Something for Nothing


I am easily seduced. Obtaining a bargain, or being given the possibility to win something is an easy hook. But now, after years of winning nothing of substance, I am on email lists for any number of companies who want my business. Most of the emails get deleted without a second glance. On the one hand, I have a Pollyanna view of life, hopeful that things will turn out. On the other hand, I’m a sucker. I want something for nothing. And the something I get is an overabundance of emails luring me to go on vacations, acquire luxury products, or donate to another crowd-funding start-up.


This is nothing new. My father has always loved a good deal. He chose his present home, a two-story town house in an over-50 community because it was priced to sell. A Pollyanna himself, he didn’t figure in stairs as a deterrent for a couple in their 80s. While growing up he always brought home dented appliances because of their low price tag, while my mother scoffed at the impaired item. No matter how much my mother begged him to buy at a regular store, he couldn’t stop himself from scouring the off-brand warehouses popular in the 60s & 70s.


And, so, in my father’s footsteps I get excited when I see that I could win a trip to Tahiti, or win a shopping spree on a site that probably doesn’t accommodate for my curves or my age. I did stop myself from purchasing a membership to the Oprah Club. The ad promised free give-aways and deep discounts. As much as I love to get something for free, I decided that the price of the club wasn’t worth it.

Nonetheless, I have spent more time than I’d like to admit filling out surveys for a chance to be entered into a special drawing for one thing or another. I did win a free bag and a $25 gift card to Trader Joes once. But it wasn’t because I entered anything, I merely brought my own bags for shopping and was entered into their drawing. I like Trader Joe’s because they always have great prices even though it’s not a discount store. And, since I always bring my own bags for shopping, I can enter the drawing with the hope of winning another $25 gift card.


But no more online contests. Luckily my Dad doesn’t own a computer. So my parents dodged this bullet.   And now now I’m spending my time unsubscribing from email lists. I don’t want the temptation of a big win to get in the way of living my life. My time is dear. I can use it enjoying what I already have.



“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I wanted to start writing a bit about accepting our humanness. There’s so many ways in which we can feel badly about ourselves. The point of these short blog posts is to accept our flaws and learn from our mistakes.
Selfishly, I’m writing these as much for myself as for anyone else. I can be oh, so critical. I’m hard on myself and judgmental of others. I’m not proud of this, but I can be a snob. For example, when I go on vacation, I try to avoid personal conversations with strangers. As a therapist I need to distress and have some alone time, or family fun. However, I find that people on vacation like to make fast friends. I’m usually not interested. And, as a self-defense tactic, I find reasons I formulate in my mind why I want to keep my distance. I necessarily close myself up. Maybe I’m justified, but I can have an edge when trying to ensure my privacy.
Now, I don’t know that I will become less of a snob, but I would like to be able to laugh at myself. In fact, I look forward to enjoying laughing much more, in general. So, this series of posts will be about having more room for our foibles, and appreciating life as it is, including the imperfections.
The plan is to post weekly. I’ll see how that goes, and adjust, if needed, with limited judgment.