I’ve noticed recently that the word "disorder" can cover a plethora of things. I get that there are real disorders and they can be very serious, but mostly, I’ve noticed, we all make up disorders as excuses for why we behave in a certain way.
A kid on Twin A’s lacrosse team was trying to get out of conditioning the other day by making up all of these “disorders” that he has. His first mistake was telling me that he had a “compulsive liar disorder.” It made it very hard to believe all of the other disorders he came up with:
· Muscle interruption disorder where his muscles aren’t attached to each other so it makes it hard to run.
· Explosive vomiting disorder where if he runs too hard he throws up.
· Left side-right side brain disorder where his brain tells him the wrong side of his body from the actual instructions and it’s very confusing and maybe he should be excused from stretching.
Yesterday I excused him from conditioning because he had done a school triathlon in the afternoon and fell off his bike (triathlon coordination disorder) and then when they were playing catch against a wall with their lacrosse sticks while waiting for conditioning to start, he threw the ball at the wall and it came back and hit him in the private area (unprotected testicle disorder). I figured he had had enough.
It did get me thinking, though, about my own disorders.
1. I suffer from lazy disorder. I am not a motivated person. I get things done if they need to be done but only at the last minute and never if I don’t have a deadline. I tend to surround myself with go-getters for some reason: people who get stuff done, people who set goals and accomplish them, people who have a deadline but finish their work long before that deadline comes. Those people are crazy.
2. I have perfectionist disorder. I like for everything to be in its place. I admire the people who let their kids play with Lego and all those other toys that have a million little pieces that need to be cleaned up. I think it’s fascinating that people will come into their homes and throw their keys in a different place every day and then spend time later searching for them. I’m a little jealous of those people who can walk right past that picture frame that’s been moved a quarter of an inch to the right and not have to fix it.
The thing is, it’s hard to get anything done. A perfectionist sees the work involved in any project and then gets too overwhelmed to accomplish it. Painting a room can take weeks—first you have to move all the furniture, then wash the walls, remove anything that can be removed from the walls, tape anything that can’t be moved, notice that the tape ripped vertically instead of horizontally, stop to even out the tape, consider whether you are going to paint the closet door frame or leave it white because it is, after all, a frame and shouldn’t that look different than the rest of the wall or should it actually blend in, do some research to see what the rest of the Internet thinks, wonder if now might be a good time to change all the outlet covers, and maybe get a new light switch cover, check Pintrest and Etsy to find some neat ideas, wonder if that’s really the look you want to go for or if it seems too…matchy-matchy and is that really the impression you want to give off…and this doesn’t even discuss the choosing of the paint colour in the first place.
Whereas a non-perfectionist thinks: “This room needs to be painted.” Paints room.
3. So, how then, between lazy disorder and perfectionist disorder do I get anything done ever? I like to call it Massive Procrastination Disorder. Writing this post is something I’d like to get done but doesn’t have any clear deadline. Therefore, so far, while writing, I have taken a few breaks to: fold laundry, go for a run, plan dinner, clean the kitchen, have a shower, organize my bookshelf, make lunch plans. And the funny thing is that I’m writing this post to procrastinate actually doing my real live work.
It’s a complicated system guys; not everyone can accomplish as much as I do suffering from all these disorders. I’m tough. I’ll soldier through. Please don’t let your compassion for my problems ruin the rest of your day.