ocd & me
Certainly not a normal Friday.
I usually work my schedule to be able to clean the house on Friday mornings after I take the pooches to Mom G’s… but as it worked out I have an oil change in the city, need to pop into an upholstery place, then I need to hit the passport office.
I think the passport office is the Canadian equivalent to the US’s Department of Motor Vehicles, (as seen on TV!) except everyone needs to be able to fluently speak English and French.
You stand in one line and wait, then once they’ve determined you’re not an idiot (or perhaps you are), they direct you to take a number, sit down, get comfortable and wait. You wait among the most ethnically diverse group of people you can image. That might be a consistent problem with the whole process is that so many needing help parce que ils ne sont pas parler anglais. Oh, and screaming babies, arguing adults… weird smells…
Then when your lucky number is called, you get to deal with an impatient, harried civil servant who must absolutely hate their life. (Of course there must be lovely people who work there, who love their jobs and lives, but I’ve never met one.)
The entire ordeal could take 30 minutes or it could take 4 hours… don’t make any immediate plans. Pay the maximum for parking an hope that all works out.
So why do I have to go to the passport office? Good question! It’s because I need a certified copy of my passport to be able to apply for an American Tax Payer Identification Number in order to be able to submit a US 2015 tax return for the 10% Uncle Sam withheld from the sale of our TN house. (Really super annoying as I asked repeatedly if me being a Canadian would have any tax implication with the sale… I easily could have given PF – the other owner and an American – a ‘quit claim’ deed to avoid this whole mess!) Quite the enjoyable process, I say! (Luckily PF was an accountant… and he’s helping me out!)
I’m invited to a ‘shop party’ of one of my friends/clients, so I might head back into the city around 4pm to take advantage of this work perk! Yay!
So the house is not going to be cleaned today, which means I’ll either do it tomorrow (William is on call) or it won’t get done at all – in which case I’ll be annoyed until next Friday.
That’s all – life is good.
I should first say that I’ve been working a lot lately. Like a whole lot more than normal. Big things going on with my main contract, the usual with my other contracts, one random quickie contract, cleaning up some stuff for an older temporary contract and a bit of volunteer type stuff. Ack. The timing of said work is acceptable as it’s not golf season and I’m pushing hard for an easier April (vacation!).
I’ve been obsessed with email!
Aside from having one email account open at all times when I’m online, I probably check into my email accounts more than 20 times a day. Insane. Encouraging/supporting this obsession is that fact that I can just grab my phone and view all the accounts at once without having to log in and out.
I also feel (more obsessive behavior) that I have to reply immediately. Even if it’s just to say, ‘I’ll look into this later today and get back to you by this morning.’
Why this obsession? I guess it’s coming from a place of politeness. One of my biggest pet peeves is not receiving a timely response to an email I’ve sent. So many times I send documents – no thank -yous. I ask questions – no answers. I go over and above, do favours and extras… <insert cricket sound here> I send out well thought out and polite emails – and I receive one word replies. I even schedule emails to be sent (yay Boomerang for gmail) to be sent when they’re most likely to be read (or not wake up the recipient in case they are pushed emails on their phone and sleep with it nearby).
Of course I’m not perfect. Of course there are emails I don’t reply to in an appropriate or timely fashion. Of course. I send and receive up to a 100 emails a day – can’t be perfect all the time – but I try… I really try.
I think because other people drive me nuts my obsession is getting a bit out of hand. Email interactions are honestly the only way I communicate with some clients. Like seriously I’ve worked with this awesome client since November and I have never seen or spoken to him. I have a couple of clients that are super good with getting back to me, and I know if I haven’t heard back from them within a few hours that something went awry. Honest – it happened twice yesterday alone.
When other contacts don’t reply to me appropriately, or especially timely, I often (and perhaps wrongly… or not…) translate that into ‘you’re not important. I don’t care what you’re saying’, etc.
I know I need to ease up for my own sanity – perhaps when I’m over this huge hump I’ll return to my normal near obsessives self as opposed to this constant phone in hand email Nazi I’ve become. Ahhh. Wish me luck.
I just posted a comment on GOM’s blog post and I thought I’d write a little about what makes me happy.
– Striped socks. Honestly I can’t tell you how much I love socks. It’s weird I know.
– Fonts. I love me fonts! I am always looking for fun fonts to download (but most have a require a license for non-personal use, and I use funky fonts for business). I can waste an hour without realizing it, lost in font world. Again, maybe a little weird.
– Serious home organization. Last week-end I tore apart our closet under the stairs, which mostly contains video game systems and holiday decorations. I spend $60 on storage containers – I was shocked by the price, as I was hoping to only spend about $30, but I know it was worth every penny. I’ve found myself opening the door just to gaze at the well organized contents. Hmm… Am I really that weird?
– A truly clean house. Our house is only truly top to bottom clean for about 4 days a year and those 4 days are the best!
– Keyboard short cuts. I don’t think I could live without ctrl + a, ctrl + c, ctrl + v. I think I’ve quite literally saved days of my life by using these shortcuts. Obviously I copy and paste a lot.
I could go on, but I think that’s enough about me for now.
I don’t consider myself cheap, but there are things I do that are quite thrifty.
I recently compiled our house bills (hot water tank rental, hydro, gas, phone & internet and water) and am pretty happy with the results. Despite the rise in energy costs across the board, our bills were only up $89 from last year. Most of the (more than $60) was due to a flat increase in the stupid, annoying hot water tank rental (most people in this area rent, and it’s a pretty good scam). On average, our house bills total $448 per month. Not too shabby.
