The only time I ever went Black Friday shopping was with my ex. After filling up on Grandma’s turkey and her oh-so-smooth mashed potatoes, we headed out. We bundled up and braved the long lines and aggravated shoppers squeezed into the local Toys ‘R Us.
Fast forward a few hours and we looked like we had been put through the spin cycle. It was intense, I questioned my faith in humanity, and I may never want to step back into a toy shop again….but we were victorious!!! We got everything we came for…and then some. The kids were going to love their holiday gifts!
A few weeks later the kids tore into their gifts. They loved just about everything they put their hands on that day. Life felt pretty perfect.
The next fall, I was helping the kids organize their clothes for “back to school” time. I reached into the closet and found the ghost of Christmas past. Several of the “precious” holiday gifts we had given them last year were shoved into the corner of the closet. They were forgotten, gathering dust, and STILL in their packaging. It had been almost a year and the kids had never even touched them.
My jaw was on the ground. Why did we spend so much time, money, and energy trying to get the perfect gift or the best deal? Let’s be real, no matter how “good” the deal is if it never gets used it’s a total waste.
It’s time to take a good, hard look at why we buy what we buy.
Are you buying things that give you a momentary rush of “finding” a great deal? Is it about making sure someone else knows you love them? Do you just love the experience of shopping…or watching someone open the perfect gift?
Or is it a more painful calling? Are you trying to quiet a discomfort inside your mind? Or fill a hole inside of you that feels the slightest bit of relief when you score a deep discount? Maybe you feel a sense of control and empowerment when you find the perfect ___________ (fill in the blank).
Look, I actually love to shop. I totally get the joy of it. But I also see the painful side of it too. And I see the ways that the excess stuff gets in the way of having a life of freedom and ease.
Stuff doesn’t fix the pain. It’s nice and pretty and fun. But it doesn’t solve problems in deep, meaningful ways. Why? Because…
…the things you buy today become clutter you have to manage tomorrow.
Connection, memories, and taking the time to truly “see” someone else. That’s more powerful than anything you can buy in a store. And doing something to create the life you desire is more powerful than anything that will be discounted on Friday.
This year, I want to create a new tradition. Instead of shopping on Black Friday, let’s all do something that brings us home to ourselves. Something that helps us feel better about our lives, homes, bodies, and minds. Go for a walk, organize a cupboard, watch a funny movie, study Italian…whatever floats your boat.
I’ll be leading a Live Group Organizing Session. What do you want to do? What will leave you filled up in all the best ways?
Wishing you a beautiful holiday and a mindful start to the holiday season!