Last Christmas shopping…

Today was the last opportunity to do my Christmas shopping. Some people call it being late and disorganized – pff, what do they know? Normally, I don’t care too much for what people say about my constant crisis mode (i.e. waiting for situations to be desperate before I attend to them). But it is Christmas. And in the spirit of sharing and being loving and kind, I am going to let you in on why I am the way I am. It’s not that I am disorganized. Not at all!!. My secret is that I used to be  an accountant. What does that have to do with anything, you wonder? Well, in accountancy, there is a rule called “Just in Time”. And  I apply it to every aspect of my life.

Like I said, “Just in time” is an accounting principle. In fact, Wikipedia goes further and calls it a STRATEGY. Yeah!! Hear that!! My whole “Waiting for the last day to buy presents” is a strategy, ladies and gentlemen! Are you impressed? You better be….

I am not going to bore you with the “Just In Time” mechanism. But I will tell you how my accountant teacher explained it 25 years ago. He did a pretty good job, because I forgot a lot of things that happened 25 years ago, but I remember that particular lecture word for word.

Just in Time is this: if you have to catch a train, and you arrive half an hour early at the station, you are going to grab a drink, maybe buy a couple of magazines, go to a wifi café to work on your laptop (of course, I added this last one myself. There was no wifi, no cell phone, no internet and very few laptops 25 years ago….) Whatever you do to keep yourself busy is very likely to distract you enough that you will miss your train. Whereas if you arrive at the train station 30 seconds before the train is due to leave, you are going to run to the platform and jump on the train. Way more efficient than wasting half an hour, spending some money and eventually missing the train. I never forgot that lesson. It has become the motto by which I live my life. Everything I do is “Just in time” And Christmas shopping is no exception.

Of course I missed a few trains in my life, fell short of time on some occasions. But that’s because I usually arrive at the station 30 seconds before the train leaves, rush to the store to grab a few magazines, grab a drink and then go to the platform. So I have not got the gist of it yet … But it’s only been 25 years, I am working on perfecting my art. In the mean time, I am still waiting for the rush to be over and will go to do my Christmas shopping just before the shops close, in a little bit…

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