Have you succumbed to the siren song of post-Thanksgiving sales yet?
Did you find yourself lining up at Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart or another giant retailer at midnight, a smear of cranberry sauce on your lips and indigestion rising in your chest mitigated only by the eager anticipation of scoring a deeply discounted drone, a hella cheap hoverboard, low-priced lux items, or perhaps a Fitbit for a pittance?
Is FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) your MO?
For the next few weeks from Black Friday on, there’ll be Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Mild Existential Crisis Tuesday, all the way along until Christmas Eve, aka Total Meltdown Thursday, when if you haven’t figured it out by then, it’s all over…
That is until THE VERY NEXT DAY, when the post-holiday sales hit, promising to bring fantastic deals on everything that wasn’t snagged for the holidaze… or maybe it was, but now you’re lucky enough to buy someone else’s rejects.
Because that’s what we call a bah-humbargain.
Before you get caught up in the wholesale degrading of things that we really should value, I say:
To me, the consumer frenzy that is the next few weeks is a metaphor for everything that matters in our lives.
When retailers ask – no, demand – that their employees bail on their Thanksgiving festivities to work, and shoppers leave the tryptophan-red-wine- family-cocoon to brave the cold in order to buy a bunch of crap that who even knows if anyone wants it… just know you gotta have it… regardless of the price you pay, financially speaking and otherwise…
Then what the hell are we doing?
We have to consider what we give away too cheaply, and what we lose when we think we’re gaining something of value by allowing what should be seen as priceless to go out the window.
This isn’t just about the holidaze, either.
I’m talking about what you are personally letting go willy-nilly for a bargain basement price when you should instead reclaim it, redeem its value, and make sure you have what you need for a rainy day.
Or any day, really.
Before you open up and say take me for all I’ve got, please marinate on this:
- Do you underprice your productivity and/or creativity?
- Do you allow your free time to be eaten away by friends that are happy to consume it but unable to give you even a nibble of their time and attention in return?
- Do you let your kids off the hook when it comes to pitching in, as if their time doing homework (or, more likely, playing video games, watching YouTube, Snapchat-ing, and/or Instagramming) is more valuable than yours?
- Do you offer to do things that in your heart of hearts you know you’d rather not?
- Do you put work above time with the people you truly care about?
- Do you place your own personal thoughts and feelings so that they’re so low on the shelf that nobody — include you — bothers to look at them?
- Is the sum total of your days adding up to more sorrow than joy, more disappointment than excitement, more drudge than delight?
If you go through the list and feel like you’re being robbed of something, then just know NOW is the time to stop giving it away wholesale.
I know I have been asking myself these questions for a long time now. It’s becoming my mantra and my mission to stop the fire sale on the things I truly value, the stuff I want filling my stockings all year long. (Now that sounds dirty, but let’s run with it, my bitches.)
We are about a month away from the New Year, and rather than worry about getting all you can for as little as possible, I’d suggest now’s the time to figure out how to get the most out of life… and this is the kind of thing you can’t necessarily wrap up tidily with a little bow.
So if you see me doing the math before I check out completely, just know that I’m deciding what price is really right. Because selling yourself short is no bargain at all, and in this pre-New-Year season, it’s the perfect time to mark up what really matters.