This follows on from the post earlier in the day.
The advice was to take care of the large expenses first. For me, that is now home, gas and internet. My rule of thumb is that nothing is sacrosanct except the Lord above and things connected with Him, e.g. marriage.
Therefore, if the home is driving you into debt, forget the dream, get out the most advantageous way possible.
Against this, don’t cut off your nose to spite your face – if there’s a possibility, any possibility, given your age or the economy improving, that you can stop and reverse this debt, then make do for now. If not, get out and get out at the right time, not immediately in a rush of blood.
Do a better off calculation if you haven’t already – formal advice is available. Have two levels – minimum comfort and absolute rock bottom [one step above being on the street].
The ability to be realistic about poverty and what it means to you is critical.
Never lose dignity, even if it will give you comfort. Your pride and reputation are all you have in the end. Go out sticking to your guns rather than living the lie on the important things. We all live a lie in some respects – aspirations, abilities etc. but if there is not a realistic streak through you, one which accepts you have to live within your means and you should have no truck with credit in this financial climate [except in the short term] – if you can’t come to terms with this, then you’re in inevitable trouble.
No keeping up appearances on credit. No way. Change the lifestyle to suit the budget. If it means a treat once a week only, even to 10% of your income, do it – better to have one nod at your former lifestyle [keeping the gladrags in plastic in the wardrobe] than doom and gloom 24/7.
If you can compartmentalize your mind and can make a schedule, schedule the horrible things you don’t want to face. Force yourself to address those on that day and at that time. Never put them off with rationalizations. They must be done. Have this in written form, on paper or in your week-book.
Never get into bitter regret – it’s done, nothing can be done [except repairing relationships after a hiatus. Always look forward, remember the nice things in the past but don't live there. Note the mistakes in passing and determine to avoid those next time.
Be where your soul always has been. If football is your thing, then be frugal in other ways and splash on that on game days. If it's sailing, then get sailing, don't lie back dreaming of it and settling for the internet or past photos.
Forget women in any realistic way. My rule of thumb is that there were perhaps 20% of women at any time whom you could go for and who might settle for you. Nowadays, that is down to about 2% with the rise of the modern woman. Remember of course - the woman you want has already been snapped up.
Far better to concentrate on your projects and if they take you into the world of women, they're more likely to be interested from the side, without your leering eyes on them. Keep to your projects and don't drop them for a woman - ever. She doesn't expect it though she wants attention. If she doesn't want attention, she's cheating.
Age diminishes many things, including eligibility. Don't be an old fool, don't fantasize about what you can't have. Live in a different world. Up your knowledge - net is wonderful.
Never look for love. If it ain't gonna come, it ain't gonna come. There's something in you they don't like. That's life. Maximize what you are good at. If love's going to get you, it will be when you're turned away, looking at something else.
If you're at the other end, do everything for a year to make it work but don't kid yourself you have done everything - self-delusion is mighty powerful. If you've been dumped, cut your losses - she ain't coming back - ever. If she does, it's not worth it. The instant you know she's cheated, front her and if she's dishonest, dump her, no matter how tough it is and no matter how much of yourself you've invested.
Have a project. If you don't have one, get one. Have a finish date and keep within 20% of it. Have a budget and keep within 20% of that and that budget has to be within your means, with no credit. We don't know when the crash will come now.
If you know you have no chance of finishing it, don't start. White elephants help no one. Never think it will all come good - it won't unless it's planned in.
Have a "to hell with umming and ahrring", just do it mentality. If you can't do that, then you're too old or you don't have a firm mind. Know yourself. If you can be firm-minded 70% of the time, that's enough. If you are the anxious sort, then let yourself have 20-30% risk only.
Be left brain but never forget right brain, from where your spirituality comes. Don't lose your humanity in anger or bitterness. No time - time is getting shorter. If you want a one-stop solution, then John 3:16 is your answer. If you don't want that, then you're on your own and good luck.
The old rule of don't let the b***ers grind you down is critical. Don't let people drag you into their private disputes, have defences against people who wish to discuss your shortcomings with you but never theirs, no matter how honey-tongued they seem. Life's too short. Note it [you know which are valid anyway] and determine to avoid errors next time. Cease all communication with people personally and chronically negative towards you. Their problem. They’re trying to make it your problem – stonewall the bastards. Escape.
As Q in Bond said – always have an escape route and cost that escape now, then build your budget around that as your primary expense.
Live by your diary and if someone says to relax and not live by your diary, then schedule in grey times when you’re flexible. Try to have movable commitments – could we do it on Thursday ? – in order to be more flexible. Don’t let anyone lay their needs on you in the sense of messing with your time allocation.
[In Russia, my best mate and I had a two hour window each week and we went for a drink. At the end of that time, it was over for a week. Some might call that not friendship - it was to us. We were at the end of the phone the rest of the week - what was the problem? Women were another matter though - to them, it was all face-to-face attention and building them up and a happy woman is a precious asset.
Time allocation you can handle = sanity. Sanity is relaxed, relaxed is able to be warmer to others, being warmer to others is what they want from you. But you must be ruthless about time allocation - polite, sweet about it but ruthless. Everyone wants you to have helped by yesterday. Tell them you'll do it within 48 hours and then schedule it.
As your memory goes - both through stress and age - scheduling on paper assumes greater importance. Cost of a week-to-view diary.
Beware the word "just". Could you just do this? I'll just stop by and do that. Avoid like the plague anyone who tries to diminish their own demands on you with a "just" or a "quickly". Many's the time someone asked if I could quickly look over a document - do you want quickly or done properly?
Refuse all offers of money. You still have your old debts to pay back. Don't put tip-cups on your blog or a Paypal badge.
Don't let all these rules of thumb make you a closed soul, a tight bastard who never gives of himself. Schedule that into your soul too. Be a tight bastard with those who deserve tightness [see above]. All others – spare the time you can. Less on the pointless people is more on those who deserve it.
If you see a charity tin, don’t walk past. Derelict on the footpath – if you can spare the shrapnel, give it to him, even it’s on his booze. He needs that booze to get through and you could be there too within a month. That’s when you’re going to meet him. I try to carry something, e.g. half a sandwich in a packet in my bag for such situations. If I get to the other end still with it – it’s morning tea.
No doubt you have most of those on your list and some others too. I’d like to hear them.