Why getting paid ruined my morning

Sometimes we get swept away by our troubles that we miss what we know is important to us. And that's a valuable lesson I learned one cold morning.

Each morning I wake up to the sound of birdsong on my phone. I switch off aeroplane mode, and a stream of messages and notifications come through as expected. One morning though, a notification was from PayPal telling me I’d received some money. Expanding the notification, I read that the money was from a new client.

I should have been happy that they’d paid me, but instead, I was annoyed. I had asked them to pay by bank transfer, and I had provided all the necessary account details for them to do this. Why didn’t they follow my instructions!

I don’t like receiving money via PayPal because their exchange rate into euros is terrible. I prefer a service called Wise (formerly Transferwise), which provides excellent rates. And when I want to remove the money from my PayPal account into my bank account, PayPal will charge me for the pleasure of doing this.

I lose money if I use PayPal.

I thought my instructions and details in my invoice were obvious, but maybe I should have made them more explicit. I’ll do that next time.

But that wasn’t the lesson I learned.

After seeing that PayPal notification on my phone and getting upset, I did what I usually do first thing in the morning – take my dog, Lulu outside.

Early in the morning before most people are awake, Lulu loves rushing around the garden chasing the scents of hedgehogs, foxes, and cats that have been scurrying around our garden during the night.

While Lulu is following the trail of these animals, I watch, delighted in how happy she is. The cool, moist air wakes me up. I often place a hand on the trunk of a 300-year old redwood tree in our garden. And I think about all the people that have may have done the same.

I love starting the day like this with Lulu. But today I did none of this.

Instead, this one morning, I was stewing over the client paying me via PayPal. Never once in our conversation had I mentioned PayPal to them. I’d lost money because of it. I was thinking about whether I’d issue a refund and ask them to pay via my preferred method. After 25 mins of this type of thinking, I decided that I would have to take the hit and make sure that next time I would include my bank details in the email that accompanies my invoice.

But all this thinking distracted me from enjoying the morning air, the trees and Lulu’s excitement. I missed all of this because I was dwelling on something that has already happened. Something I can’t change.

I hope that I’ve learned a lesson from this. But I can’t be sure.