My Pool, Me, & OCD

I am of the belief that we all have some mental illness of some sort. Think about it. What mental illness affects you? Depression? Mood swings? An unhealthy obsession with the lady next door that looks like a young Audrey Hepburn?

For me, it’s OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I’ve never blogged about it. I am only starting to discuss it with family and friends, because it turns out they find it charming, quirky, and fascinating. Okay, so they also find it somewhat disturbing. But I can live with that as long as it makes me appear more interesting. Hmm, I may need to add narcissism to my list.

My OCD really came into focus when I messed up my pool liner order, and had to reduce my pool from 16 feet across to 15.

Pool 15 foot

I guess the picture doesn’t really help you understand my OCD. I’ll try to explain.

With my old pool liner, my pool was 16 feet across, so 330 laps to the mile. I like even numbers. Odd numbers are repugnant to me, especially prime numbers, but not the number 7 or multiples of 5 after the number 5. Does that make sense? So, 3? Bad. 5? Bad, but not as bad as 3. 7 is sort of okay. 9 is bad, but not as bad as if it were prime. 11 & 13? Ew. 15? Acceptable. 20? Great because it is not only an even number, but also a multiple of 5. Now does it make sense?

I will always have my radio or tv volume set to an even number. I was pleased to hear my oldest son also prefers his volume on even numbers or multiples of 5. Come on, admit it. They just sound better on an even number or multiple of 5.

Back to the pool, the 330 laps to a mile were fine, but I never swam a mile. I would tend to swim portions of a mile – 0.20, 0.25, 0.30, 1/3, 0.40, or 0.50. There were problems with the number of laps that some of those distances required.

  • 0.20 = 66 laps. Too close to 666. I would round up to 70 laps.
  • 0.25 = 82.5 laps. Now that’s a problem. I don’t like any odd decimals. It’s just too low to make a case to round up to 90 laps.
  • 0.30 = 99 laps. Ew. I rounded up to 100.
  • 1/3 = 110 laps. Marginally acceptable, despite having prime number 11 as part of it.
  • 0.40 = 132 laps. Again, acceptable, despite prime number 13 starting it.
  • 0.50 = 165 laps. Very acceptable, but I rarely swam that far.

Now with the pool down to 15 feet across, there are 352 laps to a mile, and the numbers work better for me.

  • 0.20 = 70.4 laps. For some reason, decimals that are even don’t bother me. I round this down to 70. Very acceptable. Starts with a 7, even, and a multiple of 5.
  • 0.25 = 88 laps. Very nice. Reminds me of standing double infinities, so it makes me feel like I swam very far. I sometimes round up to 90 to get to an even multiple of 5. Either way, a nice distance.
  • 0.30 = 105.6 laps. I round to 105 which features a nice 10 to start and is a multiple of 5.
  • 1/3 – 117 & 1/3 laps. Not at all acceptable until I round up to 120 which is great.
  • 0.40 – 140.8 laps. I drop the decimal and swim a very appealling 140, knowing that just by normally paddling around a bit it the pool, I swam that additional 0.80 lap.
  • 0.50 – 176 laps. Very acceptable, despite starting with prime number 17, because acceptable 7 is part of prime 17.

Now does it all make sense?

I don’t let my OCD control me. I can block it out and just swim laps, but I prefer my even number system. It’s the same way with eating. I prefer to eat even numbers of food items, and divide them equally between both sides of my mouth, but I can overlook it and just eat. As an example, I present my smoothie materials today.

OCD Smoothie

Yes, I purposely counted out and added 2 frozen cherries, 4 cherry tomatoes, 6 snap pea pods, and exactly 20 blueberries, but then I went nuts with odd numbers and primes galore. I broke the banana into 5 pieces! I added 3 strawberries. I picked 7 mock strawberries to throw in. I dumped in a whole bunch of wild blackberries that I didn’t even count. Sounds crazy, right? And I added 3 randomly shaped pieces of watermelon. Just a reminder – 3 is an odd prime number.

And the result?

OCD Smoothie Thick

Delicious. However, despite adding milk, the result was so thick that I had to eat it with a spoon. I blame the odd numbers.

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