One thing I’m prone to is obsessiveness. And right now I am obsessed with crocheting. I have 2 projects going simultaneously. And I’m in love with them both. Which is a blessing and a curse, since they are both gifts I’m going to give away.
Mostly, a little obsession over a hobby is not a bad thing. I am pretty good at crochet. I use it to do a lot of calm thinking. Each project has a natural conclusion, so it never feels overwhelming. And it’s deliciously satisfying to spend my time making something tangible. When I have put in a certain number of hours of work, it turns out there is an afghan. Or a scarf. Or a hat.
But if there is a problem, it’s that I never want to stop. I’m on a roll! I want to keep going! One more skein, one more row, one more stitch. I may never have the chance again! It may all disappear and slip away in an instant.
I see this with so many things in my life. This obsession. This wanting it NOW. Before it goes away. It’s more than just the desire for instant gratification. Somewhere in my warped mind, I really believe that it could all go up in a puff of smoke.
I buy an apple for every day of the week to have for breakfast. But every morning, I want all of them. Now! As if they will disappear. As if there will never be another apple ever again!
If I am reading a particularly good book, I read until I pass out. Literally. I may wake up with a book or my kindle on my chest. I can’t stop. Just one more page. Just one more sentence. Just one more word. I may never get to read it again!
And of course, when I was eating compulsively, this is how I dealt with food. I wanted it all! NOW! Before it went away! And I had no rules, no boundaries. So I ate it all. Now. Because there might never be any more ever again.
Don’t think the irony has escaped me. Oh God! There will never be another piece of chocolate cake ever again! led directly to Thank God! There will never be another piece of chocolate cake ever again!
Plus my obsessive nature can cause me to burn out. At first I want more because it’s fun. Or exciting. Because it feels good. But after a while, whatever it is that I’m obsessed with becomes a need. It’s not so much that I like it, as that I am afraid I will be unhappy if it goes away. It’s about my inability to let go.
But I can’t live like that anymore. And I am grateful that the way I live my life now insists that I keep my obsessions in check. I have things that I am committed to doing. Daily and weekly.
I must eat 3 times a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. I must meditate every morning. I must write a blog post every week. I must sleep 7-8 hours a night. I must go to the market. I must cook my food.
And thank God! This structure reminds me that my crochet projects will still be there in my free time. And if they are not, well…I will live. I will move on. It will all be ok. I have lived the last 6+ years without chocolate cake. Happily. Joyfully. Without regret. So if I can do that, I am pretty sure I can survive just about anything.