It’s important to save for retirement. It’s sensible to have an emergency fund. It’s essential to live within your income and not go into debt. But where did the idea come from that people who are frugal and live simply… can’t… or shouldn’t… have nice things? Or that they should feel guilty if they buy something new?
I spent more than three months one year in an enforced almost immobile position because of complications from a back injury. When I finally started to recover and could be up and around again for part of the day, the recommended at home therapy was to walk as much as I was able to. As a surprise, my husband decided to build a walking path that would trail around our property and wind past the nearby wooded area. He took great pains to ensure that the surface of the walking path was smooth and level and that the path would take me past the garden areas that I love and had missed so much… alongside the little babbling brook and past all the froggy activity going on around our small pond. His thoughtful surprise turned my daily (sometimes very difficult and painful) exercise routine into something I could actually look forward to because there was always something new going on somewhere for me to see and enjoy.
I have a friend who almost never telephones me unless she is doing something else at the same time. Sometimes she’s preparing or eating dinner, sometimes she’s driving somewhere, sometimes she’s doing housework, and sometimes she’s washing dishes. Often she becomes so preoccupied with the other thing she is doing that she forgets what she is saying or what I have answered, and the sounds of chewing, traffic, running water, or clanging dishes are very distracting. This woman is a good friend and I’m very fond of her, but I wish just once she would devote her full attention to the conversation she has initiated. I doubt that this will ever happen, though, because she is very much into multitasking. And she’s always feeling frazzled and in a rush.
When you are faced with an important decision, it’s always a good idea to gather information about the possible options and to use that information to evaluate the possible consequences. Analysis paralysis happens when you spend too much time analyzing that information and second-guessing all those possibilities… when you literally can’t make a decision because that excess of information actually prevents you from moving forward.
The dictionary defines procrastinating as “postponing doing something, especially as a regular practice.” Procrastinating is a habit, nothing more. In order to stop procrastinating, you must replace the habit of putting things off with the healthy habit of getting things done… and the first step is to understand WHY you are procrastinating.
Reader question… “We found ourselves in a situation without electrical power for two days last week after the ice storm downed power lines in our neighborhood. We had never experienced a power outage before and weren’t prepared. My question… have you made preparations for power outages and could you share what these preparations are?” –Daniel B.
I heard on the radio this morning that every year most people make the same three New Years’ resolutions… to go on a diet, to stop smoking, and to spend less money. Supposedly, despite the original good intentions, more than eighty percent of these resolutions have been broken and forgotten by mid-February. Overeating, smoking, and spending too much money are all habits that people use to make themselves feel better… to fill an emptiness in their lives… so it’s not surprising that these resolutions routinely fail when taking away the “comfort indulgence” is the only lifestyle change.