I’ve told you guys before about what a clean freak my mom is, and how she carries the whole universe in her purse. I avoid going into a lot of detail about the extent of her OCD, because (1) this is a personal finance blog – sometimes, anyway – and (2) she would murder me with her bare hands. Well, not her bare hands, because that could get messy. She’d probably have to bust out a pair of these:
Anyway, I’m realizing lately that I have inherited some of my mom’s obsessive-compulsive ways. I just didn’t manage to get them in the ways that count.
Let’s review all the ways I’m not like my mother, shall we?
I can’t cook I’m finally learning to cook at 29 years old. My house is usually somewhere between chaos and utter destruction, and that’s on a good day. I have a house full of dogs, including a puppy who randomly pees when she is excited, scared, bored, or (apparently) any other emotional state you can imagine. I don’t participate in fundraisers for my son’s school. I eat in my living room. I’m a smoker. Up until about 16 months ago, my finances were an utter disaster (and I’m still climbing out). Gee, does any of that scream OCD to you? I didn’t think so.
BUT… (There’s Always a But)
I will probably never be as nutso about cleanliness as my mom. Hell, I don’t even think Mr. Clean or the Pine Sol lady are on her level – they probably pay her for lessons or something. But I have to admit, there are a number of things in my life that simply must be a certain way.
Lately, as my self-employment has moved away from freelance writing and more toward web design, my OCD is in overdrive. My clients have no idea how much I agonize over the smallest details, from the exact placement of the logo to the color scheme to the way the site renders on mobile devices. I literally cried when the social media icons I made for one blog were the wrong color (then I got over it and fixed them). And while I know that the site owner’s happiness comes before mine, I die a little inside if someone chooses things I wouldn’t pick.
You see those colors? That’s the color scheme I chose for an as yet unidentified website. (It’s one of MY websites, so no stealing!) I have been agonizing over those colors since DECEMBER. And if any of you tell me you don’t like them, I will come to your house and kick you in your nether regions because I seriously cannot spend any more time looking at different shades of the same four colors.
My obsessive tendencies don’t hinder my ability to finish projects quickly. (Well, unless they’re my own projects, but that’s because I put my clients’ stuff first.) I’m learning to let things go and move on in the interest of getting done before I die of old age. But when I look back at screenshots of the work I’ve done, I find a million ways I could have done things differently or made them look better. And that’s where I’m stuck.
Part of me thinks it’s good to be nitpicky about something as important as another person’s website. After all, people judge a website within mere seconds of visiting it. But I also wonder how much I’d be able to accomplish if I didn’t feel so compelled to make everything perfect.
Do you or your friends/family have any OCD traits? Are they the good kind (like my mom’s) or the crazy kind (like mine)? Are there times when it pays off to be a little obsessive about certain things?