Inches. They add up.
Just like words. Or tasks.
And sometimes, inches are the only way you can move because even the thought of attempting more is just too much.
I have fresh experience with this “inches” concept and the execution of it.
Trying to get an accurate, “grown-up” look at my finances, I circled, danced, looked away, and deftly avoided the task for … twenty seven years. Now that I am into my fifth decade, I finally decided it might be time. And so, bravely setting aside my highly developed avoidance skills, I told more than one person that I was going to do it–aka it became a real commitment, because in today’s world after the first person learns of it, it’s likely to have been posted on facebook or tweeted before you told the second person.
But first you must understand my relationship with finances. It’s an open relationship. I see something I need to pay for, I open my checkbook. That’s about as deep as it goes. Well that, and the swirling, sucking noise of my guilt which drags me into the pit of doom when I begin to think about money. The sound in the pit of doom, once I have been swallowed in, is an echoey loop of voices telling me that I am a loser, that I have no real job, and that I’m just a spoiled idiot. Voices or no voices, I know one certain truth: I have been incredibly fortunate. But, like a monkey on the magical-thinking carpet ride, I have an inkling that there is only so much good fortune allotted, and my “ride” could quickly become a carpet square gliding on a thick layer of dust. Time to get real.
I dismounted the carpet, and immediately regretted it, as I was now enrobed in terror. Reality being far too real. When I finally stopped hyperventilating and running around in circles (which is all I have ever really done when I thought I was running away…) I gave myself permission to try to tackle this effort a little at a time, and inch my way in, and through this daunting financial mountain. It’s dark in here now, but I can see daylight up ahead. And it feels pretty good not to be running around the mountain pretending it isn’t there.
So, I urge you. That thing that is hard, that you need to take care of? Just start small. You can do it. Do it, in inches. And you’ll be glad, even during that first painful step because it’s the right thing to do. And eventually the inches add up and the pain will be a memory and maybe even part of a good story.