A few of my oldest & closest friends joke that one constant about me is that I must always have something about which to obsess. As embarrassing as it may be to admit that they are right. . . . they are right.
More often than not, the objection of my fixation has been a man. Whether it was a man I was dating, a man I wanted to date, or a man I had dated in the past, there has usually been someone to fit the bill. Many hours of my life have been devoted to thinking about men. Not that it has ever prevented me from living my life or getting other things done; I'm a great multi-tasker!
Obsessing about a man has seldom been fruitful or helpful to any of my relationships, but it hasn't stopped me from doing it. I should note that I do not obsess over someone once the relationship is well along and things are going smoothly. . . . it's only something I do in the beginning or with someone I can't have. I can usually tell when I am committed--and secure in my boyfriend's commitment to me--by the fact that I begin searching outside our relationship for something else upon which to fixate and ruminate.
BUT not all of my obsessions have been about men. I have also had healthier(?) obsessions from time to time. (Side note: is there such a thing as a healthy obsession? Seems to be a bit of an oxymoron.) For example, when I decided to change careers back in 1999, for a while I was obsessed with researching and analyzing options: PhD in psych? MBA? law school? something else? Many hours were spent on this "project."
Once I'd made the decision to apply to law school, I became obsessed with it, too; first, the admissions process and selecting the "right" school, then the study of law itself. That obsession lasted well into my first year of law school.
Back in 2003, when I lost 35 lbs in 4 months on Weight Watchers, I believe I became a bit obsessed about that. In fact, I credit a part of my success that go-around to my obsession. Any time I've had to make a major purchase--car, furniture, home--I've become a little obsessed about it, too.
I used to spend lots of time questioning why I am such an obsessor/fixator, but finally gave up. The truth of the matter is, I am what I am. . . . and aside from the occasional detrimental effect on my love life, on the whole, obsessing is not the worst thing in the world. It can give me focus--as it did with law school and with Weight Watchers--and is usually no worse than being somewhat annoying to the friends and family members who have to listen to me analyze and dissect everything. (I try not to burden the whole world with my fixations, but confine them to a few old, close friends, my mom, and my sister.)
In typical fashion, I am obsessing about something lately which I haven't blogged much about. I almost decided to write an entry about it today, but didn't. In analyzing my reasons for not writing about this, I think I've puzzled out the primary reason I've kept it pretty much under wraps: I'm not ready to "put it out there" for anyone to read, particularly people who know me in real life. Like most of my obsessions over men, my current obsession is only known to a few people. I'm weird that way: I am not a particularly private person, and I'll blog about a lot of personal things. . . . but I feel a need to hold certain things back.
(Just to be clear, I am not obsessing over a man, and everything is fine between MM and me. Our relationship is well past the obsessing stage. ;-) After all, we are preparing to purchase a home together, and we will be picking out an engagement ring for me as soon as our home purchase is finalized.)
Ever since I found out about my cholesterol numbers last Friday, I have been trying to shift my focus and become obsessed with weight loss and exercise again. So far, it's not happening. Although I am well aware I get fixated on things, I'm not clear on how it happens. Because of that, I can't stop it or head it off and (apparently) can't redirect it either.
Any tips on how to substitute one obsession for another?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Posted by S at 2:06 PM