In between overdoing it

Posts tagged ‘challenge’

Year of Taking Care of Me – Month 3

letting go of something toxic

Letting Go of Something Toxic

This month in the “Taking Care of Me” series we focus on letting go of something that makes us feel bad about ourselves. We say good-by to something toxic. The toxic thing makes us feel icky from the inside out. It drags us down and gives us a terrible outlook and a warped perception of reality. This toxic thing could be anything from a toxic friend we haven’t cut loose, toxic food we know we shouldn’t be eating, or a toxic mindset. This toxic thing might be different for each person.

Part of this month’s journey is about “letting go” as much as it is about “taking care of.” It is kind of ironic that my phase for 2017 is “letting go.” One year of taking care of meThis month I can identify 3 areas where  I have tried to remove toxic things from my life.

Toxic thoughts

I have experienced this mostly at work, but sometimes in my family life. This month tried to honed in on some of the thought patterns that have made me feel like bursting into tears and disgusted with myself at the same time.

In this I discovered one of the areas incubating these thought was coming through gossip. What seemed like friendly work conversation was actually gossip and I was a part of it a lot more then I wanted to be. Gossip does nothing but bring others and yourself down. It is one of the most toxic things in a work environment. Once I recognized how much I was engaging in gossip I was pretty disgusted with myself.

However, it was much harder to remove myself from it in a work environment then expected. Not wanting to come off like I didn’t care or create an enemy I had a hard time navigating around these types of discussions. This “How to avoid gossiping”  from Wikihow.com illustrated some easy ways to deal with gossip which were very helpful for me.

Toxic people

I know we have all heard about toxic relationships but have you ever really looked at how it is defined?

According to healhscopmag.com, “a toxic relationship is a relationship characterized by behaviors on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and, not infrequently, physically damaging to their partner…a toxic relationship damages self-esteem and drains energy...A toxic relationship is characterized by insecurity, self-centeredness, dominance, control. We risk our very being by staying in such a relationship. To say a toxic relationship is dysfunctional is, at best, an understatement.”

This seems pretty straight forward right? Who wouldn’t avoid these types of people ? But I don’t think toxic people are as easy to identify, at least not at first. And what if they are say…family members, what then? Is it possible to cut off what makes them toxic without ending the whole relationship? This was something that I had to confront this month. In my case, due to the nature of our relationship, I was unable to disconnect from this person fully. But I began to recognize and distance myself when the toxic behavior began to occur.

Has our relationship changed? Greatly. We will never have the closeness I once believed we did. However, there is still a relationship and now I feel it is on my terms. I no longer end the conversation feeling bad or inadequate.  It was really tough to accept this person is just this way and I can not change them or accept the behavior. But as the weeks went on and I ended conversations when they steered down a toxic path, I felt more in control. So while I can not fully “let go,” of them I can “let go” of the toxic behavior.

Toxic body

Our mental and emotional state are completely effected by our physical state. For many months I have been suffering from colds, the flu and various other illnesses. I felt completely run down and wiped out, needing to rest. But instead I pushed through and developed a sort of anxiety driven insomnia. Likewise, I was not taking the time to workout or eat right. Heck, I hadn’t packed myself a proper lunch since before Christmas! I just didn’t have the time.

All of this came to light this month when I finally had a chance to rest during a family vacation cruise. It was amazing! I had 7 full days of solid sleep. I eat normal food at appropriate times of the day and physically exerted myself again. Likewise, I also had minimal contact with a computer or cell phone. It was eye-opening.

I had no idea how tired and run down I was until I woke up a few days into the cruise feeling better then I had in months. My whole outlook changed. Energy, absent for about a half a year, returned. More importantly, an overall sense of well-being and positivity came back. Since returning from our vacation I recognize I was neglecting my health. This effected my emotional health more then I realized.

Even thought I know the value of proper nutrition and adequate rest, I still let these things get away from me and my mental health, as well as my physical health suffered. This month I was lucky to discover I was cultivating a toxic body. Sometimes our body is telling us what we need, we just have to listen.

Have you let go of something toxic in your life this month? How did it go? Was it difficult or did you find it easier then expected? HOw do you feel know that the toxic thing is gone?

