Ending An Obsession

September 27 ChicagoNow Blogapalooz-Hour Challenge:

Write about something in your life you once obsessed about but now rarely, if ever, think about

This challenge, above, was presented to us bloggers tonight by our ChicagoNow manager. We have one hour to write anything in regards to the posted topic. Here goes…


I thought about it for several minutes. There are things – make that people – that I’ve frivolously obsessed over in the past. But I’d prefer not thinking or writing about them. Hmm… maybe that means I’m truly over all those old relationships. Those preoccupations aren’t worthy of wasting my time or yours.

It took a while to consider some of my preoccupations; there are so many. Coffee – nope I’m not over that and, in fact, love thinking about it. I worry about my daughter, but not enough that she’s blocked me from her phone. Yet.

And, at times, I feel a complex that I’m too concerned about what others may think of me. But that probably won’t end soon, although it’s certainly at a much lower degree than years ago. My new attitude is: Kiss my Southside A$$.

Eliminating Gifts = Less Stress

The one obsession that comes to mind tonight is gift exchanges. I’ve just about eliminated exchanging holiday presents with family and friends. For years the thought of Christmas gift giving started to haunt me as early as September. That’s typically the time the magazines promote the holidays and the pressure begins. Even stores may attempt a brave display of winter holiday items right next to the Halloween goodies.

The nerve!

The pressure to find the perfect present for each individual became cause for considerable worry on my part. I tried early in the season to come up with a clever and unique way to treat everyone. And the obsessing wore me out.

There were also the somewhat sad “crafty” years where I was inspired to create something brilliant and surprise everyone with that one special item. This is where Pinterest may start to overwhelm some of us.

Slowly over the years the obsession has waned. My brother and I are down to only sending each other a birthday card each year. There are no young children in our families, so the family grab bag has diminished as well, much to the delight of everyone.

My mother insists she has everything she needs. No need to wrap and ship gifts.

Last year I texted my few in-laws and told them of my intentions to stop exchanging. They responded favorably and probably let out a huge sigh of relief.


And the abandonment of pressure is WONDERFUL. There is less stress. There is more time to focus on the gathering during the holidays. Instead, funds are spent on special bottles of wine or ingredients for holiday desserts.

We expanded on that idea when it came to our Christmas tree. The Nordic Spruce we purchased at The Lions tree sale down the street was perfect on its own. We toss on strings of lights, with a lone star at the top. No other ornaments are needed. It looks so pretty.

And we all still have an enjoyable celebration together.

Glad to announce that I lost the obsession, while keeping the fun.

Happy Holidays.

Yours truly,

H. Van Howe

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