Years ago we paid a lot of money for an artificial Christmas tree of the “pre-lit” variety with 1200 little white lights. (We weren’t very green back in 1998, but that’s a topic for another post.) I remember at the time thinking how much time it would save us to have the lights already wrapped around the tree, and it did—for a few years. Then the lights started burning out.
If you’ve ever removed the Christmas lights from a pre-lit fake tree, raise your hand now.
Undoing the tightly-wrapped wires, twisting the clips loose and cutting the plastic zip-ties is a tedious, painstaking job that takes an unimaginably long time. One strand of lights took me more than an hour to remove, and this tree had, of course, 12 strands. So each year, I’ve removed one or two strands before packing the tree up for the season.
This year the tree was down to its last two burned-out light strands, but I was anxious to move it out of the living room and un-anxious to spend two hours on the loathesome task. Suddenly that little voice of reason in my mind said, “It’s a hassle, but this is a gift I want to give you next December. You’ll be happy when you open the box and the tree is finally free of those burned-out lights.”
I sat down for a moment, intrigued by the concept of giving my own self a gift that would make me happy at the end of the year. I soon began a list entitled “Things I Can Do Now to Bless My Future Self.”
Want to try making your own list? Here’s what I came up with:
– Regularly contribute to my Roth IRA. I pay taxes on the earnings now, but when I retire the income will be tax-free.
– Continue to declutter and get rid of unused items, so when I’m older I won’t have to deal with too much stuff.
– Exercise each day and eat foods rich in calcium, so my future self enjoys strong bones and good health.
– Meditate, pray and seek God each day, so that as I age I might grow in wisdom and understanding.
– Floss my teeth daily, so I enjoy a nice smile and strong teeth in my old age.
– Seek sources of passive income, so I can have money coming in even if I’m not working.
– Treasure and pursue relationships and friendships, so my older self enjoys a rich social life.
– Find ways to stretch my brain by trying and learning new things, and embrace challenging puzzles and problems.
You know I’d just love to hear your thoughts about this subject.