Do you ever have one of those days–weeks? Months?–where you just feel like curling up with the paper shredder and letting it rip? I have bills spilling out my mail box–really, they are spilling. I ignore them and yet they multiple like rabbits; what gives?
Yes, yes, I know. You empty the mail box, then pay the bills. But you know, in a day or two they’re all back again, so really, tell me, what’s the point? I’ve always been a big believer in paying bills all at once, once a month. . . or so. They get paid. They always get paid. But this every two weeks things is hooey. I am just not that diligent, orderly, interested, pick your favorite word for self absorbed or in denial. It’s all the same.
So, now I’ve let the pile sit and simmer for over a month. I can feel I’m on that fringe, the one where the warning notices start coming in; we aren’t at the fifteen day notice yet, or holy smokes! the 48 hour notice, but it pretty much feels like the smoke signals are going up and it’s time for me to address what I am so good to ignore.
I get pretty flipped out when I finally do open bills, so I have a measure of tasks to help alleviate the pressure:
1) Happy pills: whatever you prefer: Valium, Adivan, Xanex, Clonazepam. Anything to keep your throat from constricting and your heart from palpitating through the roof of your head. We are looking for calm, not dazed, or stoned, lethargic or comatosed. Just status quo, room temperature, normal.
2) Separate the bills according to sender then toss all but the last one mailed. Really, do you need to go back and feel the pain of all the first notices? It’s like torturing yourself with old Dear Jane letters. Don’t do it.
3) The piles are getting smaller already. See? Now, separate the actual bill from all the other junk they add in: Green Energy Week Update, Life Insurance Overtures, travel discount plans, etc. Create a recycle pile. See? You care about the environment. You are still a good person.
Take all the extra papers w/your name and info, shred them. Shred them until there is nothing but paper fluff. Donate to your local hamster/iguana/guinea-pig home/cage/nest. Fill your compost pile. Set it all free.
4) Write checks while watching a very engrossing soap opera/home and garden/house repair show. Distract yourself from the numbers you are writing on those checks, the ones that have multiplied in the minute time it took you to find a soda and plop down on the couch. Breathe.
5) Stamps. Do not forget stamps. And remember the postal rate (U.S.) just went up so don’t use the left over Christmas stamps that are STILL in your desk. This may require a trip to the P.O. Keep breathing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You can do this.
6) Return address. Do not berate yourself for the umpteen millionth time about getting return stickers. It’s too late. Be here now. Writee ANOTHER sticky note to order return stickers and business cards. . . teeth whitener . . . flea meds, air filters, tire rotation, vacuum bags, bath tub grout, rust remover, new socks, bras, jeans, matress cover . . . I’m sorry; I got lost. Where was I?
Ah, the bills. . . I am calm, one with the universe, creating the power of cash flow. . . om.
7) Remember to actually put the checks in the correct envelopes AND mail them.
And now you have IMAGINED going through this process. It’s a very good beginning. And maybe tomorrow, if you are up to it, we can try again.