Personal Bribery and Thankfulness

We’ve all had jobs that we don’t love, perhaps even loath. Often we have mornings where we have to bribe ourselves out of bed. I know for me it went something like this:
“To make it through today, you’re going to need a treat. Get out of bed, get ready and go stop at Starbucks on your way to work. Oooh, yes a carmel latte, or maybe a chai tea. If you hurry and leave the house you can stop by your favorite coffee shop and get their chai tea.”

This motivates me to get out of bed. I might even choose my favorite shirt to help brighten my mood.

I was doing contract design work for a few months and I certainly used this bribery a few times. Now I’m back to not working and an open schedule.

It’s interesting how not working can illicit this same kind of bribery conversation in my head. It starts off with a pep talk about how I should get up even if I don’t need to be anywhere by a certain time. Followed by the nagging thought about all of the art that I could be creating. I have deadlines, but none are looming so the pressure isn’t on.

I remind myself that I won’t always have this time, that (hopefully) I will have a job soon. The thing about not working is that bribing yourself out of bed with a trip to Starbucks doesn’t work as well. The guilt of spending money when you are not personally bringing any in creeps in. And then remembering that your business has only profited $250 in 4 months, pretty much wipes Starbucks from your mind. Then add the guilt about how your spouse is at work every day working long days while you are sitting at home-bored.

Eventually I get out of bed, eat, make some tea and sit in front of the computer for a few hours. Around 11 o’clock, I’ve run out of things to do and I’ve checked facebook too many times to count.

I’ve learned that getting out of the house once a day is key to keeping myself going. I also I am trying my best to NOT FEEL GUITLY about having this time. Last week I laid in the backyard on a blanket and read…and then fell asleep in the sun. I try to savor this time, they way an expectant mom would savor her carefree childless days.

I trade in my coffee run for a trip to the thrift store, that’s at least an hour of entertainment. And when I find a top for $3.99, I reason that it is better money spent than on coffee. I can wear the top over and over (or at a new job) while I can only drink the coffee once.

J. Crew Cardigan, Banana Republic top and Express Jeans, all thrifted.

Grocery shopping rounds out my day and I am thankful to be able to purchase our groceries when the gentleman in front me decides to skip on the purchase of a block of cheese because it is no longer on sale. He carries a backpack that is tied together with a piece of twine and his one other item is a package of shrimp, on clearance.


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