 

Advertisements

Year of Taking Care of Me- Month 2: Love Myself

Month 2 Love MyselfIn keeping with the Valentines theme of love February was a month to focus on self love and self acceptance. This is not an easy thing for many of us. Many mom’s I know are the most incredible, giving, productive and loving people but to hear then tell it you would think they accomplish nothing. Most don’t acknowledge the amazing feats we accomplish daily. Oh yes we can totally see it in others, we can dole out praise for someone else but never ourselves.

I recently heard a mom of a 3 month old talk about how she has been struggling to get her baby to eat and is waking up hourly to feed him all night long. All this while she has a full-time job and another child to care for! She gets an average of 3 hours of sleep per night but talks about it as if it is something everyone does. No… no they don’t. She is an amazing mom!

Often we are hyper critical of ourselves and only see our flaws and failures. We downplay the amazing things we do as if everyone does them. That is what makes a month like this so difficult.  This 28 days we are challenged to like ourselves and toot our own horn. This month is also intended for us to accept ourselves and accept some of the praise others give us. Not just blow it off or pretend it is intended for someone else.

I struggle with this because, like most Mom’s, I always feel I am failing in some area. Even through we know it is an impossibility, we still strive to be everything to everyone. What we see in this endeavor is our contant unending failure. (You can check out last weeks post “Morning in the MommyHood for my own verision.)

It took a long time before I was even about to graciously accept a compliment without trying to negate it in some way. So this month is about trying to move past my gut instinct to see only failure and try to see the good I produce. There were a few tasks for this month included making a list of things we like about ourselves and another list of what people say they like about us. The intent is to see how we view ourselves and if we see ourselves as other see us. Finally this month we take note of how we have  accept ourselves. Ok here goes…

What do I like about myself?

What do I like? This is so hard because this month I have been under the weather and short tempered ect. Ok I know I know I am only seeing the negative again and that is not what this is about. Here goes 5 things I like about myself. (Boy this feels awkward.)

  • I am honest,
  • I am faithful to my friends and family
  • I am good at creating memories for my family
  • People know I am consistent and I keep my word.
  • I love to learn
  • OK there (this took me an entire day.)

What others like about me

Now on to list 2. Some of the things others have said about me.

  • I am a good mom (This mad me feel awesome!)
  • I am a good cook (Also made me feel awesome)
  • I am an encouraging friend (I hope so)
  • I am a hard worker
  • I am funny (this one from my kids)

Seeing these lists did make me feel pretty awesome. Especially when I hear what my children and my husband like about me. Making the list about myself was tough. It took a lot longer then I thought it would which tells me I have a bit of work to do concerning my confidence and belief in my abilities.

Now for the hardest part about this month. The accepting yourself. Over the weekend I had an unexpected incident with another adult. I innocently made an offer of help I believed to be with the intent to offer understanding and empathy. However to his ears it sounded like an insult. He came back at me with harsh words and I felt my dignity and self worth crawl into a little ball inside of me and blink out of existence.

I spent the majority of the weekend running the confrontation over again and again and wondering how he could have taken my words so wrong. I felt like a total jerk. In the end my husband tried to help me too understand. Because of my co-dependency issues when I see someone struggling I feel like I need to fix their problem. It is some weird responsibility to remedy every situation, even when it has nothing to do with me. My offer of help was not viewed as kindness because it was out of place. It was not asked for, not wanted and made the person feel like a screw-up.

Even if it was not my intent, my over zealous feelings of responsibility for everyone and everything, insulted this person. As if they were incompetent and in need of rescue. As if I was somehow better. It took a lot to see this side of my actions. It was really hard to accept that I made someone feel this way. You know that “road to hell” and all.

In the past I would have insisted he was the jerk. However, having learned about myself this way I can accept the same sensitivity that makes me good at empathizing and understanding others, can also contribute to my inappropriate feelings of responsibility for them. I think I finally understand I do not have to save everyone, or offer help that was never asked for. I  accept I am not selfish if I don’t take on everyone’s problems, especially when they never asked for my help.

This also could be the reason I saddle myself with so much to do and then complain about feeling overwhelmed. I take on problems that are none of my business. Before this month I never realized I did this. I never realized how it could make another person feel bad about themselves.

This month in an effort to love and care for myself better I am unburdening myself of all of the problems are not mine to solve. I am letting go of all the situations I may have unknowingly forced myself into because I felt like I needed to help, even if my help was never asked for. This will free up time to help the ones who really do need me like my children, my husband. In the end I think this will make me a better mom, friend and a more fulfilled person.

