As a single parent I am the master of efficiency at all. the. things.
Efficiency loosely = getting the job done with as little waste as possible.
And I have mastered it in everything.
EVERY THING. Everything.
I have learned to juggle every single puzzle piece so that the puzzle is complete in exactly the moment it needs to be. Whether it is the unexpected need to pay $400 for a garage door that won’t open, or to get the kids to three places across town at the same time (which used to happen every single weekend). I made the pieces fit.
But it took time management and money management to the nth degree. Like, every.single.move I made HAD to be planned or the puzzle fell apart. Literally.
As my kids grow, my oldest has moved out and my 17 year old now drives himself everywhere, the need to drive everyone around town has gotten less, but my commitment to being there for my kids hasn’t lessened so time management is still important. But it isn’t down to the second. It’s down to the minute…. I kid.
As time has passed, I’ve made headway in the finances department. It’s a lifestyle… cutting corners without actually, you know, cutting off the corner.
You would think.
I think that all of what I’ve done for so many years now leaves me paralyzed and unable to make an actual decision. I cannot make a decision to book a flight today because what if I can pay $5 less tomorrow? But what if the flights go up!? I would literally lose sleep over stocking up on cereal at a low price if it went on sale even lower the next week. Even though, I paid significantly lower than I had if I’d bought it the week before. I can’t decide which vacuum to buy. I can’t do it.
Sometimes? I can’t even decide if I should sweep the floor or take 60 seconds to change the laundry first because although I’d have to take the time out to switch the laundry, the laundry could be going while I’m sweeping. Okay I’ll switch the laundry first. Efficient? Sick.
This all came to a head for me a few weeks ago when I was home alone. I had the day to myself so I got some things done around the house, clipped my coupons and made my grocery list. It felt good to be productive and have no obligations pulling at me.
I checked my Gas Buddy app for the nearest place to get gas at the lowest price, planned my route around that gas station, grabbed my Groupon for the car wash and headed out. When I got to the grocery store I discovered that I’d left my coupons and my list at home so I sat in my car and debated with myself, as my heart rate increased. Do I go home and get them? Or just pick up the bare minimum of what I need? Would going home negate the few miles out of the way I drove for gas?
And then my inner voice spoke up loud and clear… “Seriously?” It said loud and clear, “Are you really doing this right now?” There was a time that yes, absolutely I needed to save those few bucks. But today? NO. I was not going to do it.
I was going to do my grocery shopping without fear of having/not having a coupon for a cheaper item. I was going to get what I could remember was on my list and be done with it.
HoLEE cow. I can’t even explain the amount of stress that was lifted when I made the decision. I bounced through that store like I’d just won a million bucks and I wanted to shout “Hey, LOOK, I just did my shopping without a coupon” and point to my receipt where there was a big fat 0 under coupon savings. It was ridiculous.
But I learned a lesson that day.
I truly am dying a slow death at the hands of efficiency. You’re nodding your heads in agreement right now, huh? Dying slowly at the hands of efficiency doesn’t seem very efficient… You feel me?
I would much rather die a slow death at the hands of happiness and no regrets so I’m giving the stranglehold of efficiency a swift kick in the ass.
I’ll never really be able to give up my efficiency managing ways because it is ingrained in ways I don’t even comprehend, but I can let it stop ruling my life because *I AM* after all, the master of my domain. And frankly? I just do not have time for that. 😉