Thanks to Phoebe Carter, my alter-ego, I’ve been reminded in the past few days that the more anxious and stressed I become, the more I should mono-task, slow down and leave head-space to attend to Stressy Stuff sooner rather than later.
Facing up to tax problems, medical forms and weekly Counting Zeros homework is actually a lot less draining than procrastinating about it.
Here’s several more of Phoebe’s contributions to the quality of my life this week:
Prioritizing the tax screw-up. She contacted my US accountants, who were amused to hear from her. They identified the scale of my error (big). She then tracked down all missing paperwork. Late filing of taxes has commenced. Utterly Heroic.
Stress-free shopping. She took stock of what I’d need during and after my hospital stay and wasted no time running around town. Instead she ordered the following items online: hospital-appropriate nightwear, ice-packs, books for my Kindle, podcasts for my iShuffle (yes, I still have one of these) and food for the freezer.
Help for the one-legged. She considered the trouble I’d have post-surgery and set up two accounts I’ve been meaning to arrange for several years but could never be bothered — one for ordering groceries online for home delivery, the other for taxis.
Dental negotiations. While she decided that the wisdom tooth extraction scheduled to take place 48 hours before knee surgery wasn’t a brilliant idea, she did make me visit the dentist nonetheless. The other work I required has now been crossed from my list. She then shocked me by submitting my dental claim IMMEDIATELY, (even though I was rather busy with pressing work deadlines). Normally I’d have got straight back to my inbox and thrown the receipts in a drawer where they would sit with other missing paperwork for months, maybe years and sometimes forever.
Counting Zeros homework. Tuesday night she got onto eBay to see what’s what. She filled out the forms to retrieve my username, then my password and best of all, she logged these constantly-forgettable pieces of data into the password tracker so that I might skip these laborious steps in the future.
Buying stuff … After scouting around, she decided that the only stuff worth buying on eBay are items I might want but do not need. She’s made a list.
(I can get an iPad 2 for £122 vs the £429 it costs new from Apple. A soup making machine from Cuisinart is only £10, which is excellent value for an item that may prove futile.)
Selling stuff… She is of two minds as to whether it’s worth all the effort to try to re-sell my wrongful clothing purchases, but will help me give it a go. If within a month we get nowhere, we’re carting everything off to this second-hand shop. Whatever they won’t take goes to charity.
Finally, she rifled through the Deck of Small Change and yes, she rigged it so that this week’s card is easy enough to do whilst on painkillers nursing a leg wound. While I would never have done this, Phoebe is nothing if not pragmatic.
Stayed tuned until tomorrow for this week’s assignment. Before then, ask yourself this:
Oh and PS. Phoebs asks a favour: Don’t forget to follow this blog by entering your email address in the upper right-hand corner & feel free to share Counting Zeros with others!