I’m really hoping that this number drops for 2012…
– Flyer shopping. I decide what grocery store I’m shopping at based on sales. Occasionally I’ll ask William to stop at one in the city (as it would be quite unthrifty of me to drive 25 minutes to save $8) to pick up something on sale. Today (being the last day of the sales, before new ones start tomorrow) I’m getting groceries and as opposed to driving 15 minutes for the sale, I’m only going to drive 5, and utilize the ‘price match’ that a closer store offers. Also, because I waited until the last day, I’m sure the store offering the sale with be sold out. (Campbell’s soup – 2 for $1 – good deal)
– Hydro (aka: electricity) Part 1. As of January 1st, we’re on a ‘smart’ meter, which bills us higher for use during peak periods. This translates into me doing laundry on the week-end as opposed to whenever the laundry basket it full. This also forces me to wear the same clothes more (I don’t have a ton of clothes) so that saves on hydro in general (although our dryer is gas… whatever, still thrifty!)
– Hydro Part 2. I’m a bit of a hydro nazi. I’m constantly turning of lights and unplugging power sources. William tends to forget to shut down our main computer, and I make sure it’s done everyday. When we’re watching TV or hanging out in the basement (when we don’t have friends over) I use a lamp as opposed to the 6 pot lights – that kind of thing. I leave the one oven light on in the kitchen (there is 2, but one is burnt out) as opposed to the 6 under cabinet mounted pot lights.
– Composting. I have been composting for nearly 2 years, and this might not be considered thrifty, however – I will not have to buy compost for the garden this year. Also, by composting our kitchen is much less stinky from rotting food. A lot of times I would take the garbage into the garage despite the fact the bag wasn’t near full – just stinky. I probably use half the garbage bags that I used to.
– Long distance. For long distance calls I use Google Talk – because it’s free (yes, it’s still free!) for calling in the US and Canada. Not a big deal, but I think it makes a difference.
I think the little things make a big difference. How are you thrifty or not?
Yesterday it was about 58*F. That's pretty warm for early March, actually it's on target for mid April… anyways, on the news and on FaceBook everyone was talking about the beautiful warm day… getting outside for a walk, spring cleaning, etc. Well, I stuck me head outside a couple of times and nope, not warm enough for me.
It didn't feel warm out at all! Usually at the beginning of the season random crazies bust out their shorts and flips… I'm usually one of them… basking in the warmth of the mid 50*… not this year! Even this morning I took the pooch for a walk, and although it's about 45* outside I completely regretted not wearing an extra shirt and a touque! BRR!
So even with the so called 'warm' weather there is still snow on the ground in places… There is a chance that William and I may go golfing on Saturday (not at Sutton Creek – they're not open yet) at Royal Estates (local nickname is Royal Mistake, haha – the only course in Essex County -besides Talbot Trail – that I haven't golfed…). Well, I'm not feeling this 'warm' weather…
I am getting super excited about Spring (aka GOLF SEASON). Before the course opens there are a few things that I want/need to get done around here in order to go golfing at the drop of a hat guilt free…
– Clean the car
– Clean the garage
– Pick up stones strewn from snow shovelling
– Clean out the golf bags and golf area in the garage
– Go to TN and get the house ready their for the 'rental' season
– Windows, screens and the goop in the ledge edges
Yikes. I better get started…. just checked the TN weather forecast… need good weather to rake and whack… rain for the next 6 straight days – that's okay, William's birthday is this week-end and I wouldn't go down there anyway!
Yesterday I ended up taking the pooch on an Incredibly Long Walk. We walked into Cottam, down the Belle River Road to the 'secret' park. I swear to God that most of the residents of Cottam have no idea that this place even exists! It is hidden between two very small subdivisions, (like 25 houses in the one, and 100 houses in the other…). I've been there dozens of times and have seen people there maybe twice. Crazy. I think that we walked almost 7 kms, as we also strolled around the field that is next to the secret park. Very nice, but a little chilly!
So, about change… my 18 hole golf league, whereby I am the Very Important Co-Captain, (although I do very little, as it is run by a Very Organized Captain) starts on Friday… so when am I going to clean the house? Oh, I know, Thursdays! I realized this at about 8pm last night, and therefore had to go grocery shopping on a Wednesday! Crazy! I hope my OCD-ish ways can handle it!
Tonight I golf with TOK (weather permitting) then off to SuprT's although one of her kids has a health issue of which I'm unsure… so that may get scratched…
Saturday should be uber fun as it is the home opener tournament at Sutton Creek, and somehow I've managed to be on the team with the owners of the club and president. It's not what you think.. these people are so far from stuffy and self important it's unbelievable. It will be the funnest foursome ever! (Can you tell I've been with my 13 year old niece lately?)
So, more about change… I'm thinking here from BMW's blog now… I guess when some people are unhappy (whether they realize it or not) they attempt (however accurate or genuine) to manifest qualities within themselves that they admire in others… when making other people aware of these new found virtues, (after 8 glasses of wine…) incredibly enough, it comes off with quite the opposite of the desired effect… they look like hypocrites, show-offs, braggarts, followers, phonies, and completely insincere… it's quite sad really, especially when children have to endure the wrath of the parent's newly formed morality… ugh… some people!
– The golf course is open. Billy has a tee time, but it's foggy and frosty, plus he's on call…
– My back is getting better! I can stand on one foot, (handy for putting socks on etc.) and can straighten up without wincing!
– The painting is done! Done, done, done! The guy did a great job, and we love the new colour!
– The house is in total disarray… I didn't clean at all yesterday as the painter was here all day and I'm physically unable to do so. The upstairs is still naked, the lights need to be put in the basement ceiling, the bar reassembled, etc…
– You know you have a good friend, when they offer to go to a funeral with you. A funeral. That should be the test of a friendship right there…. I'm a lucky girl!
– Tonight? Steak, husband, hot tub, movie, perhaps a little of putting the house back together… life's good