We live in an age where “I wants” are transformed into “I haves” at the click of a button. Contrary to all the platitudes we were raised with, we buy/eat/do now and worry about the ramifications later. Moderation has left the building.
If I am honest with myself, the last time I walked into a supermarket was three weeks ago. In fact it was such a rare experience, I found I even enjoyed it. Why don’t I bother? Mr Tesco will happily come to my door if I don’t fancy knocking on his.
I cannot even remember the last time I bought a home-warming, birthday, or anniversary gift in person (let alone the cards for said gifts!).
And yet, this has somehow become the norm and there have only ever been two times in the past decade that I have ever doubted such objectively outrageous shopping habits. I will share one and leave the other up to interpretation (after all, I hope to retain some dignity after this!).
The first was during Debenham’s Blue Cross sale. I was 18 and had just earned my first paycheck. I had a disposable income and the sale email unfortunately arrived on a day when I was in a bit of a funk. I went through the online selection and added a few pairs of shoes to my basket. I didn’t have any black boots. I needed a pair of black boots. I was unsure of my exact size and so I would add two of each pair to my basket (you can see where this was going…).
Of course, I didn’t want to pay the extra £5 for next day shipping. After all, I wasn’t that desperate for footwear. I forgot all about it. 3-5 working days was a long time after all!
One day after work, I answer the door. A delivery man with a washing-machine sized box kindly takes my signature and pushes the box through the door. “Wow… maybe I over ordered?” I joke aloud. “That’s only box 1 of 2!” The delivery man responds. Oh. Wow. Ok.
I take both crates into the living room and start trying on. I split the shoe boxes into ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘maybe’ piles and leave them there until my mother can come home to deliver her fashion advice.
Of course the first thing she notices is the 20-something boxes of black boots in our living room… if I have ever been close to giving my mother a heart-attack, that was the moment!
Then delivery 2 arrived. Then delivery 3 arrived.
My click-happy fingers had placed approximately £1,500 worth of 54 pairs of black boots, sized 36-37 (European) in our living room. In fact, they didn’t all fit in our living room and they flooded into the dining room and hallway.
I wish I was joking when I said that my parents took embarrassing photos (served me right) and held shoes sales for the local neighborhood until they finally surrendered and drove the remaining shoes back to the shop… it took 5 trips.
Why share this frankly embarrassing story?
In part, because I have never been able to live it down, and do not believe I ever will. Simply put, I have nothing to lose and after all, we have shared some great laughs about the shoe fiasco of 2015!
More importantly, this story served as a great lesson to myself, my family, my friends, and all those women who came for fittings – and now you!
Obviously we need moderation of the shopping variety. But we also need moderation of the leisure and – of course – work variety.
You probably think I’m talking about work-life balance. Yes, a large part of moderating your work involves protecting the number of hours worked, the number of breaks taken, and how that balances against the hours spent in sleep and socialising.
But… moderation also means doing something you enjoy. Most of our adult lives are spent in the metaphorical office. Pursuing a career you enjoy can be an uphill battle; it can involve taking a financial hit, starting from the bottom, and grafting to work your way up. That said, when you finally make your way to the top, the view is so much sweeter to take in… especially when you’re wearing fabulous footwear!
More mindfulness and wellbeing tips can be found in my motivational calendar for 2019.
Whether reflecting on experience, or looking forward in anticipation, every day is an opportunity to do something positive. TV psychologist & author Dr Audrey Tang (43) and creative writer & millennial business blogger Rachel Gordon (23) have teamed up to inspire your 2019 – whatever your age!
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