Or: My Calendar Fights Against Me.
It doesn’t take much thought to assume I am obsessed with my calendar. For one it just goes without saying- I have OCD. So, yeah, of course. A calendar is (or should be, more on that as we move on) an omnipresent aisle of candy1.
Beyond that, I was raised this way2, with an obsession for time and date drilled into me. I also run a business, so apparently I need to keep things on schedule (I’m pretty obsessed with doing things well before anything is due, so it’s almost irrelevant for that. I also abhor meetings and phone calls, so its pretty rare that anything on my calendar is really necessary for the date and time it is placed in.)
In some ways my calendar is a more open-ended to-do list. However, this is where rather stereotypical OCD comes in- placing my to-do items into definite timeslots is really a bit of a OCD tick. A real compulsion, and irrational- because none of these things are ever done at the time prescribed. They just need to be there. Need. For no rational reason. Because as I’ll explain, the timeslots mean nothing in terms of real life action.
But I am in a constant battle with my calendar, as I view it as a God. I set up this Angry God without any control over the situation. This is entirely a place where my mental illness shines- operating a brain I have no control over. Often times the area my mental illness operates is in the emotional, but it certainly likes the tangible in this case. Yeah, in case you’re wondering, the third person is intentional.
A calendar is an entity that sets people up for failure. The way humans truly should interact with time ought to take into account all of the various intangible things brought to the table at certain and flow with that. That could very well be impossible, we can’t know- no one has tried3.
What I have found solace in however, is another aspect of my OCD taking over. I play my calendar like a game of fast-moving craps4. Clearing out a schedule for real- actually completing items- is a beautiful feeling. We all have that. But the fact that my mind works on its own with mood, energy, and drive (from extreme lows to extreme highs)- my calendar becomes a game. A game of mood. No one else (in real life) needs to know this (you do now!)
At any point in time I have around seventy-five items that are on my calendar to do. When is my brain going to open up so I can do these things? I place my bets, every day. On a digital calendar on my desktop computer. Monday is a guaranteed loss, but things have to be placed there. Saturday is as close to a guaranteed win as possible, so I stack that day up. But work-related items- though I work on my own schedule thankfully- most often need to be bet on from Tuesday through Friday. Note- one day being a guaranteed loss, and another not being an absolute, and then the rest being bets: the house advantage. I am not the house, the outside world is. I lose more than I win.
Don’t get me wrong at all. Things get done. A lot of things. I work at an extremely fast pace, more so than anyone I know. I will pat myself on the back for that, thank you. But done in such unpredictable spurts, and according to nuances of moods I have no control over… an actual calendar is a game. And at the end of every day I move pieces around, betting. Hoping? Nah. I know how games of chance work, hope is a silly thing to apply to such. But to play, I must. And that’s it. Just play.
1 I actually don’t eat candy or sugar, but the metaphor stays!
2 Again, a totally separate article
3 And I’m not going to be the first, I can barely change myself, much less billions of others.
4 Do note that if you play craps the right way, it is utterly not fast moving- but that is well beyond the scope of this site, and if this site begins to see articles on my craps playing, alert me as I have completely lost the whole idea of this entity entirely.