Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lessons From Spring Cleaning: Finding Myself in Clutter

Spring cleaning has created a head-on collision between my need for financial order and my pack rat tendencies. My paper collection includes cards and letters from 1987, old photographs and a 1980s-era cassette with lyrics from one of my favorite singers. Spring cleaning has taught me a lot about past accounts. Here's what I've learned:

  • Read the fine print and the large print: As I've reviewed older documents -- bank statements, letters and old cards -- I see how many significant details I've misunderstood, overlooked or dismissed in the past. Hindsight, of course, is 20/20. But as I sort through the pages of emotional and fiscal accounts, I carry forward lessons about the importance of carefully reading, digesting and acting on contracts, financial agreements and personal engagements. I've learned to carefully analyze contracts and contacts before taking action.

  • Follow through: In a recent post about an ugly tree, I promised readers that I would do some homework and discover the name of the tree. A reader has even left a comment asking me to make good on my word. Today I cringed when I realized that I had forgotten about that promise. In fact, as I sort through my photos, I have been confronted with a vast collection of broken promises. For example, I see scrapbooks that I meant to assemble, savings targets that I have missed and letters that I have never answered. With that 20/20 hindsight, I have better insights for the present and the future. Insights have led to a practical action plan. I've created a master list of projects -- financial, personal, creative -- and I plan to check in on that list nightly and to make more time to follow through on goals and promises.

  • Slow down: So many financial goals and personal promises floundered because I have lived life at high speed. I've moved from one so-called emergency to another, and in that speed I have created deeper problems and gaps in my assorted accounts. I now take more time to think, breathe and meditate. My goal is to move further ahead by moving slower.


Here's how to buy my new book:

@ Barnes & Noble
@ Borders


kim-information exchange said...

Thanks for sharing this. Now I am planning how to make my springbreak more productive.

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