found! not lost blog

“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

It’s the little things

I started to mention something in my last post about how my challenge to focus more on others with my spending has influenced (positively!) a lot of other little things. So, here’s a few:

Shopping as sport. The Galleria in Edina and Nordstroms were two of my very favorite places to stroll and shop. Why? I enjoyed the calm and well-edited stores, wafting with lovely scents and populated by people who are there to serve you and stealthily alleviate whatever reservations you may have about parting with large sums of money.  But the last two times I visited I saw something very different. Mostly just a lot of beautiful things that I don’t need, or may even already have. Somehow it started to feel like a waste of time to shop so often – blasphemy, I know!

Speaking of time…I also went ahead and unsubscribed myself from about 30 different email lists. Over time I’d shopped online so much that I was getting about 100 emails A DAY just from shops like J. Crew, Restoration Hardware, Scoop NYC, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the like. It was a giant waste of time to sift through those and clean out my email all the time – and for what? Because I might “miss out” on a “limited time only” sale?? B.S. These places are so promotional now that there is always some sale on.  Those email lists are just a ploy to create a sense of urgency in a world where they otherwise wouldn’t be, because you actually have a life. A whole life that now, doesn’t revolve around running to the store or clicking on an ad every time they send an email.

This challenge makes me realize how much of my life DOES revolve around food.  This is pretty common, as it’s a way to socialize, enjoy yourself, and yes, actually get sustenance (though that’s rarely what we use it for these days!)  But I noticed I was doing was using fun food stops to fill time in between activities or in those rare down times with my kids! A favorite bakery, the ice cream shop, a neighborhood breakfast spot, whatever… With my new budget limits I noticed right away because my first inclination to take them someplace had to be stopped and redirected.

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The upside? Instead we went to the park one day to ride bikes, headed to a walking trail near our house with their scooter and wagon, and one day just stayed home and played doll house rather than go out. Could a positive side effect of this thing be losing weight?!  Well, one can dream.

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4 comments on “It’s the little things

  1. Sherri Symson
    August 18, 2012

    Well said, Carrie! Your post totally spoke to me and I’m considering cutting out many of the food/treat stops with my girls too. You’re right, it does kill time, but a bike ride or visit to the park accomplished the same thing and so much more. I need to take a lesson from you! (And, I also recently unsubscribed from many of my shopping subscriptions too. My inbox is cleaner and my shopping obsession has slowed…and, I haven’t lost the farm from all the good sales I was so afraid to miss.) Great post.

  2. Stacy
    August 18, 2012

    I did the unsubscribe thing too just this week! Do not need all those “deals”! Way to go Carrie.

  3. found not lost
    August 19, 2012

    Thanks Sherri! Nice to know I’m not the only one struggling with these things. I actually think lots of moms get into that habit by accident. It’s really funny because I was so strict about their food, treats, etc. whem they were littler. And you’re right, you never lose money by not going to sales!

  4. found not lost
    August 19, 2012

    Thanks Stacy! You’d think we’d all know better than to fall for these tricks since we are trained marketers ourselves, right? :). Definitely nice to reduce the inbox clutter!

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This entry was posted on August 18, 2012 by in personal and tagged , , , , , , .
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