Today, I was at the mall. I had three presents to buy and knew exactly where I would find them. I purposely went early, right when the mall opened, to avoid crowds. What I found there, besides the three presents, was fascinating. While waiting in the long lines to pay for my purchases, I had the opportunity to observe my surroundings. For whatever reason, the stores were mainly populated by senior women, armed with coupons (I am not knocking coupons, I too had one for each purchase!!) and not a one of them seemed pleased. In fact, one woman, whom I knew, told me as she stood in line, that she did this daily. She clipped a new coupon each day and made her $20 purchase in order to get $10 off! She said that she was getting tired of it. No kidding.
Next, I made my way to a thrift store, scouting for a robe or tunic for my 4th grade son to wear when he makes his debut at the Christmas concert as one of the three kings! Now THIS was a shopping experience! Fun and unique finds, cheap prices, and, GO FIGURE, happy people! I scored on a brown robe for my son, and a classy wool coat for me, all for $6! And to put the cherry on top, the cashier spoke my language; and by that, I mean she was a JOY sharer. Her words were upbeat, her smile was true and her heart was in her work.
Two contrasting experiences with so much symbolism. Personally, I have been giving myself a dose of what I preach. As a success coach, I have found radical benefits in decluttering and detoxing my own life. So, as December rolled around, I was more than ready to simplify the holiday. When I got my Christmas boxes out, I went through them and deleted half of my collection~ painlessly! Last weekend, when we went out and found a tree, we chose a a small one, only 4 ft tall! And, I have made the decision to postpone sending Christmas cards. My heart was not in it, so I figured, why force it? Maybe the desire will hit me to send cards in March, or July, or not, and it is no biggie. I feel freer, and as you might imagine, my spending is down too.
So, as I age, you will not find me roaming the mall daily, coupons in hand, adding to my collection of unused stuff. My plan is to simplify more each year, making more space to appreciate what I do have. I also want to be wandering the woods, fishing the rivers and hiking the trails. S-I-M-P-L-E. That is a gift I can give myself.