I guess we all have those little obsessions – those issues or objects that really matter. Maybe obsessions is too strong a word. Perhaps preoccupations, enthusiasms, passions might be less confronting. But essentially, we all have a thing, or several things, that we keep close to our hearts. Sometimes that’s good. Sometimes not.

There are preoccupations about things such as the status of apostrophes in the English language, the colour of clothes pegs used to hang out the washing or consuming needs like having to have the dishwasher stacked correctly. There are obsessions with cats, exercise, socialising. I am not, for a single moment, talking about obsessions that come as part of a mental health condition. That is never for a blog like this, written by the ultimate layman. I am talking about those apparently everyday foci that colour our days and rear their ugly or humorous or individualistic heads at varying intervals.

But what happens when we suddenly realise that one of our obsessions has completely drained us? What happens when we wake up one day and think ‘I am so bone weary of this being on my mind’? Are we able, in a moment of clarity, to manufacture an end? To let go of the string? To free ourselves? Are obsessions intrinsic to our being or are they adopted? Maybe they are some of each. Can we, by force of will, slough them off like a heavy coat and swan off into the sunset. I believe we can, with a resolute approach. One must rub against the direction of the velvet to change the nap and, similarly, we can push against those automatic reactions that manifest when we drift into all too familiar territory.

I have given up an obsession. Just like that. I tell myself it’s a trial separation but I don’t intend to go back. I falter, of course, but the effort has already liberated me. It’s not a cure for all ills – I still have my apostrophe preoccupation, for example. I am still obsessed with art materials and stationery products (the peg choice and dishwasher-stacking, being somewhat in the realm of household chores, have never been a problem). I still obsess about many other things, but I. Have. Let. One. Go.

Again, I stress, this is not deep psychological stuff. This is surface behaviour. Do not read into it more than is intended. It was simply an interesting experience to realise that perhaps this obsession no longer served me so the time had come to jettison it. Jettison away, I say (to myself). What’s next on the list???

Until later,

P.S. Actually, the last sentence is funny. I wrote it quite unconsciously, but lists are probably my biggest obsession. Ha! Sometimes, despite all I’ve discovered, there seems to be no escape!

2 thoughts on “Obsessions

  1. Oh Kirsten, thank-you THANK-YOU, a perfect timing, me having spent the day obsessing over a lost scarf, about which I could write several books, but suffice to say at this day’s end I found it tangled up inside other clean washing: which ended up being a cathartic distraction on a day prior to heading to oncology check up appointments, while sort of nervy and on edge; leading me to chuck in, USE THEM AT WILL, those obsessions, when you need a distraction, ditch at them will too, or as you so very, perfectly note, just “rub against the direction of the velvet to change the nap” ….

    just hang tight to the metacognition and don’t obsess about losing that, as when it goes you won’t know anyway 🙂
    I just love your thoughts, and hope you keep at it for a very, very forever-ish long time.

    xo T , who often rubs the nap the wrong way before even realizing that it’s “wrong” according to “others”

    PS I just rechecked out a library book too good not to finish “Semicolon” by Cecelia Watson – as a fellow apostrophe fiend, you may just like to find it and take a peek


    1. Isn’t it uncanny how we often hear or read something just at the moment it is most appropriate. Some would say, of course, that we are open to it at that time and that does make sense. Glad it came to your notice – even if it is in the middle of the night on the other side of the world! And thank you for the book recommendation. I will seek it out! xx


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