Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Automatic Pilot Lands in Another Crappy Moment: A Financial Lesson

It was just another crappy moment, but as the cliche goes: I learned a lot. And so goes life with my dog Scruffy, who continues to teach me Zen-like lessons in patience, planning and the dangers of living life on automatic pilot.

Here's the scenario: A little while ago -- at sunset -- I was walking the dog and I ran out of doggy bags during our walk. (TMI) Anyway, when Scruffy (that's him in the photo) headed for a neighbor's yard, I acted like a good citizen. I asked for a plastic bag and cleaned up after my dog. And then stuff really happened. Here's what I learned:

  • Don't be smug. Blissed out from my do-good efforts to clean up after my dog, I stopped paying attention to the task at hand. Mindlessly, I let the plastic bag flap in the wind. As such, the bag missed the target, but my hands hit pay dirt. (Don't ask. TMI.) Needless to say, I needed a lot of soap when I returned home. Lesson: Stay focused on money, savings and clean-up efforts. Be mindful. Pay attention to details.

  • Don't get angry: Annoyed, I let the leash drop into the mess. As such, one mistake led to another error. Lesson: Misdirected anger just leads to bigger messes in personal, financial and professional matters.

  • Don't get lost in regrets. "I'm tired of pulling lessons out of crap." That was my mantra as I walked the dog home. But I was so lost in regrets that I twisted my ankle and almost broke my pretty silk flip-flops from China. (These pretty shoes look like Madame Butterfly meets Surfer Girl). As I tripped over the curb, I realized that in past personal and professional stumbles, I have squandered time, money and effort by banishing myself to purgatory circles of regrets. My target attitude: Stuff happens. Just clean-up and move on.




Rose said...

Great post. I love your voice. Dog poop leading to self-acceptance...gotta love it!

Rachel @ Master Your Card said...

What a great analogy. I think I woudl be more worried about getting my hands covered in dog dirt than losing some money - not huge amounts mind you! It is a good lesson to move on and not have regrets - I treat my mistakes as learning experiences.

Nancy said...

Life's just full of it sometimes. We just have to do as you did. Get out of it, get it cleaned off and try not to stumble too much as we proceed.
njones127 at tampabay dot rr dot com

Krista Farmer said...

"My target attitude: Stuff happens. Just clean-up and move on."

So true.

I like how you pointed out the financial lessons for the situation.

Your scenario with Scruffy sounds like a scene from a sitcom!