Sometimes I see things for their potential to the exclusion of everything else. That gets in the way of what I should be doing. A good example is my music collection. It’s not terribly, about 700 or so CDs. Many of these CDs were packed into boxes when I moved from Virginia Beach to San Diego. Most of them had been ripped before the move so I didn’t exactly need them in San Diego. So, they stayed packed away. The made the move to Sacramento when they spent the time in my grandmother’s garage. Once I moved to my parent’s house here in North Carolina, I had full access to them again. They were taking up space, along with other stuff, in the garage here. My mom or dad would occasionally ask me what I was going to do with them and I would usually answer “I don’t know”. That had been a pretty standard answer for me. I think it was part of the low grade and then deeper depression I was in. The other thing that was a player here was that I saw in those boxes a potential. The potential that all that music held for me. Music is one of my triggers, both up and down, good and bad memories, and these boxes held the potential to cause that type of reaction. I think I was afraid to do anything with those boxes of CDs because I was afraid to start really feeling something again. What if it did something bad? It wasn’t until I came out of a long depression last spring that I decided to get those CDs out and do something with them. My dad and I built shelves in the garage and I got a CD cataloging program and I went to town. I spent a couple of days entering the CDs into the database and the next month or so listening to a lot of those CDs. I continue to listen a lot. I’m happy to say that even the music that has the potential drop me into a hole doesn’t have that effect on me. I’m definitely in a better place than I was even 6-8 months ago.
Another good, albeit, shorter example, is my new phone. I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now and other than calling and checking e-mail, I’ve used it for little else. That’s because the phone can do so many different things. I’ve spent that last two weeks learning about all the things it can do, researching all the free applications for it, then loading and trying out those applications. But I’ve only just tried things out, I haven’t really used them. This electronic device is so much more than a phone. It has the potential to be so much more for me. I just want to get it set up as best I can before I actually using it to its full potential. What’s worse is that I suspect I’m robbing myself of the experience of using it. Every time I find something new, I go running to my mom or dad saying “Check this it, it can do this.” I imagine they are probably getting tired of that. Spending time optimizing something is not time spent enjoying the use of it.
These aren’t the only examples, but I won’t go on. I suspect it is some form of OCD and I should probably research it a bit more.
Do any of you out there have a similar story? I’d be interested in hearing about it. Please comment here or leave me a message using the Reply Form in the upper right corner.