"I love spending time thinking about my money. When I work on my finances, I light a candle and pour myself a glass of wine," the guest said to the podcast host.
Huh?! When I work on my finances, I frantically enter in expenses I forgot to record, complain about much groceries and utilities cost, and curse if my balance doesn't match my bank's.
Huh. Maybe this is a step I can take toward improving my relationship with money - by making working on my finances more pleasant.
Many of the tasks of regular life feel like drudgery. But a small tweak can make a big difference. Years ago I made grocery shopping much more pleasant by doing so with earbuds in. (Though it got even more pleasant when my husband started doing it!) Treating myself to a quick stop at the consignment store makes monthly billing tolerable. And listening to soothing background music helps me slow down and actually enjoy the process of tidying up my office space, filing, and making to-do lists.
A friend has been making a long trek almost every weekend to help care for her ailing father. I asked her what she was doing to take care of herself, with so much of her time now devoted to travel and care and emotional conversations. She responded without hesitation: "Audiobooks have saved me." They made each drive more pleasant, provided entertainment, kept her alert, and made her feel as if she was doing something for herself.
Think of something you dread doing or that is generally unpleasant. Now think about how you can make it more pleasant. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Add music, an audiobook, a podcast, a show, or a movie.
Invite a friend to join you or catch up with a friend by phone while you do it.
Set up a more pleasant atmosphere by changing location, lighting a candle, dimming the lights, or making other small tweaks.
Smile and give yourself a pep talk about how good you will feel when the task is finished.
Have a yummy beverage or snack, perhaps something that's reserved for when you do that task.
Add some beauty. Use a nicer pen or prettier file folders. Get a new apron or reorganize the area where you keep the tools for a given task.
Give thanks. Laundry got you down? Try to feel grateful for your abundance of clothes, and for the washer and dryer if you have them.
Life isn't inherently difficult or easy, pleasant or unpleasant. It all depends on your perception and the meaning you attach to it. You have a lot of control over how you perceive each moment, each event and each chore.
Make it more pleasant.