Happy and Productive in the Debris Field

The author used to come unglued around chaos. Now it floats past him.

Mood music for this post: “Sons and Daughters” by The Decemberists:

Looking at the week ahead, it’s amazing I’m not hiding in a foxhole right now.

I’m working from home the first part of the week while the kids are on vacation. Call it half a vacation, though I’m tackling a full plate of work each day.

Sean’s birthday is this week, so the house needs a scrubbing before party guests arrive Thursday.

I have a conference in Boston to cover the latter half of the week into the weekend.

And oh yeah — with two vacationing kids comes a lot of clutter.

I’ve always hated clutter. It’s one of the biggest OCD triggers I have. And you can’t have kids around without accepting a certain degree of clutter. There’s no eating without dumping stuff on the floor. There’s no Lego activities without getting Legos everywhere.

But something strange has happened in more recent years. I’ve found that these things don’t rattle me the way they used to.

I chalk it up to all the progress I’ve made managing my OCD and putting down the worst of my addictions.

Now I can peacefully co-exist among the chaos and clutter. If I have work, I can do it  and do it well sitting among the debris, like I did yesterday when Duncan decided to make a blanket/pillow fort right where I was writing a couple CSO articles:

Hell, I even helped him build the thing.

Then I sat in my half-covered chair and got working. And guess what? I got plenty done.

I feel better about zigzagging from the conference to Haverhill for birthday activities because I’ve already written and posted four stories and two podcasts about things that will be going on at the event.

It’s all good.

One more thing about the clutter, though: If you know someone with OCD that’s not under control, keep them as far away from chaos as possible.

For the chaotic mind, clutter is the worst.

It amplifies the crazy in your head.

That I can now exist in the clutter is pretty wild when I stop to think about it.

Oddly enough, I’ve probably swung a bit too far to the other side of the spectrum.

My wife pointed out to be recently that I’m more of a slob since cleaning up my act.

Sounds weird, doesn’t it?

2 thoughts on “Happy and Productive in the Debris Field

  1. Pingback: How Parenthood Saved Me « THE OCD DIARIES

  2. Bill I never realized clutter was connected. I seem to have a better handle on it now, working among messes. There was a time where I couldn’t get a project started without cleaning up the piles of CD’s, paperwork, ashtrays, etc strewn about my desk. I really felt like a new man once everything was clear!

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