Technology: The Art of False Victories

I have been known to be a bit obsessive from time to time (all the time). It is at once both an endearing and incredibly irritating trait and tends to drive people bonkers. Still, it is a part of who I am and, though I work hard to ensure my obsessiveness does not take over my entire psyche, I have learned to live with it.

Accepting and living with my OCD has actually gotten easier in the last few years.

You see, Dear Reader, one of my biggest compulsive ticks is that I can’t stand it when things do not open on my computer in the correct order. I like to have my Outlook open first (mailbox then calendar), followed by the Internet Browser, Excel and then Word.
That’s not too weird, right? Lots of people like things just so!

When this tick first developed I would actually need to restart my computer if the programs opened in the wrong order or if, God Forbid, I accidentally closed one. Over time I managed to dial it down a bit so I only had to close EVERYTHING and reopen them in the correct order and no longer had to restart. This was a vast improvement.

But over the last year I have noticed a huge difference. I no longer restart or close programs dozens of times a day. No, now I can work like a normal person, leaving programs where they open all willy nilly.

I have been so proud of the strides I have made, persevering against all odds.

Or, that is to say, I HAD been so proud.

My joy at having beaten this quirk was dashed aside when I was notified that my overcoming this OCD tick wasn’t really a victory at all but a bi-product of a Microsoft Windows update.

The credit for my milestone instead goes to whoever the genius was (is?) that invented ‘pinning programs to your task bar’.

I owe this person my deepest and most sincere thanks. (Even if they did steal my thunder. Asshole.)

I suppose I am grateful. Not having to restart or close everything dozens of times a day has made me more productive. But alas, that productiveness is tinged with the bitterness of knowing Microsoft is an enabler.

For shame, Microsoft. For shame.

Crises Averted (Just A Little Bit)

Kevin and I saved the world last Sunday.

You’re welcome.

Ok fine, ‘saved the world’ could also be interpreted as ‘beat Pandemic Legacy Season 1’ but the two are so closely related as to be interchangeable.

I mean, obviously our binge playing of Pandemic Legacy has prepared us to take on any world catastrophe of the epidemic variety.

We are seasoned professionals.

So, once again, you’re welcome.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and rest easy knowing that Kevin and I are here in case any super diseases outbreak.
(Unless curing super diseases actually takes real medical skill and doesn’t involve collecting 5 cards of the same colour. But what are the odds of that?)

Ok. I have a terrible confession to make.

Brace yourselves, Dear Readers …

My bragging is all for show.

The truth is that while we did beat the game, we also made a mistake towards the end that I feel robs us of our victory.

We unknowingly cheated and therefore everything feels cheapened. Sure, we still would have won, but the end results could have been so different!

Honestly, I have not stopped stressing about this since we found out the truth and have even been trying to convince Kevin that we need to buy a new copy of the game so we can play it through again without accidentally cheating. He is not on board with this suggestion.
(On board?! BOARD GAME PUN! HAHAHAHAHA.)

I need to know if I can win properly!

And what if Season 2 of Pandemic Legacy builds off of Season 1? How will I be able to play Season 2 knowing that the end results on Season 1 are wrong? That we are starting a new season under false pretenses?

These are important questions!

One of these days I will learn to stop obsessing about things I cannot change, but that will probably come after I have had a chance to beat Pandemic Legacy. Again. Properly.

Happy Friday, Dear Readers. I hope your weekend is less anxiety filled than mine.

Pandemia-Legacy-

I found this picture on the Interwebs.

Fishy Self Esteem

Kevin and I bought a fish together last weekend.

I know, I know, the commitment level of this is giving me panic attacks but fish don’t live that long and it’s ok because I will obviously retain custody of our fish if anything were to happen between us (also the waffle maker, but that’s just a given).

… Just kidding, Sweetie!

Phew. Good thing Kevin doesn’t read my blog!

Anyway … moving on!

Our new fish, Captain Slow (named after the always lovely James May) is pretty darn awesome. He’s a spoiled brat of a betta who I love just as much, if not more than, everyone else in my life. What can I say, I get attached very quickly.

Captain Slow, getting used to his new home.

Captain Slow, getting used to his new home.

Side note: I just had a moment of realization. Considering my current level of attachment to Captain Slow perhaps it isn’t a good thing that they don’t live very long? Is there anyone doing research on how to prolong the life of fish? I’d like to donate to the cause! 2-3 years just isn’t long enough!

Captain Slow is basically the most amazing fish ever and, while I won’t admit to the exact number, I can honestly say I have already spent many hours just watching him do his thing.

But recently I have become quite concerned and, dare I say it, rather worried!
(Is that redundant? Whatever.)

You see, Dear Reader, Captain Slow has been working really hard to create a banging bubble nest. (‘Banging’ both because it is awesome AND because it is built for the purpose of banging. Double entendre!)

