It's one of those toddler-things which had faded from the here and now as the older two grew but I now remember them enjoying doing the same thing.
Today I saw this collection of broken pegs on the patio but instead of getting cranky that there are a few less pegs to use or worried about making more landfill, I had a memory. I remembered why I didn't really mind when pegs got broken.
I didn't use pegs on the washing line for years.
This meant the washing took longer to dry as it had to be folded in half to stop it from falling off, and many many times a strong wind would blow most, if not all of the washing off of the line, only to be trampled over by muddy dogs and tangled in thorny bushes and I'd have to re-wash and re-hang the whole lot.
'Buy some ruddy pegs!' BigBadWolf would say.
'Oh... yeah... next time I go shopping...' I'd reply vaguely.
Yet still I didn't buy pegs.
And today, looking down at that pile of broken colour, I remembered why.
Having pegs of varying colours means that they can be categorised.
These particular pegs came in four colours (and I'm pretty sure they have been available in the same colours for a few years) - pink, blue, yellow and green. When there were four of us, this seemed a nice bit of harmony and I would associate a colour of peg with a member of the family - pink for Berry, Blue for Bear, yellow for BigBadWolf and green for myself.
Unfortunately, if I ran out of a certain colour of peg, I'd be stuck. Frozen in deliberation.
Do I use someone else's coloured peg?
Would that indicate that I thought more of one person or less of another?
What if I used someone else's peg then ran out of that colour when it came to hanging out that same someone else's piece of washing?
Do I un-peg the item I hung out using someone else's peg so that I could use that same peg to hang out an item belonging the associated someone?
It's not only the coloured pegs though (which, for the record, BigBadWolf bought in a fit of domesticity a few months ago). I now have some extra strong, transparent-ish pegs which I actually bought to use in place of pins for sewing handbags and the like. I came across them while decluttering the craft room and innocently thought they'd be put to better use in the laundry.
That little voice, backed by the biatch that is hindsight yells to me in her told-you-so voice, 'WRONG!'
Today I had two pieces of washing left to hang out, each requiring one peg. I had only one coloured peg and one strong peg available. The coloured peg could not be associated with either of the two people who's washing was to be hung out. If I used the unassociated coloured peg for one item, then I'd be using the stronger peg for the other. Does this mean I want to hold on tighter to one person than to the other, meaning that I care more for one than the other? Does it mean that I think less of the person who gets the unassociated peg, that I think they are unimportant and it matters not what colour peg I use for their washing, therefore inferring that I care not for them?
Of course the answer to all these things is No.
No, I do not care more for one member of my family than for another and No, neither the strength nor the colour of pegs in any way determines the fate of any person in my family.
But to an Obsessive Compulsive brain, that is how it feels.
And just two weeks ago, my psych decided to try me on new medications (as the weight gain from my current meds is beginning to become a concern of its own). Ping!
That explains the memory, the seemingly sudden resurgence of these 'issues'.
Being aware and purely, 100% natural in mind and body is real and honest and - I'd like to believe - achievable, but being 'blissfully' ignorant of... or muted to... or even distanced from the reality of an OCD brain is so much easier. It makes room for so much more fun. And it's a feeling of freedom from my own inefficiencies I can't even begin to explain.
The funny thing is, I'm not even medicated because of the OCD. It's something I've had for as long as I can remember - at times it's been annoying, at others it's been crippling but I learned to live with it. Having a hiatus from the OCD was an unexpected benefit of being treated for a bunch of other anxiety disorders. I guess that's a positive to focus on, right?
So that's where I'm at. Sorry if it's a little too much information but it's a really big thing in our world right now and I felt the need to share, get it off my chest, so to speak.
Although most of our days are super-ace and filled with love and fun and optimism, it's not always sunshine and lollipops. And that's life, isn't it?
Much love x
P.S Now that we have Baby, I associate pink and green with her which gives the little treasure twice the chance of having an associated peg used to hang out her washing. Lucky Baby!
P.P.S The aforementioned is only half the washing 'ritual'. We'll save that for another fun, exciting post ;)