard the police were forced to close one of the major roads in one of the less developed parts of the county due to ice. No, it didn’t rain. Someone left their lawn sprinkler on all night. That’s funny. Welcome to the South!

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I was up dark and early this morning for a 7 am dentist appointment. Apparently something got confused, because they lost my appointment in their system. The front desk person looked like she expected some kind of outburst when she told me I would have to reschedule. I know some people who would blow a fuse over something like that, but for me, it wasn’t a big deal. The appointment was just for a routine cleaning, not a painful dental emergency. No sweat.

It reminds me of my old friend, Jim Ellis, who talked about the two rules for maintaining sanity.

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

2. It’s all small stuff.

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That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that bug me.  People who leave shopping carts unsecured in a parking lot is one of my pet peeves. I stopped at Kroger on the way to work to pick up a case of Pepsi Max (my go-to soft drink during the work day.) When I got back in my car, I saw the man in the row in front of me unload his shopping cart and just push it into the adjacent parking space, although there was a cart-corral just three empty spaces away. I said to myself, “You ____head. Just how lazy are you?” He couldn’t hear me since both his and my windows were both up. However, apparently his wife saw me and read my lips. She said something to him, and then he got out and moved the cart the twenty feet or so to the cart corral. I just backed out of my space and drove to work. Me say something? Never!