Recently I’ve been thinking that shopping can be a metaphor for life. Not so much the shopping itself, but why we are so thoughtless about the shopping. And living.

And in today’s “cost of living crisis,” that can be a problem. Not just for your purse, but for the environment too.

Thoughtless Example One

Since doing Sarra Cannon’s HB90 course, I’ve started colour coding my goals, and using those colours on my kanban boards, and in time blocks in my diary. It looks lovely, and I can instantly see what I’m doing. All well and good until I put a block in the wrong place.

Then I reached for the correction tape, run it all over the diary, disappointed that not only have I “ruined” the look, but that it will be difficult to write over the tape.

Nonethless, having used up the correction tape, I thoughtlessly bought more when I know it’s possible to get erasable coloured gel pens, which make much more sense for my sense of tidiness.

So, after a few days agonising about the state of the 2024 diaries I haven’t written in yet, I bought the pens as well. Leaving myself with somethinking like three years worth of correction tape… That I’ll most likely throw out in two.

And now I’m asking, why didn’t I ask myself what it was I hoped for at the end of the transaction – a neat and tidy diary I can write in without worrying about whether the correction tape will take the ink.

Thoughtless Example Two

My laptop battery has been running out of charge faster and faster, the touchpad is a bit hit and miss, and the screen can be too.

So I spent a day thoughtlessly looking at replacements. What’s on the market at the moment, how fast, how long the battery lasts, what other bells and whistles can you get.

And then DB put his two cents in, suggesting something better, faster, different.

So I took a look at his suggested, and as it turns out, it will also solve one of my long-standing peeves with the laptop I’m using now – it will be possible to fold it up and use a graphics stylus to work on my bookcovers in Photoshop!

Similarly, why didn’t I ask myself what I needed in a new computer? What were the things that irritated me about my existing one? And is there something that could meet more of my needs than the one I bought years ago?

Inadequate Thought Example Three

I’ve been looking at book mockup software for my store, just to make it really obvious whether you’re buying paperback, hardback, ebook or audio.

I started with free, except that meant I had to make up and download each version of the cover individually, and then take each image into Photoshop and edit it for the site. It takes a long time.

So, I licensed some software thinking it would be quicker and easier, except it turned out I still had to download and edit each image seperately, so it didn’t actually save me any time. Nor as it turns out, any money.

So I looked again, and third time lucky, found something where I could download all the correctly formatted images at the same time – finally, something that saves time, though it costs more in the long run.

This one is harder, because I did think more, but the information I needed wasn’t actually on the sites. I could have looked more seriously for reviews that stated download information, but reviews can be very subjective – perhaps the features I think are important aren’t mentioned.

But the main thing, it saves me time that I can now spend on other income producing activities.

Now, about the Living…

While 2023 has been a disordered year for me, I’ve noticed a tendency to be so overwhelmed by the external factors I haven’t taken the time (or had the capacity) to think more clearly about my price v quality choices.

We all tend to think about facets of our lives as if the other facets don’t actually impact them. Except, you can’t look at one facet of a diamond without seeing the whole.

Likewise, you can’t think about your career without thinking about your family life. And you can’t think about your spouse without taking into account your shared and unshared interests. Nor can you think about your shopping without thinking about anything else. Or think about any of it without thinking of the impact on the environment.

Career isn’t isolated from family. Nor is concern for your spouse confined to the hours of 7pm to 7am. Nor are any of your considerations free of impact on the environment

Even buying snap lock lunch bags to pack your work sandwich in impacts your office, your colleagues, your spouse, and the environment as well as your pocket book.

So, with the few weeks left in the year, start thinking about the world you want to live in, and start making decisions to bring that world into being.

Starting with reusing your snap lock lunch bags!

Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash


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