paying it forward (to yourself), paying it back (also to yourself)

February 5, 2021
Sometimes reframing a necessary, repeated task makes it seem less onerous.

For example, I make a pot of coffee every other day, refrigerate it, and that's my morning beverage over the next two days. Somehow, it seemed like less of a burden if instead of thinking "ugh, every other day I have to make coffee" I frame it as "ah, now that I've finished off this pot, I should make a new one for myself for the next two days"

Similarly, daily physical activity can feel like a chore. In that case, I really liked hearing Willy Nelson saying he frames his daily walk or jog of what not as "paying for the day" - somehow that "pay as you go" sense, bit of gratitude seems much friendlier to me than a more typical "do it to benefit your future self!" while still acknowledging it often isn't something the current self really wants to do.

It's interesting that in one case it feels better to think of it as helping my future self, and the other as payment for where I am already, a debt owed by my present self rather than TO my future self.


It's getting kind of hard
To believe things are going to get better
I've been drowning too long
To believe that the tide's going to turn
And I've been living too hard
To believe things are going to get easier now
I'm still trying to shake off
The pain from the lessons I've learned

Having you here now
I see things are going to be brighter
Oh, and feeling you here now
I know I might make it through
Oh, loving you this long
Has made me believe in forever
And with you, these dreams
I'd forgotten might somehow come true

And knowing your embrace this well
Just makes me want to be better
And knowing your heart this well
Makes me wish mine would grow
(Oh my love)
And loving you this much
Makes me want to write sweet songs forever
With a little love, babe
We could make the whole world know
How much I love you


And when I see your face
I will swear to the Lord I was dreaming
And when I hold your hand
I watch time disappear into air
(Oh my love)
And when I speak your name
I can feel I just said something sacred
While saints pray for heaven
I thank God I'm already there