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OCD or just forming Good Habits?
Hello again all,

I was sitting here in my living room, watching Mythbuster's, and doing the old procrastination thing to avoid writing my Humanities paper, when I thought to myself I should write something on my site. Actually, I had a very specific topic in mind, one that had been on my mind since, well, since I bought my house actually. See, every since I bought my house I've turned into a sort of clean freak. To the point where sometimes I think I get looked down upon on it, or get dirty looks as though I am trying to be 'better' than the people around me. Well, here is my chance to profess to the world around me what exactly it is I am doing.

Ok, so I clean a lot. On Saturday's when my friends come by, I am pretty much in the kitchen when ever there is a break doing dishes, straightening up, basically making sure all is in order. Every morning, I wake up, turn on the shower, make my bed, shower, and shave before even stepping foot out of my room. Some may say this is OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I, however, am not sure I can claim to that. As a matter of fact, ask my mother, I dirty up clothes standing in the middle of a hospital (the cleanest and most sanitary place I can think of right now).

Let me start with a bit of back story for those that don't know my history too well. I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, in Broadview Park just outside of Plantation. It wasn't the best neighborhood, but it was alright. Our house was not the cleanest in the world, but hey, my mom was a single mother working and doing what she could to raise three sons the best she could, so I don't fault her for this. I often think that perhaps I should have chipped in more than I did, but what's done is done. It didn't help that she was a pack rat, and therefore raised a pack rat, or two, or three. So what does this mean? I am pretty much predisposed to disorder. Like I said before, I could be in the cleanest place on earth and find a way to get dirty. Its who I am.

So what does this have to do with how I am today? Well, let me say that in the past few years I have quit some very nasty habits, mainly smoking and biting my nails. For the most part, I did this by using a very simple technique, taking it one day at a time (sometimes one minute at a time). Sure I used other things like my frugality to help me quit smoking (spending $200 on herbal pills to help you quit , did help me a lot). However, I think that the basic technique of taking it one day at a time helped me more than anything. So, when I bought my house, I took this same idea and applied it to pretty much every aspect of my life. Dirty a dish, put it in the sink. Finish a soda and get another, take the empty can and put it in the recycling. Basically, every time you know you should do something, just do it. I know to some this may sound like common sense, but for me it takes a bit of effort.

I don't think this is O.C.D. As a matter of fact I struggle at doing it at all! Yet when I tell people I make my bed every morning, I get strange looks. Why? Because they don't? Because only 'clean freaks' make their bed daily? The way I see it is I like to leave my bedroom door open, and therefore if someone stops by unexpectantly, I don't have to worry about closing my door, or hiding my 'mess'. The fact I do it every day is also a matter of doing it daily means I will actually do it at all. It becomes a part of my daily schedule something hopefully I will start to do without thought after some time has passed.

Now some claim my observance to cleanliness is due to me being single, or without children, but once again I have to disagree. Even when I am in such situations, I will hope I will force myself to do the same. For me its not a matter of having to do it because it must be done, but doing it daily, or it won't get done at all. I know that must sound weird, but even after 6 months some of the things I do aren't habits yet. I'm unsure who said it only takes 3 weeks to form a habit, but I struggle to do the things I do now, but I do do them.

I try my best not to hold anyone else to the standards I try to hold myself to. Actually I think it would be unfair to do so. Perhaps I take note of certain things people do, but they shouldn't take it to heart. I hope the people around me can now look at me and understand better what I'm doing is more for my sake than to try and be better than those around me. I also hope that this can shed some light on why I do it. I really do think that cleaning those dishes each and every Saturday night is necessary since if I let it go one night, then what is to stop me from doing it every Saturday, or everyday for that matter. I hold this same thought through almost everything I do, an I am applying it to more and more things as time goes on. Hopefully soon to include daily workouts, perhaps some meditation, healthier eating habits, etc.
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