I make bets with myself all the time. Maybe I challenge myself to get to the top of the staircase before the last notes of a song ring out. Or to swallow the last bites of a meal before the credits of a TV show start to roll.
Does that make me OCD? Maybe a bit, but it’s not debilitating, so who cares?!
The thing I bet on more than anything else is the microwave timer. Mine beeps four times when it’s done, and pretty much every day, while I’m making breakfast, I’m scrambling to get whatever it is I’m doing done before that fourth chime rings.
I need to get the milk into my coffee, get the jug back in the fridge and close the fridge door. Or I need to spread avocado on my toast and get the spatula into the soapy dishwater. Or I need to measure out the cottage cheese and clean the measuring cup.
Whatever I’m working on when I start the microwave, I challenge myself to get it done completely before that final ‘ding.’
It always gives me a slight adrenaline rush too, because the bet is never really specified. I’m never clear with myself what the consequences are if I don’t succeed. It’s more generic – things will be ‘good’ if I make it and things will be ‘bad’ if I don’t.
I know sometimes my subconscious prods me to specify: if you don’t get this done in time, you’ll die. It’s stupid and silly, but if that thought ever does cross my mind, I’m quick to quash it.
“No,” I say, “That’s not the bet. The bet is that I’ll just have a bad day.” Or, “The bet is that I’ll break my egg yolk when I crack the shell.”
Look, rationally, I don’t believe that not getting the peanut butter back in the cupboard in time is going to bring about my untimely demise, but I still don’t like to take the risk.
A broken yolk is bad enough for consequences, thank you very much!
I don’t know… is this weird? Anyone else make bets with themselves?