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To Defer or Not Defer…

…that is the question.

I’ve deferred gratification for most of my life. Not because I necessarily WANTED to, but because that’s how Mr. Tattered wanted to do the finances, so I went along with it. It turned out to be a good idea. We lived way under our means for much of our married life, and now, us poor kids have a pretty comfortable life. Even with non financial stuff like chores, we worked around the house on Saturday, then played on Sunday.

So, deferring gratification has been a way of life until recently. Now that I’m “retired” there don’t seem to be any hard and fast rules, and I’m floundering a bit. But, I still have this feeling that work comes first, then the fun stuff.

I sit with lists and lists of stuff I NEED to do, and more lists of stuff I WANT to do, and I still feel like I should do the stuff on the NEED to do list before I can do stuff on the WANT to do list. When I play, I feel guilty.

The problem is, my list of need to do stuff is so long (and it grows by the day) so if I do nothing but the need to do stuff, I’ll never get to the want to do list. Or at least that’s the way it seems!

You’d think at my age I’d have figured out how to balance it, but I haven’t. If I allow myself to play first, that’s all I do! And before I know it, I’m so far behind I’m overwhelmed.

If I just work on my need to do list, I get cranky ‘cuz I’m not having any fun.

So do I hold off on the fun stuff and use it as a reward for when I do good on my “chores?” Or do I do one chore, then play?

How do you find your balance? How do you know when it’s okay to play?

This would be a lot easier if I had adult supervision. But I’ve pretty much let him know THAT’S not gunna happen. Heeheehee!


About tatterednworn

I am a woman who has committed to living a creative life.

4 responses »

  1. I can so relate! Okay Janet, I’m not real good at this either, but here is what I am going to try. Have you ever heard the phrase; if you want something done, ask a busy person? Well here is a fact, I am a busy person, I always have been, and I have always deferred to get the “important stuff” done. Here is what we should try. Make the fun stuff important. Simple as that. In practice this means if you schedule your time to get the work done, then also schedule time EVERYDAY to do the fun stuff. Limit it, set the clock, but give that to yourself. Now the fun stuff is just as important as the “need to do” stuff and has it’s place in your busy day… I have no idea if this will work, but I do know I accomplish much more on a schedule and with a time limit than I do with some vague, “when ever I get the chance”. To much leeway and I dither…:) Hang in there, your art is important!

    • Sally, that is a GREAT idea!!! I’m big on what a difference attitude can make. It just never crossed my mind that I could do that in this situation! Thank you! And good luck using it yourself.

  2. I do chores I do not like to do first. Then things I like to do next, then fun last. An example would be vacuuming, then cook breakfast, then garden chores. The next day would be cleaning the bathrooms, grocery shopping and getting lunch out, then a nap or reading. It depends on how much energy I have. I’m retired too and after decades of hurrying and over-committing, it is nice to space chores out. In making lists make sure you give yourself goals that are doable so you do not get frustrated or discouraged. Give yourself time to rest and evaluate what you are doing and accomplishing and make adjustments as needed.


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