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Life

To Be Or Not To Be OCD

I have never been the organized type. I’m not a candidate for “Hoarders,” mind you, but there’s always room for improvement (just don’t go into my bathroom). I’ve gotten better over the years. Not perfect, but better. Does this mean my pantry looks like Ina Garten’s? Or my closet is neatly arranged by color? Or that my desk is spotless? Nope. Not even one of these things.

Instead I open my pantry cupboards with caution so I’m not knocked unconscious by a flood of canned goods. My closet has more non-clothing items than clothes (oh, there’s that old hoola-hoop I’ve been looking for!). And my desk…well, there’s an empty water bottle from three days ago that I could easily throw in the trash.

Organization – or the lack thereof – goes for undergraduate life as well. Again, I’ve gotten better about organizing, and this full-time semester has helped.

Let’s take a look at the weekly schedule photo I posted above. This is about as organized as I get. Quite frankly, I’m particularly proud of it. Screw the ‘A’ on my 8-page auto-ethnography essay I just got back – that pales in comparison to the joy of this hand-written schedule.

When I look at it, I smile. My five courses are listed beautifully like a treasured family recipe. Under each course are the assignments I need to work on for the week. I highlight all that is important. Most important, I adorn it with cute little stickers, a suggestion from my 7-year old to make the paper “look happy.” And it does look happy, doesn’t it??

This would not have come about 20 years ago. I had an agile mind back then. My community college assignments were categorized right in my noggin, and I never forgot a one. And I was working one or two jobs. Now I’m lucky to remember if ate breakfast or, worse, if I made it but forgot to eat it. Hey, it’s happened.

This organizational skill is nothing to brag about, really. It hasn’t seeped into my normal day-to-day life. Just today I got a notification that my child’s eye appointment is tomorrow – an appointment I made two months ago. An appointment I should have cancelled because we’ve already seen the optometrist.

I’m just happy that being an undergrad at 45 means learning more than just academic knowledge. Who knows, by this time next year I might be doing something as crazy as, I don’t know, going to bed at a reasonable hour!

Hey, one can hope.