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To Shop or Not to Shop? That is the Question.

By Dr. Lisa M. Coffey

August 2022

Key Words: uncertainty, declutter, money matters, re-focus, challenges

I am not a Shopper

For the longest time, I thought of myself as someone who does not like to shop. To me, there is no enjoyment in spending hours in the mall, pacing between stores, searching for the best bargain, or window-shopping. I would rather spend the day enjoying nature, painting, or making memories with family and friends. However, I have to shift my thinking and proclaim that I am not particularly eager to shop in brick-and-mortar stores but can easily place an order on Amazon daily. Does that mean I like to shop?

The Shift

The shift occurred during the pandemic when UPS, Fed X, and Amazon delivered packages to my house every day, yes, every day! The delivery people and I became well acquainted as I would anxiously sit on my porch and await my prime delivery. Most of my purchases were trinkets (baskets, hand towels, planters, popcorn, art supplies, etc.) and nothing of significance but soothing. The changes brought on by COVID-19 resulted in idol time, feelings of isolation, and restlessness, which triggered my excessive shopping. What else could I do? I could not visit my friends, spend time at the local park, or sit on my porch near a friend. After all, we had to be 6 feet apart. Instead, I shopped on Amazon and other websites, so I could sit on my porch in a mask and await the delivery drivers for some live interaction and muffled conversations. Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Very Unnecessary

Besides cluttering my house with trinkets, 50 bottles of antibacterial soap, and hand sanitizer, I spent too much money on nothing! Frustration is an understatement because I have hand soap and sanitizer falling out of every cupboard. Lemon, aloe, mint, lavender, and sanitizer with beads are a few options. A flea market is on the horizon so that I can declutter my space.

Living with Uncertainty

In times of change and uncertainty, what out-of-the-ordinary changes have you made? The realization that I used shopping for a bunch of nothing triggered this self-assessment. Do I ordinarily seek comfort from other things during stressful times? An honest reflection is, Yes, I do. From food to soap, I find comfort in trinkets when I cannot be my free and authentic self. The restrictions of the pandemic triggered wayward spending habits, all of those bottles of sanitizer and soap began to add up in cost, even though the delivery was free.

Time to Declutter

I write about the finance pillar in my book, iDid and uCan 2. I write about money matters, balancing your money mind, and overspending. Although my purchases did not blow my budget, they were senseless because I let a temporary situation derail my money management. Saving that money makes logical sense, especially while facing unprecedented times with the pandemic and soaring gas prices. Soap shopping is a simple example that shows how quickly spending for comfort sometimes outweighs the necessity for finance management. Have you ever purchased something without thinking it through because the buy made you feel better? What do you have an overabundance of that you need to eliminate to declutter your space (mind, body, and soul)?

Are you a prisoner of a lousy relationship, anger, drugs, alcohol, food, fear, or overshopping? Are you accepting or indulging because uncertain times make you uncomfortable? Well, the truth is, decluttering takes courage and faith. Give up the habit you created and get rid of the things you are holding onto that add weight to your life. Coincidentally, I have soap and sanitizer for sale.

Key Takeaway:

Inevitably life will throw curve balls our way, and during those times, we must find meaningful ways to counteract the challenges we face. Instead of developing new habits or holding onto bad habits, spend time redirecting thoughts to deliver positive outcomes. Challenging times call for a laser focus to ensure we survive the change without an overabundance of unnecessary junk piled high on with uncertainties and anxiety. When the going gets tough, save your money, and do not waste your money on frivolous stuff because when a rainy day comes again, you will not be able to shop from my soap store.

(C) Copyright 2022. Dr. Lisa M. Coffey. All rights reserved.



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