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???
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!