OCD? Maybe…yes, just a little. Part 2

24 Sep

I stress myself out easily.  I realize that.  It’s just me, that’s who I am…or is this just an excuse?  “Don’t sweat the small stuff”  I do tell myself afterwards, when I realize that I may be creating an issue out of something unimportant.

Daily stuff that I stress over are: keeping the house tidy, getting my son to school on time, homework (I TOTALLY stress out ), getting the kids ready for bed, etc.  I can not go to bed with dirty dishes in my sink.  I do laundry every other day.  I’m a “responsibility” before “pleasure” kind of a person, so that automatically puts me into “easily-stressed” category.  I’m always thinking about the consequences of my actions, and always planning the days ahead, that when I can’t get the things I need to get done, (as I calculated in my head,) is when my stress level goes up.  When my son drags on the homework, I totally freak out, because I know I need to cook, feed, brush teeth, bathe, and sleep by 9.  I still need to clean the kitchen and get myself ready for bed, preferably by midnight.  I’m always racing with time.  “Time is irrelevant”…  I wish we live in a utopia where time IS irrelevant – but we don’t.

When I step back and see these things in a bigger scale, it is pathetic that I constantly stress over these routines that are just tasks.  I really do not want to waste a great part of my life being stressed, upset, angry…I can simplify, and be happy!  I feel very guilty at the end of the night, when I see my innocent kids sleeping (like angels,) that I was screaming at them, for making a mess…  My mom told me that it’s their job to make a mess at their age – it’s what they do.  I realize that it’s not fair that I expect my kids to always say “yes, mama” and do what I ask them to do, listen, and pick up their mess, and eat their greens…

My hubby is quite opposite in terms of these daily tasks, and reminds me what is really important in life, that I can go to bed if I’m tired, and leave the dishes til the morning (he is willing to do the dishes for me, but my OCD paranoia does not trust anyone else’s cleaning skills)  He forwarded me this link to read the other day, and it really made me rethink about my ways, and that the big picture is what really counts.

Here’s how it goes:

A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in 
front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and 
empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks about 2″ in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the 
jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open 
areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, 
the sand filled up everything else.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a 
unanimous “Yes.”

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and 
proceeded to pour their entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the
space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize 
that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – 
your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if
else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The 
pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car. 
The sand is everything else. The small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for 
the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all 
your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things 
that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to 
your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. 
Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean 
the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal. Take care of the rocks 
first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just 

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no 
matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of 

So what if there’s a mess in the kids room over night?  So what if I pile up dirty laundry for a week?  So what if I forgot to pick up eggs today?  I can do it tomorrow.  (oh no!  now I need to rearrange my schedule for tomorrow!!!) Ugh… Relax!


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