21 April 2016

Things I Think When Leaving the House

Every once in a while, you just have to laugh at yourself. Because that's true, today I am confessing one of my biggest streaks of insanity: I have a hard time leaving the house when I'm by myself.

My grandpa has this saying, "Never Go Back."

It usually applies to things like getting lost while driving--he never turns around and goes back, he just keeps going. It's not necessarily the most helpful saying in life, but at least it creates a consistent pattern of behavior.

I've learned that I have to use it when I leave the house by myself. Because, for no apparent reason, when I'm faced with the task of leaving the house all by myself, my usually perfectly sensible brain falls off the table of sensibility and starts to question everything, even life itself.

Is my hair straightener still on? Better go back and check.

(Never mind that the last time I straightened my hair was last week.)

I wonder if I accidentally left the stove on....wouldn't want to burn the apartment complex'll only take a second to take a look at the stove....

(And the last time I cooked was 5 hours ago and surely I would have noticed the flames by now if I really left the stove on for five hours....)

Did I actually lock the door, or am I just imagining things? Better go and pull on the padlock to make sure it actually engaged.

Did I leave a load of laundry in the washing machine? Oh man, I'm going to have to wash it all over again if it doesn't get hung up right away...

Do I even have my wallet and house keys with me? Did I lock myself out?

(I can't lock myself out...the locks require keys to lock them...)

Where am I going again?

Did I turn the lights and fans off? I don't want to waste electricity...maybe if I just peek under the door I'll be able to see if the lights are on or not....

Am I absolutely sure I have everything I'm going to need? What if I want a book to read while I'm out? It wouldn't take any time to grab one...


I've learned to, instead of heeding all of these insane thoughts, grit my teeth and get on the elevator and not give into the temptation to rattle the lock just one more time to make sure the house is really, really, really locked. "Never Go Back."

Does this happen to anyone else, or am I all alone on this one? Whenever Angel and I leave the house together, I don't experience this at all. I guess I just figure that at least then I'm not totally alone in my responsibility to protect all of our earthly possessions, since it's a joint operation.

Is there any time when you second-guess yourself, nearly to the point of insanity? What do you do about it? Do you adopt the same "Never Go Back" motto that I employ?


  1. You are totally not alone on this! Of course the was he time when I went to high school that my mom left a pot of water boiling chicken beats on the stove and almost burnt the house down while we were at the mall. Instead everything we owned just smelled like scarred meat for awhile. So I blame her for my house leaving problems....

  2. I absolutely have these thoughts before leaving the house. I am always paranoid of having left the stove or my straightener on, or a candle not being out before I go somewhere.

    Sometimes I go back. Then I feel silly, because of course the thing I was worried about was already taken care of. :p

  3. Wow, your grandpa seems like a clever mind! You are definitely not the only one with these thoughts, and applying his wisdoms seems like the best thing to do in this situation! :) I rarely curl/straighten my hair, so the few times I do I am BOUND to have to go back and check, haha.

    Once I was in church when I started wondering if I had turned it off, and whispered it to my family. Luckily, my uncle is a fireman, and he pointed to his alarm in his belt and said 'We would've known by now', haha! :) I had, indeed, turned it off :)

  4. I am totally with you. Yesterday my mom came over to watch my daughter so I could go to work, and she said I looked like a total scatterbrain as I was trying to leave for this exact reason!

  5. Ha! So I haven't experienced these feelings, but I do have friends who go through this every time they leave home too so you aren't alone. And in the comments here it sounds like you aren't alone either. :)

  6. Oh my gosh, this used to be me. When we had our first apartment I always had to go back and check on those things. Sometimes I went back in a couple of times before finally driving off. It totally wore me out and stressed me out.

  7. Completely understand this! I get that way all the time when I leave my apartment. It gets so bad to the point that when I get in car--which is maybe 100 feet away from my door--I find myself wondering if I locked the front door even though deep down I know I did. Thank you for such a great share!

  8. My husband has this issue...big time. I will be waiting in a taxi when we are going to the airport and he runs back into the house to check all the doors etc one last time. It drives me nuts.

    I do find as I'm getting older I will sometimes have similar thoughts. I zone out while doing something and can't remember what I did. I might take a shower and then wonder if I remembered to put conditioner on my hair. It is silly but it also goes to show that I'm often running on auto-pilot when doing daily tasks. Trying to present in every moment becomes even more important as you grow older.


  9. My cat likes to drink out of the tap and almost daily just as I'm about to leave I have to double check to make sure that the taps are turned off and I'm not going to flood the place because I turned it on for her to get a drink and forgot to shut them off!

  10. my boyfriend does this all the time, but I'm pretty sure it stems from growing up in bad neighborhoods and just generally feeling like bad things we're going to happen all the time. totally relate to the stove and hair straightener one, though! I do that lol

  11. I have this a lot as well and often wonder if I have a mild case of OCD. The straightener part always gets me!

  12. This is how I always act leaving my apartment! Especially when I am leaving for work in the morning at 4:40am! It so hard to leave some times that on my day off I just never leave!

  13. Oh sweetie, I wish I had this problem. Mine is I don't like being at the house by myself. My overactive imagination and anxiety disorder make me think someone's always about to break in.

  14. I do double check the doors because I would hate to have forgotten to lock them.

    I think when you leave with the house with someone else you are talking and have less time to sit and wonder about everything that could possibly go wrong.

  15. I'm the exact same way! I feel a sense of doom every time I leave the house wondering what kind of disaster will await me when I return.

  16. Augh. I'm so like this too! I am always terrified it I left things on or the door open or...

  17. This is how my mom is--I'm usually just a grab n' go person. I have a few things I need, I snatch them up, and I lock the house. Sometimes I forget things but if I do, I manage!

  18. I can totally relate! I have my systems in place in the morning to help avoid these things! I do the cursory glance to make sure the oven and stove are off and that the lights are off. When I leave my apartment and lock the door I always turn the door knob to make sure it's locked :) You are certainly not alone!

  19. I hate to say this, but my husband does this all the time and it drives me NUTS! I tell him, staring at the door five times isn't going to make it any more locked than it already is ;)

  20. I am right there with you!

  21. I do that with my straightener alllll the time! So annoying. But seriously, why run the risk of burning down the place?

  22. I'm exactly the same! I hate being the last one to leave the house. I check the door handle several times... I'll even get in the car and then go back and check the door handle, even though I'd already checked it when I locked up. I'll check where the cats are before I leave too (just so I know!). I'll make sure certain plugs are off. It's awful!

    Mind you, I think what my Mum does is worse... When we were kids, we'd be off on a day trip a couple of hours away from home and suddenly Mum would say "Oh, did I turn the oven off?" and it would ruin the rest of the day for Dad who would then be worrying about the house!

  23. I do this all of the time! I do it with my car as well, I constantly go back and check and I have automatic remote locks but I still have to go back just in case it was a fluke!

    liz @ j for joiner

  24. "Not necessarily the most helpful saying in life, but at least it creates a consistent pattern of behavior." Isn't that the best we can hope for, really??