Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later

imageIt’s an old saying, made famous by those two mechanics in the Fram Oil Filter commercial, but a lot of the decisions we face come down to answering the title question. This past week I have had discussions about programming a new accounting report, teaching children about basic computer maintenance and knowing enough about the people we elect to public office that all led to a PMNoPML moment. Of course, this got me thinking about all of those moments and my favorite PMNoPML categories. So, here are 8 of them (some are mine, some are “theirs”):

Decisions that put lives at risk – Two years ago, I was on a flight that was delayed in Detroit because a part had to be inspected. The pilot, perhaps sharing more information than the airline would like, informed us that:

The part has to be inspected every so many hours. We thought we would be able to get you folks home to Hartford, but since we were delayed in landing here, we passed the time limit.”

Really, do we need to cut things that close? We love to pick on the airlines, but your state, my state and the Federal Government do this all the time with bridges, tunnels, railroad tracks, street lights, the roofs of buildings and…well, you get the picture.

Decisions that add inches to my waist – I am at that age where I can no longer depend on my metabolism to rescue me from over indulging my sweet tooth, my savory tooth or my beer tooth. If I can’t drive by the Dairy Cream, walk past the fridge, ignore the candy dish or pack up that second helping of dinner and take it for lunch tomorrow, I am going to have to exercise more or, no, please no, diet. The inverse of this is deciding that I don’t have to exercise today.

Move those photos – A year ago, my daughter and I took a road trip through Gettysburg, over to Pittsburgh (via Falling Water) and back to CT. I took hundreds of pictures. As a precaution against hard-drive failure, I left them on my camera, even though I copied most of them to my laptop. Some are on Flickr, some are on Facebook but they are all still consuming half of my SD Card. I need to move these, but I have forgotten so much that my only option seems to be duplicating the ones that are on my laptop. Oh well, I have plenty of space…today.

Clean the gutters – In New England, the price for not cleaning gutters is an ice dam. So, if you think it’s grungy work dealing with that half-decomposed muck in early November, think about hacking your way through 4” of ice during a rainstorm in January. Think about missing your target at least twice, once to put a hole in the gutter and once to tear a shingle in half. Think about being cold and wet and getting little or no sympathy from your wife.

Decisions that leave me stranded – These days, cars are pretty reliable, but batteries still need to be replaced, air pressure still needs to be checked and sometimes, you have to buy new tires. I tend to buy new tires and batteries a little ahead of time, but I usually only check the pressure in my tires when my wife says “your front/rear tire looks like it needs air.” Of course, we can be stranded by the side of the virtual road too. I meant to write that password down, I meant to send that warranty registration in, and I meant to bookmark that site.

Things I could have done myself – I hate it when I end up paying someone to do something that I could have easily done myself, if I had taken the time to do it. This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does happen, I feel bad. I feel even worse when someone else ends up doing something that I could have done, like when my wife empties the trash near my desk or runs out in the rain to put the windows up in my car.

When late becomes awkward – I meant to call this person, or I meant to send them a card, or I meant to drop by for a visit. Now I haven’t spoken to them in months, or I’m ignoring them, or they died.

When the moment has passed – The meteor shower was visible last week. The Daily Prompt(1) I had a great story for was last month. The town budget failed to pass by one vote and I hadn’t voted (this actually happened in June).

What’s your favorite? What do you refuse to pay now?

(1) Word Press daily suggested topic for bloggers.

Ironically, 5 days after I posted this, the Daily Prompt topic was Procrastination – I hope I’m not breaking any rules by including this in that prompt.

12 thoughts on “Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later

Add yours

  1. When I was younger I didn’t go to a dentist for eight years . At first , I just put off getting a dentist . Then , I was scared to go after so long . Then , the stretch of time got longer . I know—stupid . But , when I finally went , my teeth were okay. I think I was scared enough to take good care of them during those eight years .


    1. Paperwork. Those tiny details that forms require. I put it off Nice Post. The idea of paying it now or later captures the cost analysis we often fail to employ when procrastinating. I think this could be helpful in my own procrastinations. Thanks! Glad you included it in this daily post prompt.


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