Did you make your lists this month? What did you discover about yourself? How did it make you feel? Would love to hear how you felt about this month. Please share in the comments

 

5 things kids have we wish we grew up with

kids todayA few weeks ago I did a post about how American Malls are dying. Recently, there was news that the Ringling Bros. circus is closing its doors. What this indicates is that kids growing up from this point forward will not know what a ringmaster signifies. They will not understand the reference to “a 3 ring circus.”

Don’t get me started on clowns? Is there no place in our society for clowns anymore? (I don’t mean the scary ones that hide in the forest and take selfies for Facebook.) Don’t worry I’m sure kids will be able to google the meaning of “Circus.” They can watch YouTube videos about the motorcycle stunt show. They can read a Wikipedia description on what a Circus was.

Since so many familiar icons of growing up are disappearing I am saddened by the idea my children will not have the experiences that I had. These things have gone the way of drive-in theaters, Blockbuster video stores and original Twinkies.

However, in writing this I realized we can get all melancholy and nostalgic about the disappearance of iconic

childhood memories such a “the Mall” and “the Circus.” But instead, we can accept that the world is constantly changing. What might have been treasured and meaningful to us might not have ever been as magical and memory making from our children’s perspective. So instead I thought to turn things on their head and  look at all the cool innovations my children have that I did not grow up with. Here are five things my children have that I did not have growing up.

Comic Books come to life

Growing up I was a total comic book geek. But at the time the technology to bring these characters to life just wasn’t there. So for me they could only exist on a page, as a drawing. Kids today not only get to experience these characters on the big screen in amazing visual story telling, they can also meet them in person at theme parks and watch them in there afterschool cartoons.

Be on a cooking show

rachael v Guy Kids Cook Off

picture from FoodNetwork

Shows like “Kids Baking Championship,” and “Masterchef Jr.” might be theatrical, contrived and well… crazy but they highlight the amazing things kids of today can achieve.

photo from Walmart.com

Have a real robot

This holiday I was floored by the amount of electronic toys available to children…one of the hottest, sought after and in demand toy was the Anki Cosmo. A real, mass markets robot. Crazy huh?

Read Harry Potter

When I was growing up there was never a book series that engage kids the way Harry Potter does. They not only made reading enjoyable, it make books releases an event. Kids (and adults) will be reading these for generations to come.

Information at our fingertips

Some might see this a s a replacement for true knowledge. However, the ability for kids to have access to a wealth of information broadens their perspective of other cultures, worlds, and lives. No more do kids have to grow up feeling like they are trapped in a small town, or forced to follow in their parents footsteps. There are no longer dictated by a limiting view. They have a window to an infinite number of possibilities and directions their life can go in. They can research and discover opportunities that might have never seemed possible to young adults who grew up in the 80’s.

A Year of Taking Care of Me: Month 1-Habits

a year of taking care of me month 1Earlier this month I talked about my “Year of Taking Care of Me.” It might seem like an odd New Year Challenge. I mean who doesn’t know how to take care of yourself? The idea came about as the end of 2016 came and I felt worn out. Like I lost myself. As if some part of me had gone missing. Yes, I have a wonderful life, full for fantastic people but the hectic schedule of work, kids and all over busyness had been creeping in on me a bit more each year. More of the things I did for me, the things I needed to do for me, had eroded with time. By the end of 2016 I felt it. The lack of care I had taken in myself finally had a physical and mental effect on me.

Although I still had the desire to strive for some monthly accomplishment I did not have the will to put into another year of goal setting. Instead I decided to turn inward and see what my head, heart and body was asking of me. What I needed to get back to feeling like me again. To recover from the pace of life I had been setting for myself. So here we go on to month one….

January: Habits

Why do I do that?: Look at the habits you have created, are they good? bad? How did they develop? Which ones I would like to change? Which ones have I changed unknowingly? We all know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. What do we do over and over again?

Habits. In the past when I think of habits it was usually in terms of what I eat. Trying to get more veggies, less sugar. This time I took a different approach.  I tried to be aware of the feelings I experienced when I engaged in certain habits. Some of the times I surprised myself, some of the them I was really disappointed in myself. But all in all I learned a lot more about what some of my habits have been doing to me.

