• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”
  • This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

HGTV is Ruining My Life! Specials Interests Run Wild

THIS is how special interests can take over our lives, and over shadowing everything else we need to do! I have been extraordinarily quiet lately because HGTV is ruining my life.  I watch it obsessively because I love love love houses, real estate, and space transformations—so much so that I have re-painted my kitchen three times in the past month!  (More on THAT later)

The past few weeks I have been very stressed because my living quarters are shrinking.  We accumulate a lot of crap and clutter, which I am in the process of getting rid of but will take a long time. We have a three bedroom townhouse, which although not small, it is not really big enough for four active ASD boys AND ME!  My sensitivities seem to be getting worse and I have difficulty finding a place to decompress.  Plus I desperately need outdoor space, a yard etc.  My solution: Sell this place and MOVE.  But since that isn’t really an option right now I need to figure out a way that I can live here in this house more comfortably, or at least feel happier. 

I spend almost all of my time in the house. I don’t get out  much, and so it is vitally important for me to make this space work better.  A few weeks ago while researching the Psychology of Color for a series I was writing for answers.com, I came across Feng Shui!  The best definition I have found is that it is the study of the effect the environment (your surroundings) have on people. My surrounds affect me profoundly—all time.  So now I am on my fourth Feng Shui book in the past week, and since I am addicted to the show “Addicted to Rehab” on HGTV,  I am in full reno/change everything in my house swing!  (Poor Hubby)

So everything sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? I have changed the color of my kitchen four times. It started out a neutral tan (yuck) and I changed it my standard RED.  I love love love RED! My kitchen is always red. Then my kitchen was aggravating me, dirty, cluttery, small, so I thought let me try something new. It was very difficult but I painted over my red and made it blue.  I figured blue is a CALM color, and it is, but I hated it in my kitchen. It just made me not want to be in there at all.  So guess what?  The kitchen is back to being RED!  I was going to include a picture here but it looks like a bomb went off in there at the moment so if I ever get it cleaned up I will add a picture. 

So what does all this have to do with special interests?  My color/Feng Shui/ Reno kick here has taken over my life.  I was so involved last night (ok all week) that I have been obsessively working in the master bathroom to transform it.  (Hubby called me a slave-driver last night!)

Here is the thing though…I didn’t finish my last paper for Literary Theory class that was due at midnight last night and now the class is over so no A for me this term!  I get obsessed with keeping straight A’s as well.  But—I COULD NOT stop my project. I could not pull myself away, and everything and everyone suffers for it. Thank goodness I have a 6 month old (today, by the way—can’t believe he is 6 months old already) who bellows at me regularly or I would not come out of my tiny bathroom space at all—not until it was done. 

I wish I could give you some great advice on how to temper these interests, and regain some sort of balance, but I cannot—not yet.  This semester I am taking two classes instead of one because I am a crazy person. I took a semester off when I had the baby in September and need to make up a class to stay on track, but now I am worried.  I had to force myself to back away from the projects (I have many going on at the same time) and write this post. 

Stay tuned for progress reports.

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.