I am embarrassed to admit that my list of idiosyncrasies and eccentricities could probably rival a Woody Allen film. While it is true that motherhood has helped mute and distract my neurotic tendencies, many of my fixations have simply grown worse over the years. A brief sampling:
I hoard Ziploc bags like a drug dealer.
I believe every load of laundry decreases your time in purgatory by an hour.
Stepping on a crack really does break your mother's back. Seriously. For real.
If you don't check your locked door five times, you are just asking for trouble.
It is exhausting being a crazy person. Yet a few months back, I read something about how healthy people walk 10,000 steps a day. I was instantly intrigued and ordered a pedometer. Was I a healthy person? Surely I had to be somewhere in the ballpark of that 10,000, right?
That would be a no.
On Day #1, my grand total was around 15 steps. I was obviously a candidate for my own TLC show. Things needed to change, so I got walking.
When I lived downtown in my 20s, I walked constantly. If things were less than two miles away, walking was easier than dealing with public transportation. Yet once my husband and I moved to the south side of the city, I would gripe about not landing "Rock Star Parking" as though my tush couldn't afford the extra 50 steps.
Then I clipped on that handy little pedometer on Day #2 and it was GAME ON. All of my obsessive-compulsive propensities were suddenly being used for good and not for evil. I started putting away laundry one piece of clothing at a time. I leapt out of the car to pace while my husband filled our minivan with gas. And for a mother who once insisted on the old "Get it yourself" philosophy whenever anyone required refills, condiments, or a fork at the dinner table, I was now jumping up like Carol freaking Brady.
And the steps? They started adding up.
This pedometer was everything I could have hoped for and more. It was an obsessive-compulsive's best friend. My mania was channeled towards reaching the next level, the next block, the next mile.
So if you see me pacing, marching in place, or walking repeatedly over to another part of the room to "check on something," feel free to make fun of me. And comment on my butt, because it's looking way less jiggly.
So move over, Ziploc bags. There's a new sheriff in town. PEDOMETER BATTERIES. Seriously. I have enough for the next 15 years.
It really is a disease.
(If anyone wants to join my new Facebook Pedometer Support Group, visit here. We mostly just post our totals of steps walked and Twinkies consumed.)
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.