His first gorgeous bubble nest was accidentally destroyed when I had to change his water (my bad!), but he refused to be sidetracked and is now building a second nest that is better than ever.

It’s quite beautiful and I am sure lady bettas would swim right to it! Heck, they would probably be honoured!

BUBBLES! ALL THE BUBBLES!

BUBBLES! ALL THE BUBBLES!

But there won’t be any lady friends for Captain Slow and I worry about the effect this will have on his self-esteem.

Here he is, working hard and building something beautiful without getting to enjoy the fruits of his labours. How will he deal with the sting of rejection after weeks of loneliness? How will he understand that it’s just not possible for him to have a lady fish friend and it doesn’t have anything to do with his bubble making skills?

I have genuinely begun to fret about this.

(For the record, Kevin thinks I am worrying about nothing. Dear Reader, this is why I consider the fish more mine. Kevin just doesn’t love Captain Slow like I do.)

Alas, I will just have to buy Captain Slow some new toys like this floating log to comfort him during this difficult time.

Dear Readers, do you have any advice on Fish Self Esteem? Any suggestions on how I can lessen the pain and feelings of inadequacy Captain Slow is no doubt feeling?

An Alphabet of OCD

A          Alphabetizing Everything

B          Breakdowns

C          Counting

D          Double Checking, then Double-Double Checking (Never Triple Checking because that’s an Odd way to put it)

E          Even Numbers Only

F          Freaking Out about Odd Things (Literally)

G         Googling one subject for hours, even the boring stuff

H          Hoarding but calling it Collecting

I           Interested in Everything, though really it is more obsessive than actual interest

J           Joking about “CDO” (It’s like OCD, but the letters are in Alphabetical Order… As they should be.)

K          Kicking ass at colouring books

L           Lack of Sleep

M        Multiples of 2, 5 or 10

N         Normalizing behaviour

O         Obsessive Organization

P          Practicing Conversations

Q         Questions and being extra, extra thorough

R          Rituals

S          Social Anxiety

T          Tracking Everything: Books Read, Movies Watched, Steps Taken …

U         Understanding when others have the same problem

V          Very, Very Organized (which is different than Obsessive Organization … because I say so)

W        Watching everything and everyone … but in a non-creepy way. Mostly.

X          X-Tra ways of spelling words because you have to complete the alphabet

Y          Yelling when people try and put your books/dvds/life out of order

Z          Zonked – or, perpetually exhausted.

Do-si-do?! Nope!

The do-si-do gives me Social Anxiety.

Yes, I am aware that this is weird, but it’s very true. It is also why I refuse to attend Thursday night Zumba classes. You see, Dear Reader, there is one song during Thursday night Zumba that requires the participants to touch each other. A simple do-si-do done during the chorus of Pit Bull’s “Timber” sends me into a mild-to-moderate state of panic every time.

It’s horrid.

For a several horrifically prolonged seconds I am forced to touch sweaty strangers, linking arms and dancing circles around the floor while others bob their heads in time to the music, throwing sweat droplets around the room like tiny germ-filled bombs. Sometimes (always) it makes me feel like I’m going to be sick.

And even worse are the times when no one chooses me for the do-si-do and I am left alone in the middle of the class, dancing in circles and trying desperately not to accidentally hit people in the face with my incredible lack of coordination.

Even thinking about it now is stressing me out.
*Deep breath.*

My reactions are totally reasonable, always. Or, you know, usually. ... Sometimes?

My reactions are totally reasonable, always. Or, you know, usually.
… Sometimes?

It is the worst ever and I refuse to do it.

Ok, fine. I get that there are worse things in the world than being forced to link arms with a genuinely nice person but I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

Seriously, my mind is drawing a blank.

Alas, I will just have to content myself with alternating between running in place and drinking a perfectly reasonable sized glass of wine on Thursday nights because Zumba is definitely a no-go.

triSARAHtops vs. Anxiety

As I have mentioned in the past, I suffer from OCD (albeit a fairly mild case, thankfully). This is something that has been with me my entire life and as such it is something I am both used to and comfortable with.

Usually.

Every once in a while the compulsions get the better of me and I can feel myself slipping into dangerous territory. This usually happens in times of high stress.

I will count every step, breaking out into a cold sweat when the number of steps to my door is an odd number. I will alphabetize my DVD’s and then I will re-alphabetize them just in case I got it wrong the first time. Then I will do it a third time, this time checking inside each DVD just in case the discs have been switched.

I will binge watch all 6 seasons of a show that I loathe just because I saw the first episode and now can’t stop until it’s done.
(This is why I generally try to avoid starting shows while they are still on the air. I really can’t stand the idea of committing myself to 10 seasons of mediocrity.)

