I walked back to the living room and started roaming through my unopened mail on the counter. "You have got to stop this," I mumbled to myself. My internet and cable are connected to the phone and now they were all gone. I sighed.
I found the disconnection notice and made that call. Of course the telephone company has new hours so I only got automization. Yep, there will be no service tonight.
I sighed to myself, "This is not healthy Rae. How can you expect people to do better, if you're not?" I immediately took control of the situation. It wasn't that I didn't have the money to pay the bill this time and even if I didn't, all I had to do was call and get an extension. As I paid ALL my utility bills, I started to think about what I needed to do to change this very thing. It was clear at that moment that this is a systematic problem that I must address. My cell phone was turned off two weeks ago because I had neglected to pay the bill. I have got to STOP this! Just STOP it! In the last six months it has happened more than I would like to admit.
Somewhere along the line I got frustrated and despondent and I started to make the madness worst. Not intentionally, but through my continued avoidance. I just didn't deal. It went something like this: I only checked my mail box once every week and sometimes every two weeks. "No point in looking," I rationalized, "It's only bills. Mostly medical bills, but also utilities.
Like two weeks ago when my cell was cut off, I had about $30 more than the phone bill and there was a part of me that just didn't want to let it go. I knew that disconnection was soon and I needed to find out when, but I kept putting it off and putting it off. To see myself with only $30 was depressing as hell. But then I created a larger problem, now I have to pay the re-connect fee on my next bill.
Action is required even on those things that seem hopeless and overwhelming. There is always a plus to addressing the bad, if at the very least you have a clearer picture of where you stand. Even if it's a BIG issue, you begin to pull down the layers and with each layer gone, the problem will get smaller and smaller.
It's like unpacking a freshly moved in place. I remember when I moved in my studio from my three bedroom place two years ago. I had so many boxes I literally had no space to walk. It was overwhelming for me and my dogs. But my poor Nambi was blind and she started to panic. I knew I had to tackle the problem head-on, if not for me, for her. I stacked everything as high as I could and I unpacked one box at a time, and in time all the boxes were gone. And yes my little Nambi was able to develop a new routine now that the boxes were gone.
In the meantime, because of avoidance, all the work that needed to be done last night regarding my bracelet line sat because my avoidance in one area had now affected another area of my life.
OK, can you see the picture? I've created a greater problem because I'm not addressing the problem at hand. I cannot run a business this way. I work from my home and I need my telephone, both cell and home and my internet. Last night when I hung up the phone from AT and T I had a lot of time to think about what can be done differently, there was no TV, so no Law and Order for me tonight. Just me and fixing the problem at hand. First step was admitting there was a problem; And no it wasn't with AT and T it was with me.
I think I've come up with a good plan. No, my finical situation has not changed just YET, but I've got to live in balance even when the check book balance is low. First, I have to do a budget. Now I've tried 6 months budgets and they don't work for me. So, I'm going to do a monthly budget until I have mastered that and then continue up the ladder, two, three, four and so on.
Secondly, I will check my mail every day. Third, within 24 hours all mail will be opened and placed in its proper category. Medical bills, well at this junction there are no funds to pay those so they stay in an organizer and together. But my day to day living is a whole other thing. It's around 10:00 A. M. as I write this blog and you have better believe that every piece of mail I have has been opened and categorized and all of December bills are paid. As soon as I finish with the pressing work of RLT Brand, then I will work on my January budget.
Taking action is always the better route. Not taking action does not always solve the initial problem, if I had no money, I couldn't pay any bills that's an undeniable fact, but I understand that action is relative, with relative outcomes. In this case, taking action up-front would have been asking for an extension;Who knows what tomorrow holds. The fact of the matter, you can only do on today what you know for sure.
I don't care what the core issue may be, avoidance will make the issue worst than if you had taken action. It's just that simple! As you move into 2012, Practice Action, Not Avoidance.
Post Script: Please visit the other post in this series