Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Profound Analogy Brought on by Overexertion

I've been working crazy hours.  On the weekends, after hours, and just about every day.  During a normal week, I work about 15-18 hours which is just perfect for me but, for the last few weeks, it's been a whole lot more than that.

It always gets insane after a trip to market.  All the orders I placed for both stores have been arriving and they all have to be checked in, priced and, worst of all, a place has to be found to display it.  So, I've been bouncing from store to store doing just that.  With every shipment, it gets harder and harder to find a spot to put the new stuff.  We've got a lot of merchandise in our little 1,000-ish square ft.spaces.  A large variety, too.  But, when the store gets full, you have to make some decisions.  Some things have to go. 

Tonight, while I was working late again, trying to find an empty nook or cranny large enough to wedge new merchandise into, I had a thought.  (I have those every now and then.) I thought about how running a store is so similar to running our lives.  We want to keep adding new and exciting things to our schedules to keep things interesting.  Over the years, we pack and pack and pack some more into our load but eventually something has to go.  It can't all fit in the set space. 

When life get too cluttered, we have to make choices about what must go just like I do at work..... 

1)  Some things, you once thought were going to be fabulous and wildly successful, failed to meet your expectations.  There are things that we were excited about in the beginning but then they ended up doing little more than taking up valuable space.  It was nothing like we thought it would be.  In retail, these items need to be put on the sale table and lessons learned.  Same is true for us, too.  Clearance is always a good idea when we need to make room for more productive pursuits.  Our time and space are valuable and we need to fill them with things that will bear fruit. 

2)  Some things are seasonal.  Gloves don't sell in July and beach bags don't budge at Christmas. We have all these fillers in our lives that are good for a season but, when the season is passed, they may not be appropriate for us anymore.  When we enter a new season, we need to adjust and search for things which are more suitable for the time that we're in.  Mrs. Claus doesn't belong out with the spring chickens.  She just doesn't.               

3)  Some things will begin to show a little wear.  We call it shop worn in the retail world.  The sun has faded the color.  A kid has opened the package.  The floor has made it dirty.  In life, there may be things that started out grand and compelling but, after sitting around and taking up our space for a while, they lose their luster and aren't all that appealing.  In life and in a store, it's time to cut your losses and let it go.    

4)  Sometimes, we listen to other people too much.  We can't always listen to what others say we need.  Just because something brings good results for one doesn't mean it will for another.  In store terms, I can testify to this.  The two stores I buy for are 15 miles apart and I can take an item that isn't moving from one store and it will sell 15 miles down the road.  It's amazing.  Same is true for us.  What we hear is awesome from our friends may not be that great for us.  In life and in retail, just because it's the hottest thing going doesn't mean it's the right thing for who we are and where we are.

5)  Sometimes, we find out that things aren't worth what they cost us.  When merchandise sits for a while, you realize that cost may be a factor.  There are a lot of trappings out there but we/they may not be willing to pay the price of having them.  Sometimes, we're willing to sacrifice in order to acquire them and, other times, we're not.  Each person has to decide if the cost is worth the benefit.  As a store buyer, sometimes, I find out too late that the price I paid was just too much.  Sadly, this can happen in life, too.
6)  Other people have to be considered in our choices.  When I go to market, I have to remember that it's not all about what I like and what I want.  If I just concentrate on what I like, we won't be successful.  I have to consider what our shoppers want.  Same is true with life priorities.  It's not all about us.  We have other people to consider as we load our lives with different pursuits.

7)  Periodically, there are things out front that need to be moved to the back.  And things in the back need to be closer to the front.  It's always a good idea to keep proper order in a store and in our lives.  Important things need to take a place of prominence and more trivial items need to take a backseat.  Sometimes, a different placement can give a breath of life to something that's been overlooked.

Ok, I'm going to stop abruptly at 7 because, well, this girl is tired!  And did I mention that this is Valentine's weekend, so there is no rest for the weary. 

We'll have a Valentine recap next week. 

I hope y'all have a great weekend full of love......and chocolate.     

(And thanks so much for all the sweet messages!  I will answer each of them personally when I can take a breather!  Just know that they were much appreciated!)




  1. I love your lists and your analogy comparing your job and life is very true.
    Sweets, dinner and flowers are in order for you after these busy days.
    Kathleen in Az

  2. I enjoyed a relaxing weekend, Kathleen! It was so nice. Hope you enjoyed the same!