June 8, 2011

Obsessive, Me?

Yes, I’ll admit I’m a little obsessive. Not the wash-your-hands-till-they-bleed kind of obsessive. Not the check-the-lock-on-the-door-three-times obsessive. More when I get a problem or a task in front of me, especially when I’m in a certain mood, I can’t let it go and I worry it and obsess about it.

This makes me good at computer problem-solving, and in every job I’ve held I’ve ended up by default becoming a computer go-to person. Those engineering classes help, but it’s more about the fact that I’m a bulldog when it comes to these things and won’t unclench until I’ve figured it out.

This is not always a good trait ~ just ask my husband. I’ll sink my teeth into something and I let other things go until I’ve solved the damn thing. I once spent two nonconsecutive weeks straight trying to get an online backup to work. (Grrrrrr.)

Puzzles like Sudoku and Scrabble and crosswords don’t strike me the same way. I don’t know why. I’ve never gotten into them. They seem surficial, while the puzzle of putting together fiction or tracking down your ancestors for family history is fascinating to me. I guess it’s something about the level of complexity. I would venture that one reason people like puzzles like Sudoku is that they are a pleasant diversion and it makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. I guess I need the complexity and engagement of the bigger problems.

But it also means I lay in bed at night and obsess sometimes, my mind whirring and whirling. It’s not as bad as it used to be when I drank a lot of coffee and kept really irregular hours, but it still happens sometimes where my mind fixates on something and I can’t let it go. It’ll often be something I’m writing or about to write. Say I’ve got a letter or email on an important topic that I know I need to write. I’ll lay there and start composing it in my head, and it’ll go round and round. I think it’s a good thing in that my mind works over the problem and fixes it and the writing comes easier, but at the time I have a heck of time falling asleep. Part of it too is I hate unresolved conflict, and that will get me going.

Can you tell it happened to me last night?

Question of the Day: So, you got an quaint mental ticks?

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