While driving home from work the other day I had a light bulb moment. Upon reflection I think it was a dull glow my entire life but I just didn’t see the glow until now.
It was a Wednesday and I remembered the weekly Hy Vee (Iowa based grocery store) advertisement would be waiting for me when I got home. I was thinking “oh goody, I can see how many items in the Fuel Saver program I want to purchase to reduce the cost at the pump.” Yes, I think I did say goody. This made me realize I have been obsessing about the program.
I have been thinking about going back to the store and picking up more Greek yogurt since we like it and I can earn another 10 cents at the pump. While I was contemplating stopping, I realized over the years I have obsessed about other things to the point I feel like it takes over all my thoughts and my life. Then I realized I have an obsessive personality.
I know everyone obsesses over things at one point in their lives. But looking back over my life, I have been obsessed with things to the point that after a while I don’t want to see it anymore. It can be little things like a song I could play on repeat for two hours straight, to reading book after book, which I never tire of doing.
Right now my obsession is the Hy Vee Fuel Saver program. Why am I obsessed? Because if you pay attention to what items earn you discounts on gas, you can save a ton at the pump. For example, my sister and her husband have figured out this program to the point of filling up three times in the last month to the max of 20 gallons each trip for a penny a gallon. That’s right; they purchased 20 gallons of gas for 20 cents. They haven’t purchased anything extra; they just pay attention to the ads.
So now I’m determined to get penny gallon gas. I’m pouring over the weekly ad, circling items I regularly buy. I had my pen out with the latest ad circling and debating over the items. When I was done, I figure I will add another 80 cents to $1.00 to my discount. Last week I saved 93 cents towards my next fill up.
But there are other things I’ve been obsessed over and suddenly lost interest. I used to make all kinds of counted cross stitch projects in my early 20s. I was good at it to the point people were purchasing finished products. I was organized with my craft. I had all the color skeins of yarn wrapped on little plastic disks and all in numeric order in a plastic carry case. I purchased extra so I would never run out. I also would buy pattern after pattern wanting to do them all. I could spend hours working on the designs and when I wasn’t working on a project, I was thinking about it, counting down the minutes when I could get back to it. I even attended a cross stitch convention where I met designers.
Then I stopped. Right in the middle of a Christmas project of a snowman on old looking cloth. For the life of me, I don’t remember why I stopped. Maybe it was my daughter becoming more active or maybe because I found a new craft.
I then got into Stampin’ Up! and making my own cards. I could sit for hours in the basement and make all these elaborate cards. Again, I wanted every stamp set in the catalog. In order to afford the stamp sets I signed up as a dealer and conducted workshops in people’s houses. If you knew me, you would be laughing right now. I’m not a sales person and I’m not someone who likes to be the center of attention. So I only made enough to get my discount.
After a few years I stopped stamping. One of the main reasons was getting breast cancer and the chemo did a number on my eyesight. Another reason was getting tired of sitting in a room by myself away from my family. Also, I realized the cost of my time and the materials was way more expensive than getting a box of 16 Christmas cards for $2.
There have been other obsessions. The normal childhood obsessions with an actor or singer, a certain pair of pants, and favorite TV show. I always thought I would marry Donny Osmond or one of the Keane brothers. Every night after school I HAD to watch Walter Cronkite, I loved the man and thought he was the best news anchor alive.
I became obsessed with everything British, I’m happy to say that will forever be with me. Right now I seem to be obsessed with historical fiction. That’s all I’ve been reading for the last two months to the point I think I could pass a world history test. That’s saying something since history bored me growing up.
With the age of social media I’ve been obsessed with Facebook. I created a profile in 2007 to check on potential college interns and totally forgot about the profile until two years later when I remembered my account. Then I had to be on it all the time. Looking at what friends were doing and posting. Now, I handle all the social media at work so the novelty of being on Facebook has faded.
One of my co-workers introduced me to Mafia Wars, a computer game on Facebook. I got so obsessed with this game I played it at breakfast, over lunch and at night. I could find myself spending hours at a time over the weekends trying to take care of all my tasks within the game.
I joined a MW women’s group and became Facebook friends with them so I could earn more items and help them. I couldn’t ignore the game because I had invested so much time and had gone so far in the game, I hated giving up everything I had accomplished. I even stressed about what I would miss when I was on a Caribbean cruise for a week. But then I realized I was obsessed, the game was taking over my life. So I went cold turkey. I sent items and weapons to the person in charge of gifts for the group.
I then said good-bye to the women in the group, I deleted the app from my profile and deleted my MW friends from my profile, which was 60% of my Facebook friends. It was like a cloud lifting and I was coming out of a fog. I had no clue how engrossed I was in the game and how much it had taken over my life. I have days when I want to get back in there and see what is going on then I take a breath and chase the thought away. The game made me realize I need to be careful when it comes to computer/video games as I do enjoy them and I can become narrowly focused on that one activity.
I’ve been obsessed with Pinterest off and on. I can go look at pictures for hours, several days in a row and then not log in again for a couple months. Then I go back for another round of searching.
Then there is Goodreads. I don’t think I will ever get tired of this website. Since I LOVE to read, I LOVE this website. It has brought me free books and contact with authors. Because of this site I have proofed the first 10 pages of an author’s soon-to-be-published second book and I have reviewed a young adult book for an author I really like. This website has slowly brought me into the publishing world and I couldn’t be happier.
I know I can become obsessive with products. Right now I can spend hours on Society6.com. They have the best iPhone covers. If I purchased all the ones I wanted, I would be constantly changing them. Right now I have a different one for each month. Obsession or just someone who likes to change things up with her mood?
Now that I’m aware of my obsessions, I can reign in the bad ones and embrace the good ones.
Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat.