My Life Is A Series Of Intense, Short-Lived Obsessions But I Think That's OK

I, like my parents before me, throw myself 150% into things before moving swiftly on to the next new exciting phase.
Publish date:
April 3, 2014
fitness, obsessions, coffee, juicing, phases, trainers, aquariums

My juicer blew up a few weeks ago. It was a dark, dark day in my kitchen -- the smell of burning plastic thick in the air, hanging around and mingling with my disappointment and upset. See, I'd been juicing every day, sometimes twice a day, for a good couple of months. I'd researched what type of juicer to buy, watched endless videos on YouTube of product reviews -- learnt all about the difference between centrifugal and masticating juicers, knew the cleaning times of the most popular models, by the end of the week running up to my purchase I could tell you anything and everything about the intricate works of most juicers and could reel off model numbers like they were my cousins.

When the juicer finally arrived, I moved on to the next phase of my obsession -- the actual fruit and veg. I obsessively learnt the benefits of all fruits and veg, the vitamin content, the fibre, the iron, what each and every drop would do for my body. I read up on forums for juicing fanatics, listed recipes that would help my Crohn's. I listed combinations of vegetables and fruits that would boost my pathetic iron and vitamin B12 levels. I bought supplements, dark, chalky spirulina to stir into my juices.

And not just any old produce would do! Oh, no! I researched the very best organic farmers and had boxes delivered to my front door packed with freshly grown, organic vegetables that cost me an absolute ton. Basically, I bankrupted myself in the pursuit of juice perfection.

It's probably a good thing that my juicer exploded when it did, or I'd probably have sold my telly by now to fund my habit. I sent it back to the manufacturers who have replaced it with a better model, but the period of waiting in-between the old one dying and the new one arriving means I've now moved on to my next Big New Obsession. Coffee.

With the lack of focus on juicing, I swiftly found something to fill the gaping hole. I quite liked coffee, I thought. Maybe I should get into that! Yeah! Chris has a large French press, so I learnt how to use that. But I didn't just read the instructions -- oh, no! I went on YouTube and found detailed guides on how to get the most perfect cup possible. I found out that you shouldn't use boiling water, you should leave the water for a while before pouring onto the grounds. I learnt the optimum brewing time. I learnt how many times to stir the grounds before plunging.

After I'd mastered the perfect technique, I moved on to the actual coffee. I spent hours (actual hours) on reading reviews of different brands, learning the difference between Columbian and Ethiopian grounds. I learnt about the different strengths and how beans can differ dramatically.

Like with the fruit and veg before it, I then sourced a small batch roaster who ships within a week of roasting, direct to my desk. Again, this isn't a cheap habit.

I never thought anything of my tendency to hop between obsession to obsession until recently, when Chris was laughing about it with me. It hadn't occurred to me that I do this at all -- I just did it. It was when I thought back over the past years when I realized that it's a really regular happening for me.

Before the juicer, there was the aquarium obsession. I wanted a fish tank, and I spent weeks finding out EVERYTHING about fish and their homes. I signed up to dedicated fish-keepers forums and posted questions on cycling fish tanks and the estimated growth of Zebra Danios. I bored everyone I came into contact with about the chemicals found in tap water, and how to sex a Platy.

Before that I decided I was going to be a runner. Again, I researched and researched. I diagnosed myself as an under-pronater and bought myself some amazing trainers after poring over tons of different color-ways and trainer/legging combos. They arrived, I flushed with excitement, put them on, ran round the block, realized I wasn't naturally brilliant at it, sat on a step and cried and went home never to tie up the laces again.

Before running? Nail varnish. I would spend hours on beauty blogs comparing and contrasting different finishes, shades and brands before carefully selecting a few and buying them and then starting the process again. Every evening I would go home and take off the previous day's color and paint over the day's problems with a fresh new shade.

I can totally understand why I do this though, as I recognize that both of my parents are exactly the same. My Dad has gone through photography, whisky, shooting, watches and the 5:2 diet in recent memory. Mum has gone through juicing (she actually introduced me to it), cycling, various health and beauty treatments and some wacky diets in the past year. They, like me, like to research everything about one subject and totally throw themselves into it for a while before moving on to the next thing. We like to drink up every last drop of information about something, turning ourselves into walking Wikipedia pages for a short while before moving on, the dust of the last obsession in our wake.

I like having something to throw myself into, I like constantly learning about something. If I watch a film, straight after I am on the IMDB page, looking up the facts and trivia about the production. I want to know everything about it. I read the plots of films that I haven't seen yet. I know things about "The Godfather Part 2" that most people who have seen it multiple times wouldn't know, despite having never seen it.

So, what about you? Do you do the same -- really throw yourself into something before moving on to something else? Or maybe your partner is? Is it annoying?

Now I've finished writing, I'm going to track the delivery of my new coffee machine. It grinds beans straight to the cup. I'm pretty excited.

Natalie's always been obsessed with Twitter: @Natalie_KateM.