Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a bit of toddler handprinting and a bit of figuring out my life

Possibly, I should exercise, but I might not, because I have a cold. And such an excuse should be useful for something even though I'm still going to work.

I am perfecting my ability to make decoration handprints with toddlers' hands. Perhaps perfecting is the wrong word, considering how a few of them turned out. Note to teachers of one-year-olds: some one-year-olds may close their fingers with paint on them. If your hand print is just one color, it's not too much of a problem if you don't mind getting your hands painty when you open their hand up to print on the paper. Oh, then you have to be careful to keep your painty hands from adding prints to their paper. Or just buy "correction fluid" to cover it up (I did a very little bit of research and this appears to be the non-name-brand term). I think that's the best plan.
If, however, you are doing one of those cool, multicolored handprints that are supposed to look like something else, beware. I tried blue on the hand and red on the fingers. Remarkably enough, we soon had purple. I tried again. I had to do that one piece by piece, printing one color at a time. It didn't look quite the same as everybody else's..., but oh, well.

I was filling out paperwork to prepare for my appointment to see the hematologist (or rather, some doctor filling in for him who I assume is also a hematologist) about my mild anemia. They, of course, mailed the paperwork to my mom (where I used to live). She kindly dropped it off at work. My coworkers sent me down to see her. And I wondered, why didn't she just hand them the paperwork, or come up to see me? Apparently, they didn't invite her up. And as for my first question, the paperwork came in an envelope with the bold return address saying it was from the cancer center. I guess I didn't really want my coworkers to see that. Presumably, I don't have cancer, just another episode of mild anemia for me. But I do have an anxiety disorder. Actually, I'm pretty sure my anxiety disorder stayed out of it, because I have been pretty able to put the issue aside. But I'm still human. Anyway, I decided to prepare for the worst case scenario (in a yes or no type way). Supposing they said, yes, you have cancer, I would have wanted to have spent these last days of not knowing thinking that I was healthy. And so, I have determined to enjoy this week of health. I see them tomorrow, but they shouldn't know anything tomorrow; they should just decide which tests they want me to take next. Maybe they will say, nothing, and I will be able to set the whole anemia issue behind me. And stop taking those iron supplements. Iron supplements in combination with psych. meds... side effects! Oh, yay. Of course, I've been living with said side effect for months now, so it shouldn't be that big of a deal to keep living with them.

It's funny, as soon as I finish my college work for the semester (actually, just before I finish it), I start wondering what I'm gonna do with my time. Unfortunately, my depression or my value system (the secret one that doesn't like to conform with my intentionally chosen beliefs) leaves me not wanting this "dead" time. I mean, this time to relax and enjoy my life. Unfortunately, said secret value system thinks that relaxation and "me" fun time are not good at best and sinful at worst (as in, reading a for enjoyment novel or watching a movie for fun etc is probably wrong). Maybe we should blame the scrupulosity OCD for that. Or the secret value system. I bet you are supposed to attack secret value systems just like you are supposed to attack OCD; disobeying the thoughts you don't agree with.

I wanted to get a second job, because I wanted to get paid for a second job. For reasons obvious to my financial records (since, of course, said records in paper or electronic equipment have brains of their own). But my counselor wasted no time in telling me that I should not do that. Really, I meant a second job. I hope she understood that. It would just be a few more (12 - 20 more) hours of work. I could take part of that time out of reading my for fun novels (since those might be sinful anyway). My counselor didn't see it that way. (She tends not to agree with my overly ambitious plans unless they are set far in the future and don't involve the amount of college work and paying work I'm doing. She also tends to disagree with my scrupulosity. You'd think she was a licensed counselor or something.) She said that my reading time was needed relaxation time. Four hours in a day? I asked. Apparently, the "wastefully" large time - I mean, "self-helpingly" large time - I spent didn't change her opinion.

So I was relieved and upset. Relieved because I don't have to go looking for another job. Upset because this annoying and disturbing mental illness stuff is preventing me from being Super WorkerandStudent. There was a time when I would have tried. Like just before I talked to my counselor. And like a few years back, before I knew how thoroughly I could be affected by ongoing depression. I have the smartness for speedy studying. After all, OCD tends to come with that. (And this is why I had trouble with some lecture about how we want to raise our students' IQ. What for? I thought. So that they can have depression, OCD, and/or some other psychiatric disorder and experience a few days in the psychiatric unit at the hospital?) But back to my scholastic intelligence... if it was solely dependant on that, I could do Super Student work. But then we add in things like OCD fears of accidental plagiarism (an oxymoron to some people who are not "enlightened" with the right kind of OCD). We add in work. We add in the stress of living with a mental illness (and hey, I'm talking about one that isn't that bad). And suddenly, I'm back to being a normal human. Subnormal for what I expect of myself.

Would you believe it? The spellchecker noticed the words I created using conventional English patterns (i.e. self-helpingly).


  1. I think you have to do that "reading for pleasure" exposure for sure. Reading is probably my favorite thing in the world and to have my OCD decide that it was bad for me would really really tick me off!

  2. I understand completely 'accidental plagerism'. Yup i had that when i went to university. Was so afraid to write anything that could possibly have been said by someone else!

    However i did laugh because you're right, it's an oxymoron.

    My worst ocd time was when i was afraid to use the library in case i was contaminating their books or they contaminated me. I love reading too much. And yes, i feel guilty sometimes how much reading i do, but at least it's a cheap hobby. And it is very relaxing, stress-relieving activity.

  3. I laughed when I read this as your first sentence struck a chord with me :)

    I bought some running shoes about 2 weeks ago with the intention of going jogging but I have a cold at the moment and haven't yet managed to move any faster than I have for the past 10 years ... well the cold does make a good excuse!