Habit # 1 The News

I will be the first to admit that everyone is probably feeling a heightened sense of emotion with the election of our new president. Good or bad we all seem to be having more extreme emotions about President Trump and his actions. In our house my husband watches the news…a lot. For me having been in the journalism field I have always had an interest in seeing how certain events are covered. However, I found that recently it was not so much the topics that I was watching for, it was how the topics are covered. It seems as if all around on every channel there is only peoples opinion. No one is reporting facts anymore. The constant arguing by pundits and analysis became the background noise of my house.

Unbeknownst to me this was having a profound effect on how I was interacting with people. I was leaving the house in the morning more agitated, engaging in arguments about things I wasn’t even really passionate about and worst of all I was judging everyone around me. After one particularly bad episode where I felt really ashamed of my behavior, I decided to stop watching the news all together. Tired of the division, the fact less fighting, the hostility and fear. I shut it off. This caused me to reflect on what I was really angry about.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the topics or the people making the news that generated my anger. Rather it was the constant barrage of opinions instead of fact based emotionless reporting. This and the changes I had seen in a field I loved  made me angry and saddened. This had nothing to do with politics or the election at all. It was a sense of loss I felt in the journalism community. This realization prompted me to write “We have no Watchdog.” So for now until I can reconcile this loss I will keep the news off.

Habit #2: Social Media

In the past social media was like a life line. It was a connection to people from childhood. It was an open door to make new friends and have new experiences. However since the end of last year something has changed. No so much in social media but really in me. It was as if someone took the rose colored glasses off and I saw all the hucksters selling “downloadable products” filled with nothingness.

I came to recognized the only people making money on social media were the people selling how to make money on social media. It started to seem like a racketed and could no longer watch new found friends be sucked into it as I was. I’m not talking about MLM’s mind you those have actual products of value and I am still in support of all those on social media making a living at them. It’s the “information products” I no longer see the value in.

Need to get away from the negativity

Also, the negativity was really effecting me. So many people with so many opinions about everyone and everything. Everyone has become a Facebook expert. Why does someone who knows nothing about police work get to play Facebook judge in a police involved shooting. Why do mothers from all over get to judge each others actions? We all make mistakes everyday in raising our kids. Does it really make us feel better about ourselves to put down others? Lastly, why do we hang on the actions and opinions of  celebrities as if they have some secret stash of knowledge that is more adept then our own?

Facebook was suppose to be about connection but it has become about judgement of others. I fell pray to it as well, engaging in Facebook fights if someone had an opposing view then mine. But who am I to judge a name and face on a screen. I know nothing about these people and they no nothing of me. I wonder how much time I wasted arguing with someone who wasn’t even a real person, just a made up account?

Get back to people not profiles

As much as I loved connecting with the people I found on Periscope, I now feel social media has changed for the worse and it was changing me. I gave no thought to believing what I read as if it was a well-researched, fact based news story instead of made-up click bait. In addition, without hearing the person’s tone, and seeing a facial impression it was to easy to misinterpreted the meaning behind a typed phrase.

The lack of face to face interaction has taken its toll on social media I think, making it less enjoyable and more hostile. An emoji, however cute can not take the place of a real hug. So I took the step of deleting the app from my phone. I will admit I still go on to check the blogs page and respond to messages but I try not to scroll anymore. No everyone needs or wants to know my unsolicited opinion on everything and I really don’t need or want to know everyone else’s.

Habit #3: Mindlessness vs. Productivity

The final habit I decided to change this month was deeply ingrained in me. Maybe it is because I was born in New York. It could be because I don’t know how to relax. Possibly it is because I have always been in a perpetual state of rush. Whatever the reason I have rarely allowed myself to do anything mindless. Everything has to have a purpose. It has to have reason that is moving me forward somehow.  If I was watching TV it had to be something I would learn from or it is a family bonding activity. It couldn’t be mindless downtime. Time is to precious to waste. Right?

Now I understand doing something mindless is not a waste. A lifetime of this “habit” is part of what has caused my burnout. I remember my husband playing a video game after coming home from work saying he just needed to decompress.

It’s ok to just wander

There is a purpose in the mindless. It helps to let your mind rest, let your thoughts wander. Maybe I never wanted to let my mind wander because then I would have to sort out thoughts and feelings I pushed away. If you are always in productive mode you never give yourself the time to think  and process hurt feelings, sadness and sorrow. Went I was quiet and inactive, I realize I never actually grieved when my father died. I let it out a little but then life went on and there were things to be done so I pushed it aside.

