Thursday, April 25, 2013

Is the Catholic Librarian Type A?

I mean, does that even need to be a question? Seriously, let us count the ways. But a few things came up recently that made me realize this anew. The good news is that I'm no longer young enough that I worry about being so Type A or what other people think about that. It's like the further over 30 that you get, the more you feel: HERE I AM WORLD, TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, BUT EITHER WAY I DON'T FREAKING CARE!!

So without further ado, here for your amusement is my Type A Top 5:

(1) I'm very routine oriented.

I mean, *snort*. I'm afraid to take vacations because they will "disrupt my routine." And I love my routine. On weekdays, breakfast with Mike and the kids.  Drive in to work while listening to podcasts and praying a rosary. Park in the same lot, listen to belly dance music on the walk in (sometimes podcast if it's a particularly compelling one). Once in my office, boot up my computer and check all my tabs for new developments. Make a cup of tea. Work. Eat lunch at 11. Go for short walk. Knit with group at either 12 or 1. Work. Head back to car while listening to podcast (sometimes music, depends on dance schedule). Drive home. Have dinner with Mike and the kids. Play with kids til bedtime. Knit while watching tv with Mike. Read in bed til fall asleep. Sleep happily.

I heard an interview with a psychologist the other day who was talking about habits that we form. She said:

"You may drive one route to work but a different one home. You never switch them because 'that way would take longer!'".

I just about died laughing. That is SO true. And SO me. I do drive different routes to and from work and I wouldn't switch them for the world. IT WOULD TAKE LONGER, I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY.

(2) I like order in my physical space.

I'm not saying that my spaces aren't a tad "lived in" (they're not museums) but there isn't anything on the floor in my office except furniture. Anne has one basket of toys that I let her keep in the living room, and the instant she stops playing with something I put it back into the basket. Sometimes this turns into an exercise in frustration, but I can't help myself. I get twitchy if there is stuff on the floor. Some would call this behavior obsessive compulsive. I prefer to call it "someone who thrives amongst organization." I was trained as an attorney, I think that's fitting. It's not freakish. Really it's not.

(3) I like to keep my stuff in pristine condition.

Now, this is a particularly challenging characteristic when you have children. It is difficult to hold on to one's sense of honor about pristine things when SOMEONE IS ALWAYS MESSING WITH MY STUFF.

My books, my yarn, my dance paraphernalia, the contents of my bedside table, IS NOTHING SACRED?! Obviously, you learn to let some things go. You have to, lest you lose your mind. But it isn't easy, especially when I'm just as compulsive with the kids' toys that I buy them as I am about my own stuff.

"Anne, where are the piggy's coins? There are supposed to be 10, and now there are only 7!!"

"Honey, we're missing a few pieces from Anne's toy food collection. Please be on the lookout for an orange peel and some peas in a pod."


"Oh Anne, did you take the Our Lady of Fatima set down again? You know Mommy likes to be there when you play with that. Did Francesco roll under the couch?"


"Oh dear, we have multiple children in need. I'll move the couch!"

(4) I have belly dance index cards.

I've mentioned this before, but when I have an upcoming dance performance in which I plan to dance solo and improvise, I consult a deck of index cards on which I've written every belly dance movement I've ever learned. What I do with them when I practice is lay out a couple and then improvise to some music, making certain to use the movements on the selected cards. That way, I expand my muscle memory when it comes time to actually perform. I combine different arms with a hip movement, do the hip movement in different directions, perhaps layer the hip movement. It just acts as a brainstorming session to bring out new ideas that I'll have a better chance of remembering at crunch time.

However, I've taken it to a new level of late. My index cards have been updated and color coded. I now have 4 categories: (1) Pink for hips, (2) green for traveling steps, (3) blue for torso and shoulder movements, and (4) orange for arms. I'm now going to draw a card from each color family every time I practice improvising.

I think I'm making this into a very administrative affair because I'm a little more nervous than usual about the upcoming hafla. It's a free event for the new studio's grand reopening, and people who have never seen me dance have asked me dance questions recently. It seems natural to invite them to the hafla, and they've all beamed and said that they'd love to come.


And this when I'm planning to dust off my sword. I hope it isn't a disaster.

(5) I don't like change.

This relates back to number 1, but it's about more than a mere routine. I struggle accepting new things into my happy world and turn such new things into a Big Deal in my own mind.

"Mommy, can we get a pet?"

"No Honey. Remember, you're allergic to cats and dogs."

Whew! I love animals, but the thought of taking care of one of them is overwhelming to me. Because you know, it would be NEW.

"What about a goldfish?"

"Sweetie, I just don't think I'm ready to handle that much responsibility."

Because a goldfish is just the epitome of GRAND RESPONSIBILITY.

So there you have it. Relating back to item numbers *1 through 5*, we're having the hardwood floors in our house refinished soon and I'm FREAKING OUT about it. We have to move every piece of furniture from our living room and dining room into a combination of the kitchen and the guest room and the process is going to take a WEEK.


What am I going to do?! I won't be able to practice dance, and the hafla is right after that. Everything will be in disarray and covered in sawdust. I don't know if we'll even be able to eat in the house for a WEEK. And I'm hoping that we'll still be able to sleep there or else we're going to have to stay in one of our parents' basements for a WEEK.

This is going to suck. Badly. All I want is my routine. Is that so much to ask for?

Maybe I *am* a freak.

1 comment:

  1. A lot of intelligent people have ocd. Do you get upright over it? Is it worse when you're stressed? Then you may have ocd because its an anxiety disorder. I keep telling my husband that he has ocd b/c he cleans when he's stressed and starts staring at our bank account more.

    It bugs me that he cant handle toys on the floor or messy eaters so I told him to go see a therapist.


Thank you for commenting! I read and appreciate every single one, and I will respond to each one personally!