One of the things staying home during war and pandemics gives you is a lot of time to address things that prior to the war or pandemic you said you didn’t have time to do. You get a thought and then you hear yourself say, Ill try to remember to do this later cause I don’t have time right now. Normally you would then be off to something more pressing. Now, however, a second voice enters after the first and says, You don’t have time because you have to do, or go or say…what? This brings you back to the moment and the task at hand.
I was struck by this last Sunday as I was trolling through my emails over my first cup of coffee. Like most people, I receive lots of spam, advertisements, newsletters and blogs that I signed up for that I never read. In addition, I am bombarded by other marketing emails that got my information from the ones I did sign up for. As I sat there that morning I realized I had no place to go that was more important than being right then and there.
So I applied what I knew about how to clean out a clothes closet. If you haven’t worn it in the last 24 months, get rid of it. If I hadn’t read or bought from or interacted substantially with a recurring email "vendor" in the last 12 months, unsubscribe. Some I unsubscribed to but I saved the link in case I wanted to see something there in the future, but most were just unsubscribed to. It took me an hour to go through them all. And I am sure I missed some this go round and will have to do it again a couple of times.
It was interesting how many had layers for me to swim through before they would accept my request to unsubscribe. Lots of opportunities to waver and feel a sense of loss, and many tried to make me feel guilty about doing it. But when I was done, I knew that I had taken back control over a substantial part of my time and life.
I would strongly recommend that you do the same. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we need to get back in touch with our life and be present. If you are housebound, you need to allow time to sit still in silence and think about what you think about. Not just about what you do or how you feel. Because how you feel and what you do is caused by what you think. And if you don’t think about what you think about, you wont know that that is what is causing your emotions and your actions. GIGO: garbage in and garbage out. You are what you think about.
And that is one of the ways that we emotionally spend money we don’t have online and are broke at the end of the month. Be allowing ourselves to be bombarded on line at home.
And I for one don’t want to think about all of the things that recurring emails and marketing under the guise of free information want me to think about all the time. Unless of course I do decide that I want to think about them. In which case I want to sit still long enough to focus and read them and not just say I need to make time to do that one-day. Think about that.
Marc has 36 years in financial services and 6 years in teaching.
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