In more recent days, doing mindless things like sitting in silence on my drive to work, playing a mindless video game and coloring has been a new experience for me. By letting my mind wander freely into uncharted territory, hurts I thought I pushed away have resurfaced, new questions have arisen and I realized I miss my Dad sometimes. The thing is this time I am letting myself walk thru it, instead of running away in busyness.

I know I have only scratched the surface in terms of habits but this is not a forced challenge with a strict path to goals. It is free flowing and organic. What I have shared is what has arisen in my since I have been taking the time to pay attention. To listen and to actually be still. Are there any habit you have been doing that have prevented you from fully experiencing joy. Have you discovered habits that were masking what really bothers you?  If you are doing this along with me would love to hear your discoveries.

 

 

A Resolution to have no Resolutions

resolution to have no resolutionsHaving goals is great!

It is a blessing to know what you want to achieve, make a plan and go after it. I spent the better part of last year trying to do that. The problem was I was so caught up in achieving a goal I thought I wanted, I really didn’t take the time to question if it was even worth achieving? Was this resolution something that would bring me fulfillment, contentment, and happiness once it was done? Would it really make any difference in me? Did I even know enough about what I was trying to accomplish to make my effort worthwhile?

During the first week of a New Year people get caught up in the hype of goal setting. We rush out and get the prettiest, shiniest new planner and hastily write down our hopes and dreams of what we will achieve by this time next year. By March the planner is at the bottom of a drawer long forgotten.  Along with it forgotten plans inside. For many of us when we make resolutions we get caught up in the idea of the infinite possibilities in a new year. In what the future may hold. I know I did.

Last year, I felt like I could achieve so much. In turn I loaded myself with resolutions. Gave myself tiny binding contracts with myself not to be broken for almost anything. So a spent a lot of last year toiling away to achieve these mental marker I though meant something, only to look up come October and realize I no longer cared about them.

Was it worth it?

I spent SO much time, energy and focus on achieve these self imposed promises. Never realizing the why of achieving them had evaporated along the way. For example the goal to monetize this blog. Working tirelessly I planned to creating products and promotions, spent hours listening to podcasts and reading books.

Following the advice of bloggers, social media masters and lifestyle gurus. But came to realize I never wanted to make money here. I just wanted to write. By spreading my focus across the board, things like SEO, product creation, web design became a priority.  Writing was not even enjoyable and didn’t feel like it reflected me anymore. Followed the advice of too many people who, I believed, knew more. I focused on these goal but ignored what my heart told me.

Also the goals took far to much focus and time away from family, and self care. Things which I intended to put more of a priority on. Energy that should have been given to my kids who need me went into the creation of a cookbook no one asked for.  Yes, I got caught up in reaching the goals I set up on January 1.

It is great to have make resolution, and set goals if they are focused, researched and align with what you really want in life. Don’t make your goal something you have fleeting interest in. Also, don’t make it

Image from fakeposters.com

if it will not bring you closer to the person you want to be or the life you want to have. Most of all, know it is ok for your goal to change as you progress through the year. Give yourself permission to adjust as life changes.

 

I made too many goals, most of which did not speak to my heart. Once I created them I felt I had to make them happen, even long after they weren’t a good fit. Who did I feel like I was letting down? Myself maybe. Was I less of a person if I didn’t not achieve a goal I no longer felt passionately about?

I am writing this post on the first day of the new year and his year I am trying something new. No goal setting, resolution making, planners or plans. This year, I am resolving to be without a resolution. Attempting too not remain in constant review of the past or over planning for the future. Doing my best to listen to what my heart and head need. [ctt title=”Trying as best I can to stay in this moment, this year. To find the joy in this life as I live it.” tweet=”Trying as best I can to stay in this moment, this year. To find the joy in this life as I live it.” coverup=”KP8Al”] Not pining for what might have been or wishing for what will be.  For this year I am going to let go of resolutions and see where life takes me.

2017: The year to Let go.

2017 the year to let goRecently it has become trendy among influencers and lifestyle guru’s to select a theme word or phrase to act as the focus point of the coming year. It sounds a little hokey and new age-y, I know but there is some merit to the idea if you approach it in the right way. Last year, I picked the word grateful. With gorgeously designed gratitude journals popping up all over the place and the word grateful being worked into so many things, it seemed like a good selection for the year to come.

But was I truly grateful?

