Monday, January 23, 2012

Obsessive or Compulsive? Or just a logical strategy?

That's an odd question for me to be asking myself. I'm not going to talk about the definition of OCD in this post. That is easy to find all over the internet with just a click or two. I need to first tell a short story about what happened and why I am curious about the reason I set my clocks foreward. I sometimes joke about it and say that I'm just a bit OCD. But that's not why I do it. Ok, I'll explain more after this story>

       Last night about 9:30 the lights went out while I was reading an article on the internet that I was interested in, using my laptop. I realized right away that the electrical power had been interupted and I expected it to come back on right away. Well, it didn't and I walked over to the window and looked outside to see that in fact the elect. was off at the tall lightpost at the end of my very long driveway. Being that the elect. power supplied to that lightpost is independent from the elect. power that my home uses, and I was happy to see that. That means the elect. power failure is not an issue that may involve some sort of malfunction or broken high voltage supply lines to my house. It had to be the elect. service provider malfunction somewhere up the road a few miles away.

   So after about 15 minutes of using candles and flashlights to see and navigate my travel around our home..the lights came on! But the results of the power loss caused my small elect. bedside clock to constantly flash 12:00-12:00-12:00........and so on untill I noticed it doing that when I decided to go to my bedroom and say goodnight to my wife, before she fell asleep. I normaly don't go "too bed" until after at least 11:00. But while I was there I decided to go ahead and set my clock. I asked my wife what the exact time was and she happily replied: "It is exactly 10:07." So I set my clock to 11:08. That clock is my personal clock and I always set my two personal clocks ahead. The other one is the clock in my truck, which I set either 10 or 20 mins ahead. That is something I have always done for as long as I can remember.

  Carolyn (my wife) said something to me after I set my clock. She said: "Geeez, your setting it an hour ahead. I don't why you can't just set it to the right time." I just shrugged my shoulders and said: "That's just how I like to set my personal clocks. I have my reasons." Then she said: "Well it's just wierd and you need to set it at the correct time you dork." Then without thinking I said: "I can't." Then I realized that I really felt that I could not bring myself to set it on the right time. Oh yes I could have actually reached over and set the right prob. But I knew if I did I wouldn't be comfortable doing that and feel uneasy and kinda worried about it all night when I tryed to sleep. Carolyn wasn't angry or upset when she said those things to me. It was more of joking kind of remark and when she calls me a dork, that means she's just saying I'm acting silly. So that was that and I didn't give it much more thought untill today.

  I know there has to be another reason I feel the need to do that, other than the one I think it is. The reason I say I do that is that it will help me to not be late to wherever I need to be. But that makes no sense, because I am quite aware of what time it is of course. I know how far ahead my two personal clocks are set. I know what OCD is, and there would have to be more symptoms than this and it would be a serious problem that affects my life in a bad disfunctional sort of way, because I like to set my personal clocks ahead. So it's nothing to seriously worry about, but there has to be a scientific, brain, chemistry or some hidden clue. It's just interesting to me at this time and thats all.  

                                                Part 2: What? Did I forget? Or....

  Do I simply just not want to remember? Remember how it felt that day standing in front of all my classmates at a Tulsa Elementary School in 1967? Yes it may be that, but I am 51 yrs old now and I still remember some moments in my life very well. Your thinking: "Oh no, not another story!" :)                            Happiness Is,.....

 Our 2nd grade teacher Mrs. Kelly, gave each one of us a large piece of plain white paper and told us to write the words "Happiness Is," at the top, using only the pencils we had. She then told us to take these home and complete the sentence using our own ideas of what happiness means to us. In addition we were use our pencils to draw a picture of what it was that we believed made us happy. And then bring it to school the next morning and we will take turns showing our pictures and reading the sentence we completed out loud. That seamed like a fairly simple thing to do. So I did exactly what she said to do and walked back to school the next morning feeling very proud of myself for what I thought was a very clever idea of what happiness means to me and (what I thought was) a funny picture that would get all my classmates laughing, because it was so cool. Here's what really happened....
 When it was my turn to stand up in front of Mrs. Kellys' desk, turn around, and face the class, I held my picture up and said: "Happiness is waking up and looking at the clock!". The room was dead silent. I couldn't understand why nobody got the joke. The meaning of my sentence was plain to see in the picture that I took so much time to draw and carefully arrange the scene. I had drawn a picture of me sitting up in my bed with a big toothy grin. And an oversize clock (for effect I guess) with the big and little hands (arrowheads on the end of em) set one hour before I had to get up and go face another crappy day at school. The idea was truly what I thought would be a definition of what "happiness is" that all kids could relate to. I just assumed that other kids were like me and would wake up at least a few times during the night to look at the clock and see how much free time they had left before they're mom came in and made em get up and go to school. I of course now see how silly it was for me to think a bunch of my 7yr old classmates would be able get the message that only I could see in that weird "Happiness Is," homework project our Mrs. Kelly told us to do.

  Now I see a connection to my odd behaviour of setting my clock,,only now I have overcompensated by setting it an hour ahead. So now I will look at Psychological side of this puzzle. Here's the kicker though, assuming it is a Pyschological malfunction, then I will need to find the answer to why and what area of my brain was and maybe still is misbehaving and if it needs something to get it acting the way normal peoples' brain act.




  1. Hi Scott,

    Thanks for the stories about "time." I always prefer a good story over a lot of "instructional material." :-)

    Isn't it fascinating, in your little 2nd-grade mind, that you assumed your experience was surely one familiar to all your classmates. How could it not be?

    It's impossible for us to imagine that something so bursting with "happiness" for us could not even be on another child's Top 10.

    I love how you wove the two stories together. I hope you don't set your personal clocks to the "right" time. That's too sad to contemplate. ;-)

  2. Gina, I think you just explained one of the points I'm trying get across in my decision to adjust the direction I'm taking my blog. "instuctional material" in psychology is...ummm(carefull "means to an end" ("an activity that is not as important as the goal you hope to achieve")for me.

    I think it is important to not assume that our personal patterns of behaviour are the the results of just one of the many reasons. I may find out when and if I eventualy "connect all the dots" a big "Surprise!".

  3. Oh don't worry Gina! I don't plan on changing my way of keeping time on my personal clocks. I'm not worried about that, and the way look at it, if it's not problem then don't try to fix something that's not broke.:) Matter a fact I think it's kinda funny and I like that feeling. I don't like being ADHD of course, and time management is certaintly an issue I have. But, as you see, I'm taking time to post on my blog now, and that was something that was bothering me because I know it helps me to do it and I was MIA for a long time. Thanks for taking your time to post a comment Gina!:)

  4. I am glad I came back here to have a look. Hi Scott! Nice blog, good post. More, please.

    1. Betsy, Hey I'm glad ya did too! I don't know that writing my thoughts will help anybody, but If I do no harm, then I feel like I have beat the Thanks for the kind words!

  5. Hey Scott,

    Found you via the your comments on another ADD blog. Cool posts. Will definitely check back for updates!


    1. Hey Ben! Thanks for stopping by! I am encouraged by your comment to continue on and write more about what I have learned.

      If you have read some of my previous posts here on my blog, and my past to present comments from other blogs you may see the way I have progressed.

      Feel free to provide links to your own blog or any that you like or dislike for that matter. I'm still learning and open-minded to all suggestions and opinions. Although it may appear I'm not from time to time. I'm learning. :)

    2. Just a note: I don't mean to insinuate that I have "progressed" any better or more unique than most people. Probably