July 25, 2013

Seven Elegant Lessons: July

Don't wait for a fairy godmother to fix your problems

Elegance is the hallmark of an Aristocrat. It pervades every moment, every word, every gesture. But in the hustle of our day to day lives, it is easy to forget that we must have elegance in the little things as well as the large.

There is nothing elegant about the hassle of preventable disasters. Just as a stitch in time, saves nine; so does a bit of forward planning prevent foreseeable waste of time, energy and money. Here are seven applications of the idea of forward thinking in various aspects of a life. Think about where else it can apply to yours.

~ Create a meal plan for the upcoming week. Write out what you will have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Keep in mind time commitments, when you can make a whole batch of something to eat for several days, and any special occasions. Create a grocery list based on this menu and only this menu. Benefit: healthier meals are planned when not staring blankly into the cupboard or refrigerator. Money is saved by not purchasing unnecessary thing.

~ If you are a student, print out monthly calendars for your semester. Input the dates of tests, quizzes, and projects from your classes syllabi. As you plan out vacations and activities with friends, you can see at a glance when you'll need to schedule time for study.

~ As you begin to run out of shampoo, conditioner, etc, put it on a to-buy list. Don't wait until the bottle is empty to buy more. Benefit: Not having to forgo your product because you don't have time to go to the store.

~ If you know you will have big expenses in the future, set aside as much money now as possible, rather than pay it lumpsum at the time. Benefit: There won't be such a sizable blow to your bank account.

~ If a button falls off of your shirt, or a hemline drops on your skirt, repair it now. Too many times I have just hung the piece of clothing in my closet and then wondered later why I have nothing to wear because all my clothes were falling apart. Benefit: avoid embarrassment and lack of clothes, by repairing things now.

~ Another for students, start preparing for finals two or three weeks ahead, especially for classes that require a lot of memorization. Plan out what you need to know, do a little bit each day for two weeks before. Benefit: Not cramming for the final.

What forward thinking planning do you do to prevent future problems?


  1. I do very little forward planning, as little as possible. I get really anxious and uncomfortable iof I think too much beyond the here and now. I'm always happiest in the moment and planning ahead just takes me out of that moment. If the price is not being prepeared, I can take that just to be happy! :) That said I do plan some things, unavoidable things, important things... but I spend as little time as possible doing that. The rest of the time I plan at most one day ahead. I still manage to come prepeared to most things! ;)

    1. Hahaha. I really like how differently we see the world. Because I get anxious and uncomfortable if I don't do any. Being terribly forgetful, if things aren't planned out and on paper. Then the forgotten things pile up, I stress out, and out come the lists until everything is managed into a more reasonable order.

      But if you're happy, that is really all that matters. You found a way that works for you. Though how do you manage to be prepared to things with little preparation?

    2. My mum is like that too. She has a huge list of things to do and sometimes she gets very stressed about it... I take one day at a time and do one thing at a time and I hate lists! If I forget something then it isn't very important to begin with! I have realized that usually, with a little bit of organized thinking, preparation doesn't have to take very long. I take a few moments to think about what needs to be done, I decide how to do it and then I put it to rest until it is time to do what I have prepared in my mind... That works with most everyday things that still need a bit of preparation. I hate doing bigger things that need a lot of preparation simply because I know that then I'll have to think ahead, so I usually avoid those sorts of things. Now that I'm out of school and don't haver exams there is really very few big things to prepare for, thankfully!

    3. No, I suppose that is a good life lesson. If you hate preparing for big important things, arrange your life so you don't have to. In addition to my strange sort of forgetfulness (in which I remember the important thing to do, but once I get hope and am able to do it, the memory vanishes) I also try to take too much on in my daily life. On one hand, having so many prongs in the fire is good because it means there is always something to keep me entertained, but on the other hand it means that I have more things to maintain, which leads to more planning and preparing.

      One day though, I'll learn how to say no and keep my plate more reasonable.

  2. There is a box by my wardrobe marked "mending" full of things that need a button replaced or a seam sorting or something else trivial. There's a few things that are beyond my capability and really need to go to a professional seamstress (lining ruined on a cloak, for example), but most of it is stuff that I really ought to have mended myself already.