Pay Yourself First – part 2

Darling we were talking before about matching the task to the appropriate time to do it [Pay Yourself First – ] and this is such an important topic, we shall continue the conversation.

Now we all know that ‘the right time and the right way to do something’ is simply a cultural construct – it has no real meaning. Pancakes for dinner, chiffon in winter (with pearly silk long underwear), take ballet classes (and preform in recitals!) in your 60s, drive a Mini or VW bug even if every other car in the work parking lot is a Volvo.

Of course you will be disinherited if you try to serve me pumpkin spice lattes at Easter or wear glitter make-up to your dissertation defense, but there is a lot of leeway in what looks like inflexible routines.

For example, ma cherie, when you come home from grocery shopping – there is no need to put the groceries away – put the bags on the counter/ dining room table/ ironing board/ washing machine or the floor and either veg out or, if you are in an energy spike, take a walk, clean the shower, start on your taxes or work on your novel.

Empty the bags when you are cooking dinner, listening to a tv show or book, or talking on the phone. Putting groceries away does not need or deserve your undivided attention.

First tier is to wake up, eat something and drink something (preferably champagne!), second tier is brushing teeth and taking a multivitamin. The rest… can wait: hair brushing, clothes wearing, bed making, etc. must be done but they must not be done the instant you are vertical.

And always remember that there is a built-in chance for a ‘do-over.’ Darling, one I was visiting a friend and we were woken up to doorbell. There was her estranged husband on the doormat with coffee, croissants and the lie that he wanted to see me. Sigh. She dutifully invited him in, we ate and chatted. When he left, we looked at each other and said, “this did not happen.” Then we went back to out bedrooms and dozed for a while, got up and went out for breakfast. That hour disappeared into the ether and as we sipped our coffee in the café, we both remarked how lovely that first cup of coffee is.

Lie, darling, organize your life and lie. If you had bad morning, have a danish and coffee for lunch and have a second morning in the afternoon. Social media gurus suggest: think of your day as a series of chunks of time and if one was awful – reset for the next one. This is wise and, as much as possible, you should adopt it as one of your mantras. A ghastly afternoon does not mean the evening will be similarly atrocious.