Friday, 26 August 2016

My Obsessions Laid Bare!

When I moved house recently, I realised there were clocks in every room - sometimes more than one. Having checked with friends, I found this was rather excessive! Being a former psychotherapist, I wondered why I needed so many clocks! Why do I constantly need to know the time? But clocks weren't the only items that were popping up in every room! Let me explain...


During my training as a therapist, I underwent a psychological profile test (Myers-Briggs) and discovered that I came out with a preference for ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking and Judging). The latter indicator refers to a desire to be organised on a day-to-day basis. People with the 'Judging' preference want things to be neat, orderly and established as opposed to the opposite type (Perceiving) who want things to be spontaneous, with plenty of scope for flexibility. 'Judgers' want things settled, 'Perceivers' want things open-ended. My score for 'Judger' was nearly off the scale!

Having a clock in every room completely fits with my 'type'! I like certainty, I like to be early for appointments (I hate being late), I like to orientate myself within the day and measure how much time I can allocate for activities.  If I have a dentist appointment at 9am, for example, I know I'll have to leave at 8.30am, and have breakfast before 8am, and so on. I perpetually have my watch set a couple of minutes early - which has been a life-safer at times, when I've had to make a dash for the local train!

I have friends who leave the house without a watch. Can you imagine that!? They spend the entire day without a watch! Now, to me - that is like leaving the house without any clothes on. How do they catch their trains, avoid parking fines when their tickets run out or get anywhere on time? To some of you (also Judger types), this will sound totally familiar and common sense. To the Perceiver types, my way will feel prescriptive and OTT.

As a light sleeper, I need a clock in the bedroom that's completely silent (not a flicker of a tick is permitted) and not bright in the dark. However, I do want to know what the time is during those brief moments if I wake during the night. Having spent years trying to find the perfect clock, I now have a digital one that shines the time on the wall beside me. Problem solved. I LOVE it!


As we packed up to move house, I noticed that mirrors had been reproducing around our house like flies. There was at least one mirror in every room in the house. In some rooms - ahem - I counted three... So what's the story with having mirrors everywhere? I believe this is also about certainty in a more existential way. To some of you, this may sound wacky, but I can only feel solid and fully 'real', if I can see myself! I don't mean all the time, but just checking in every now and again, at least once a day. Being a very 'visual' personality, 'seeing' literally is 'believing' for me and I start to feel disoriented if there are no mirrors around me. It's not a vanity thing. It's not about 'how' I look, it's more to fully check that I am there at all; that I exist. Sound crazy? Mmm...that's just the way it is.


I have one in the garden, two in the house (upstairs and down), one in the medicine drawer and I often refer to the one on the dashboard in the car. Normal, right? It is for me. I'm one of those people who feel the cold. Terribly. No matter what time of year, I always seem to need two more layers than everyone else! Being able to judge what I'll need to wear in order not to freeze is therefore a daily requirement. It's another 'measuring' tool - like a clock - that lets me know where I stand.

In my new book (currently available to Pre-Order), Inside the Whispers, another of my obsessions comes to light, but you'll have to wait a while to find out about that! In the meantime, what are your obsessions and why do you think you have them?!

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   Inside the Whispers is the latest Psychological Thriller from AJ Waines. 
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