I am a control freak.
Plain and simple. ok maybe it’s not that simple but there it is.
*I am also an introvert, which in my experience complicates things even more, since I rely only on myself to help myself-and have a great deal of trouble asking anyone for help.
(I can prove I am a qualified introvert- read here how: 5 reasons why being an introvert is actually beneficial -and a useful tip)
I am absolutely positively sure that being prepared can save you from getting into trouble many times, and get you out of the trouble you got into- on the occasions trouble wasn’t prevented in the first place.
Ok maybe that was (a bit of) an exaggeration- “keep you out of trouble and get you out of it ” but it can definitely help you prevent many of life’s “misfortunes” -which many times have nothing to do with the god/goddess(?) of fortune- but mere lack of preparation on our side.
Getting to the airport and discovering your passport is missing/expired/no visa, going shopping and forgetting your wallet at home, forgetting to take your packed lunch to work and eating junk hence having zero wish to exercise afterward, forgetting to take b12 (hi vegans! ) and after a few months feeling weaker, eating junk and gaining weight, not exercising and getting out of shape- I think by now you probably got a general idea.
Actions (or lack of) have consequences.
You spend your time searching eBay and amazon- fine. enjoy. that is your money to spend therefore your privilege to do whatever you wish to do with it.
The only privilege I think you do not have– is the privilege of being surprised/annoyed that you are not saving a dime and your early retirement is but a distant dream and might stay a dream.
Being prepared has many sides to it- in this post, I want to examine the (frugal!!) point of preparing your medicine cabinet.
I have a general dislike for medicine, hospitals, illness, and bad health in general.
I am sure there is more than one person who agrees with me on this particular subject.
Being an introvert + a control freak does not make this easier. surprise I know.
Why? because as I said I do not like to rely on anyone but myself to take care of me -and being unhealthy kind of makes you dependent on your family, doctors, and pills. the situation is out of my control.
I believe in eating healthy, exercising, resting, sleeping, drinking water, keeping your environment clean, and getting checked once a year on all important parameters ( blood works, obgyn (for ladies, naturally ) , oral hygiene and any special tests you require according to your age and personal situation)- and generally taking good care of yourself on a regular basis- is a key element in preventing sickness.
But sometimes this is not enough.
For instance- the flu is spreading in your office and people just had to come to work and spread the virus all around instead of staying home and resting ( where I live justified sick days are always paid for so really people there is absolutely no excuse for this behavior- you do understand that the person in whose the office you just sneezed might go home and infect his kids too, and they might infect their teacher -who might infect his/her children- and so forth-just go rest ).
I also have family members who don’t mind using conventional medicine whenever -so we have a medicine drawer.
In the past this was a mess, a mixture of new and expired medicine, and every time we went to the doctor’s and got a prescription for anything- we went straight to the pharmacy and bought it- since we had no idea whether we had that medicine at home or not.
Also when a child suddenly woke up in the middle of the night with a fever or an earache- it took a few frantic minutes to find the right medicine and to check- blurry-eyed (in the middle of the night) if it had passed its expiration date or not…
Do yourself a time saving-frugal and minimalist favor and organize your medicine cabinet every once in a while.
then make a list of the medicine you have including quantities and keep that list in your bag or on your phone.No more buying double medicine and extra “just in case we don’t have it at home” expensive medicine. no more overcrowded drawers with expired pills and those socks you really love and forgot where you put. no more frantic nights looking for that paracetamol or whatever.
By the way, expired medicine should be taken back to the pharmacy and disposed of there. they have special bins for that.
This picture is the result of my suddenly remembering to go through my medicine cabinet last week. the drawer is a 14-year-old Ikea drawer, repainted by us a few years ago-looking at it closely now maybe it’s time to repaint…
I know the subject of preparing ahead is a huge topic and not an easy one to tackle.
I addressed the very specific angle of “medicine cabinet preparation” but we are all aware that preparation has to do with everything happening in our lives-not only specific mild illnesses, but our whole attitude towards life- our well-being, our family relations, our romantic relations, our work, our money management, life in general.
For a control freak like me, accepting that there a some (ok many) things that being prepared cannot prevent is difficult.
This, for me, means that the level of control I have over my life is limited, meaning things might happen to me or to my loved ones, that I will not be able to manage.
I might fail in overcoming those things, and failing is not supposed to happen to me. I try so hard to prepare for everything, I try to be a good person, I worry about things going wrong and make long to-do lists trying to prevent those possible catastrophes, why shouldn’t I succeed?
Well- because this is just the way it is.
The school of life-a very successful youtube channel by the philosopher Alain de bouton has a great episode on this subject exactly. why none of us can ever escape catastrophes.
another great episode explains the philosophic concept of stoicism: school of life on stoicism.
enjoy- the cooliflower.