Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Too Perfect Tuesdays - Chap 9 - A Two Month Leisure Reclamation Program

Metaphor is "in the moment."
This post continues with A Two Month Leisure Reclamation Program from Chapter Nine.

This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments, engage more on the FaceBook website... whatever your heart calls you to do.


When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992.  If   you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.

If work has taken over your life, are you willing to try an experiment? For a limited period of time, can you spend less time working and more time living? To achieve that goal, I suggest you make the following changes for two months. <snip>

1.  Separate your work from your home life. Don't take work home with you. Or, if your job requires you to do all or part of your work at home, confine it to one room, preferably one that you can close off and leave behind.

2.  Limit your work sessions, and when the appointed quitting time comes, stop working, even if you're not completely finished. I'm not suggesting you be irresponsible and leave crucial tasks for the next day. But too many obsessives tell themselves that everything is crucial. <snip>

3.  Don't work weekends, unless doing so is absolutely critical. If it is, be miserly in the amount of time you give up. <snip> ... there are "three great American vices": efficiency, punctuality, and the desire for achievement and success. There are "the things that make the Americans so unhappy and nervous. They steal from their inalienable right of loafing and cheat them of many a good, idle and beautiful afternoon."

4.  Whenever it's time to stop working, consciously shift our mental focus to enjoying your free time. It may help to mark the transition from work to "play" in some way, by taking several deep breaths, for instance, or doing some stretching when you finally stand up and step away from your desk at the close of your work day.  <snip>

If you begin to feel uncomfortable or guilty about "not accomplishing anything," fight those feelings. Ask: "What is so terrible about taking the time to read this book, or enjoy this conversation? Don't I deserve to enjoy life just as much as anybody else?" 

More tips to come in the next post.

One of the things I have done in my new home, the apartment, is have a separate office for writing and filing. I don't watch TV in it, and I don't read in my office (except on the internet).  Mind you, I have a regular day job, so I'm not always "up" to come home and write - and that's okay.

Even though writing is both a pleasure/dream, and a side job of sorts, I try to always balance. Spend time with family and friends, spend time lying out by the pool. Sometimes I OD, either on writing jags, or on reading jags, or social butterfly weekends.

I work really hard on being mindful, on enjoying what I am doing. We do all deserve joy, time to ourselves, time away from work.

No one will ever be lying on his/her deathbed, regretting all the time NOT spent at work or obsessing over work-related activities.

Have you ever tried a two-month reclamation project?
What do you think about the "great American vices"?
Your thoughts?