Living the Sorta-OCD Life

Susan-Mermaid-avatarSome of my mermaid friends know that my daughter returned to the nest two years ago. She made a brave decision, and walked away from an abusive and failing marriage.

She’s made a lot of progress since that sad day, but one thing hasn’t changed. Obsessive-compulsive living. I know, because I have it, too.

This condition, often dormant (or so we tell ourselves) has most recently emerged, yet again, as the two of us teamed up to redecorate our home’s main bathroom. The lavender color it sported for two years, on which we agreed only after hours-long discussions, was voted out. Unbeautiful, it lay on the walls with a sort of hyper-polite, John Gielgud air. Trust me, there ain’t no joyful living with a slightly grape-griege wall surface tapping on your brain in the morning as a person brushes her teeth.

20140624_104853_1She settled on a vibrant teal (inspired by a clock, but that’s another story). It’s very kick-ass.  Then, she wanted a new shower curtain. And wouldn’t it be nice to replace the laundry baskets with a woven hamper? How about a curved shower rod? New wastebasket? And oh, yeah, that cute crocheted toilet paper caddy, Mom, that you made during the blizzard when the lights were out for thirteen hours? It has to go.

And on and on. I fear, at the moment, the decorating vibe is waning, however. Twenty minutes remains to paint the window woodwork. Another thirty is needed to mount the new blind. I see no movement recently.

That’s okay, because I also decided the master bathroom could use some updating.

I’ve bought five shower curtains and returned four. Two bath rugs bought, one remains. Ditto the trash can. Just one new shower rod and rings. By sheer good luck, I happened on a yard sale and found a framed poster that will replace the current artwork.   20140624_105203_1

As a last salute to the OCD urge, I mounted the latest (and last!) shower curtain this morning, pleated the header into a neat bundle and dosed the knife edges with a nice shot of spray starch.  OCD, some?  Yeah, buddy. pleats


20140624_105007_1My bathroom is done.  I refuse to worry about the Daughter’s.  It’s all good, you know, to let a thirty-year old claim her project. It has me wondering, though, as I trot here and there, both buying and returning:

Isn’t this a lot like writing?

Well, it’s not. If it were writing, I’d be doing the BICHOK thing, spinning out words (like now, and on deadline, too).

However, the back and forth of choosing, modifying, changing course, writing, rewriting, sticking to a program to create the best bathroom book possible?


Share with me, if you dare, your obsessive-compulsive moments with decorating  writing.  Maybe there’s a pattern!




About Susan Jeffery

I am loving the challenge (sometimes) of re-entering the contemporary romance market after a lifetime of raising two fantastic children (it never ends, btw). Just when I thought I was done with kids, I accepted a position as librarian to 900 boys in a Bronx private school. I'm a vintage published author, Harlequin American #206 Fair Game (1987). Winner of the Golden Heart, 1986. Currently exploring the possibility of indie publishing under my new pseudonym (see fresh name, above).

8 thoughts on “Living the Sorta-OCD Life

  1. OMG – it took me over a year to get my spare bedroom/office the way I wanted. And even now, I wonder if there’s something else I can do, change, alter. 😉

    1. Absolutely, Kerri! I can hardly believe I had one shower curtain up, and bought another yesterday. It is so draining, but just think! When it’s done, we get the benefit of gorgeousness and our creativity. And the peace of knowing we don’t live with ugly.

      Don’t worry about whether something needs to be changed. Be open to possibilities. That’s how I found my super-nice trash can. (Oh geez, I am so shallow…)

  2. Susan,
    Decorating and REdecorating is a lot like writing, isn’t it? The back and forth. Keeping the dialogue but changing the setting. Then keeping a certain setting, but changing the characters in it. Then slicing out scenes only to put them back in later. God, help me. Don’t get me started on LAYERING. haha.

    1. Heavens, Kim, I’m supposed to be *layering* the outline for my new story today. Which might be why I’m procrastinating (bad dog!) with taking photos of my gorgeous bathroom. At least, photos of the parts I’ll allow you to see.

  3. I do it the easy way. I let the kids decorate. Seven and three-year-old style. Cuts down on any OCD tendencies.. 🙂
    Love the bathroom Susan.

    1. Hahahaha! Very true. And thanks, it’s fun to see what two semi-obsessed women can do. There wre times when I cited executive privilege, but I think it worked out well.

  4. I feel like I am constantly redecorating a room. For the longest time it helped me conquere SADS and depression. Just rearranging a room, adding something new…anything to liven up a room.

    My girls and I did the master bedroom last April and I took charge of my office just this past month. The next thing is our roof–all money goes to it!! No more decorating rooms until house is sturdy enough to survive another hurricane, earthquake or snowstorm!

    But then hubby and I get involved with shows like The Property Brothers, Love It or List It and ideas start popping up. *sigh*

    Hugs Susan. You go with your OCD self!!

    1. Hey, Loni, ain’t it the truth? W need a new roof, too, but one of my biggest fears is another winter with ICE DAMS. Oh, heck, I could make mermaids all about home improvement and forget the writing thing.

      What I’m liking about the current effort is the way it helps balance the writing. I write for a while, then I go do something house-y. Very satisfying!

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