However, in practice being grateful is not as easy as it is on Thanksgiving. Yes, I know people say,

“I am grateful for my family.”

“I’m grateful for my home.”

I am grateful for this amazing fish taco.”

That is all well and good but it totally takes the meaning of grateful and waters it down to a word akin to like.

But when things are not going so well. When your life is throwing you curveballs and is it so easy to be grateful?

“I am grateful for my jerky boss.”

“…grateful for the pain of grief.”

“I am grateful for this sadness and depression.”

…said no one ever.

In this I struggled with the word. If you are truly evolved you can see the lessons in the ups an downs of life and be grateful for them. Or maybe those people are not so evolved and are lying about it. Making them just as ungrateful as the rest of us. Either way, I just wasn’t there yet. I put pressure on myself to try and be like all the lifestyle personalities throwing around the word grateful. Trying to be “that person,” the one who could see beyond the sad, grief and sorrow. To see the good and appreciate it all. I just didn’t. I was just me. No matter how much I wanted to be better, more insightful, more grateful. All I could be was my flaw-filled self.

What I really felt

Happy, sad, upset, cheerful, hurt, angry, grieving, loving, annoying, numb, comforted, rushed, tired these are some of the emotions I felt but grateful was not on the list. That was not truly how I felt most of the time. It might be wrong to say because, yes life is a gift. I get it we have limited time so appreciate it.

Sometime when you just feel bad or something bad happens the raw, real emotions surface. All you feel is the “this sucks,” feeling and there is no grateful spin to on that. No one thinks, I should be grateful during this time. They just hold on until the time ends or the feeling go away.

That is the truth. To be truly grateful all the time is almost an impossibility and something worthy of sainthood. When I choose this word I didn’t consider what people who are really grateful have been through, health scares, bad divorces, tragedies. They know what it feels like to have everything ripped away and have battled to get it back.

They have a strength I have never had to test and a knowledge base I don’t know. It was like I set the bar too high and was trying to be someone I am not. Not now anyway. My feelings and actions were not gratefulness or in appreciation for my life. It was more an attempt to escape how I really felt. To imitate someone else instead of admit to being me.

What a difference a year makes

So with that I learned my lesson about theme phrases of the year. Right now as I reflect on the person I really am I recognize what a difference a year makes. A lot of the fire in me last year has kind of burned itself out. My life like everyone else’s is growing, changing and evolving. Family, and friends have migrated in and out of it. Some left in peaceful, gentle ways but some left me broken.

Many times this year I have felt underwater trying desperately to bring my head above the surface, only to have a sense of being submerged again. Eventually, I stopped coming up for air. Depression, it does that to you. I have spent a lot of this year trying to figure out how to be me again. Realizing only recently that I can’t.

Life, like I mentioned before, it changes you, stretches you, transforms you into something else. Something new. So no, I won’t be the me I was last January. The me full of lists, plans and far too many goals. Never again, will I be the same person, but really it is ok. This is part of remaking myself. We have to take apart what was there. Let go of who we thought we were, to form ourselves into who we are now, today, in this moment.  That is why, for this year my theme phase will be “letting go.”letting go

Where will this take me?

There is a lot to that. But unlike grateful, I have a much clearer direction of where this will take me. It means letting go of people who are toxic and harmful to me, letting go of old hurts, of trying to be everything to everyone and nothing to myself. Shedding the skin of who I was trying to be. This means letting go of activities I knew never fit me no matter how bad I wanted them to (Sorry Biz Ladies, Beachbody you were wonderful but I have to let you go now.)

Most of all, I have to let go of repressing myself for fear people won’t like, love, or respect me. Saying sorry all the time even when I have nothing to be sorry for. Feeling guilty and responsible for situations I never caused and can’t fix. Mostly, I need to let go of the constant fear of judgement, and over emotional emphasis for what others think of me. My phrase this year seems like a lot of work because it is.  But really it is all about unclenching my fingers, healing my thoughts and well… letting go…

Are you Black Friday is broke?

Black FridayDid you get bitten by the Black Friday bug last weekend? These advertisers know what they are doing, making you feel that you will totally miss out on the best deals ever by not being first on line in front of their big box store at 5:30 in the morning.

So how many of us take the day off work. We crawl out of bed, leave behind a sink full of Thanksgiving dishes to drive over the nearest superstore. Only to fight out way to what we are told is a great deal. If you don’t go then someone else will get all those sweet deals. Right?