These slips are few and far between though they do happen. In an effort to cope with these instances I have developed tools and strategies to recognize and combat them as they start.

One of those tools is Pinterest.

I kid you not, Dear Reader. Obsessively pinning DIY crafts and Inspirational Quotes allows me to still feed my compulsions without going overboard. Hoarding virtual pins won’t hurt anybody and it can be very cathartic.

At least until something like this happens. The other day I was searching Pinterest for quotes on anxiety, hoping for inspirational gems I could copy onto post-its and plaster all over my apartment in both a compulsive fashion and a calming gesture. Instead I found this:

IMG_7115

Dear Reader, if you can’t tell why this picture sent me spiraling into a pit of counting and alphabetizing with a massive side of eye twitches you obviously do not suffer from OCD. Let me spell it out for you. This list goes 1 through 5 and then skips ahead to 7.

What about 6?

Seriously. What about 6?

What if “Coping Statement” number 6 was the one I needed? The one that would cure me? Where is it? What happened? Why is it gone?

“Coping Statement” number 6 has become my Holy Grail. The mythical element needed to find everlasting peace and enlightenment.

This cursed picture has caused me more anxiety than you can even imagine.

I am obsessed.

I must know what “Coping Statement” number 6 is.

Or, at the very least, I must find the author of this picture and punch them in the face.

 

Clothing Confessions

I bought my first maternity wear shirt from Old Navy yesterday. It’s adorable, brightly floral and with incredibly comfortable ruching down the sides.

I am thrilled with it and look pretty damn great if I do say so myself.

No, dear reader, I am definitely not pregnant. (Definitely, definitely not.) I just have a fairly sizeable beer belly that doesn’t seem to want to disappear despite all of the hiking and Zumba (though my delicious craft beer habit probably has something to do with that). (Déjà vu?)

Alas, if continuing drinking beer means looking just a little bit (or a lot) like I’m pregnant than that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. Who knows, maybe it will even get me the good seats on the bus?

The trek to Old Navy to buy my lovely new top was one of my first shopping trips in a long time. Sure, I’ve picked up things here and there when necessary but this was the first time I went near a store on my own without a buddy in tow.

Clothing is one of my biggest obsessions. I love to design clothes and style combinations (my stick figure drawings always have the best dresses) and I always plan my outfits out the night before. (Sometimes I plan out all of my outfits for the week on Sunday night making sure to match the right Robot Necklace with the right top. I definitely wouldn’t want them to clash!)

In fact, my planning of outfits and clothing obsessions tie in quite nicely with my OCD. It has always been a compulsion for me. I hang everything up in my closet facing exactly the same way, keeping styles separate (never mixing my plain tank tops, patterned tops, collared shirts together and so on and so forth) and I sometimes buy dozens (ok, four at most) of the same shirt when I find a style I like. Many of the items in my closet and drawers are actually colour coded.

Ok. All of them are colour coded. Every single one.

And while I often look fairly stylish (*wink wink*) this is definitely a habit I am trying to curb. (The compulsive shopping, not the colour coding. Colour coding your clothing is just sensible.)

You tell it, Pinterest!

You tell it, Pinterest!

Shopping for clothing has always been my pick me up when times are tough. It is just as much my way of feeling good about myself and reaffirming that I am worth it as it is my way of rewarding myself and celebrating when things go well.

You know, except on the days where it totally backfires and I just end up feeling terrible in everything I try on and go home to eat an entire bag of salt ‘n’ vinegar chips dipped in Vanilla yogurt (yes, this actually tastes surprisingly good.). This usually results in more shopping in a desperate attempt to repair the damage of the day before.

But no more!

I have spent the last 6 months working hard to curb my shopping habits and I am doing this not just for the sake of my wallet and my exploding closet, but to sever the emotional relationship I have developed with stores like Reitman’s. It’s been hard but it’s been worth it.

I no longer feel the need to celebrate every milestone with a new pair of jeans or to drown my sorrows in cotton and denim. Learning to understand my own emotions rather than just bury them in adorable and not-quite affordable chiffon tops is something that was long overdue for me.

I am proud of the progress I have made and yesterday I felt a massive sense of relief going into a store and not feeling the immediate urge to buy every single thing that I liked even a little bit (in all four available colours).

Instead I was able to pick up the items I needed, including a stretchy new floral top to accommodate my cuddly tummy.

And it was great.

Dear reader, habits can be changed for the better and while it may be hard it’s almost always worth it.

(This filler post brought to you by the “I have nothing really else to talk about” section of my brain. Thank you for stopping by.)

Fit-over sunglasses are MOST definitely stylish. Taking care of your eyesight is sexy.

Fit-over sunglasses are MOST definitely stylish. Taking care of your eyesight is sexy.