Well, maybe not.

Remember it was only a few years ago that Black Friday sales actually started to creep into Thursday evening. It began as a midnight madness type of sale but then inched closer and closer to 4:00 pm. The Black Friday frenzy was overtaking Thanksgiving dinner. Retail employees we’re wolfing down their turkey and stuffing because they had to head out to work on a day that was designated specifically for home and family.

Luckily, after a few years of consumer pushback many stores dropped the early Thursday sales and moved it back to Friday where it belonged. However, that didn’t necessarily stop shopping. They just moved it to cyber space.

According to NBSNews Black Friday Online sales it a new high this year. These followed quickly by Cyber Monday show that more people are buying online for the holiday’s. And why not it’s easy, convenient and might be less expensive. Or is it?

The online ease of time sensitive flash sales are still tapping into a buyers urgency to not miss out on the savings. I know from my own experience that I have said to myself, “I better buy this (insert useless item I don’t really need) because I won’t ever see it for this price again.”

I don’t care what it is at that price I need it!!

The issue then isn’t the price of the item it becomes the fear that you will miss out on these insanely low prices. (which are usually not insanely low at all by comparison.) Advertisers have become so adept at creating a feeling of scarcity we don’t think twice about parting ways with our money for the Memory Form cat bed, (although cats can find comfort on a car tire.) We really need that water resistant shower speaker (can’t sing in the shower without one…oh wait you can.) Can’t forget about the Ukulele Starter Pack (because one day you will sing tiny bubbles in the shower to your cat on their form bed.)

Cyber Monday

Black Friday and its online twin Cyber Monday help you fulfill that Christmas anxiety with the words BUY NOW. But when you look at the credit card bill sticker shock is an understatement. I remember thinking “What did I buy?”

There is something to be said for the physical presence of counting out bills that makes you more aware of what you are spending. Couple a click of a mouse with the new internet urgency and you have the makings for an overspending disaster. That is no way to have a happy holiday.

Black Friday sales can be a force of good if you give yourself limits. Here are 5 ways to use the Black Friday frenzy to your advantage.

  1. Know what you intend to purchase before the sales come out.
  2. Remember most sales are cyclical and these prices will come and go.
  3. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer a single day event but have been extended to weeklong sales with most merchants so do not rush into anything. Take time to consider your purchases.
  4. Just like Santa says make a list of what you intend to buy for whom. More importantly make a budget plan and stick to it.
  5. If you missed Black Friday don’t forget you can still compare prices between stores and prices match at some retailers to pay the least for an item.
  • Most importantly…remember the holiday season is not about your Black Friday 50 inch TV or other electronic item. Matter of fact it is not about things at all. It is about  people. You are giving gifts from the heart to show people you love them. Despite what advertisers tell you it is not about putting yourself into debt impulsively buying to combat the feeling of FOMO. (Fear of Missing Out.)
In Between Moderation

In between overdoing it

SoulyRested

keeping it simple - homesteading and homeschooling in rural New England - being solely rested in Christ

Practical Parenting Blog

Practical Parenting Advice from a Pediatrician and Mom

A Momma's View

My thoughts about homeschooling, health and fitness, being an expat, kids and just life in general. My personal Lifestyle Blog!

Blogger Hacks

A Blog for learning about Blogging, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Affiliate Marketing and Making Money with Your Blog.

Life of a Busy Dad

Life adventures of a dad of four kids with three of them under the age of Nine.

SimpLeigh Organized

Save Money While Organizing and Decorating Your Home!

The Middle Cinnamon Roll

Used to be a concert pianist. Now a grateful single mom in a soul-sucking cubicle with too many hobbies.

Insane Roots

Where it all began! In the beginning it was just a place to brainstorm my memoir. It has now became my voice in this noisey world!

A Kinder Way

THINK KINDER. BE KINDER. LIVE KINDER.

Etcetera Etcetera Etcetera

... about nothing in particular, because "Candid photography is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get". Photography by Lignum Draco, "The Wood Dragon" since 2013.

In My Cluttered Attic

YOU MUST HAVE USED YOUR GPS—BECAUSE YOU'VE JUST LOCATED THE WACKIEST MOST IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND BLOG ON THE ENTIRE INTERNET. WELCOME TO... 'THE ATTIC!"

Dream Big, Dream Often

A Blog to Inspire and Challenge You!

%d bloggers like this: