Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

It is 9:22 a.m.

I am doing everything I can to keep myself away from ads, promotions, deals, and even friends & family who are pushing to shop today.  (My mom is talking with my kids in the background about what they want for Christmas.  *sigh*)

It isn't that I think buying is bad...heck, it supports our economy.  I could even shop small businesses today and help friends & strangers who are doing exactly what I want to do - make a living through passion.

But today - Black Friday - there is a pervasive energy of grasping.  Clinging.  Wanting.  More.  Different.  New.  I am horribly sensitive to this energy.

I love going to the hobby store or book store and - maybe twice a year - the clothing stores.  I like local, small stores and big chains...all offering things that make my life comfortable and beautiful.  Allow me to repeat - I don't think buying is bad.  But mindless shopping?  Out of control desire?  The justification that appears to buy something when I didn't even know I needed or wanted it before?  THAT tears me apart.

As I type this, I hold a printed out coupon to Borders in my lap.  Part of me says, "it's a book!  Buy a book on how to avoid clinging, a Buddhist book or book on the Yoga Sutras....".  Yeah.  Note the irony.

I want to post something today about the 4.5 mile race yesterday.  About the chaos that was a beautiful Thanksgiving.  About how I'm looking forward to our outing where we get hot chocolate and dance around a farm of trees to pick the one that will sacrifice itself to be the shining center of our home for the next month.

But I look down at the Borders coupon.  In it, I see a mirror reflecting my true self.  And I am reminded once again.

Black Friday: The yearly reminder of how far I must go to overcome grasping.  


  1. Thank you for honestly sharing your experience! (Like I said elsewhere...) I think it can be a hard transition to make, but I am certain the rewards are abundant. It must be really hard when you have friends and family right around you that are feeding that urge to shop, shop, and shop!

    I also think that if we have fears about running out of something (money, luxuries we love, distractions, etc.), big sales give us conflicted feelings. Maybe you don't want to buy, but maybe there's also a feeling that you're wasting money or missing out on important opportunities by not buying while things are on sale! So, it almost feels *risky* NOT to shop.

    Well, that's just an idea I have. I don't know if it applies to you. (But I do think that's a fear that advertisers purposely feed.)

    Whatever the case, I am your cheerleader waving pom-poms made out of recycled shredded paper!!

  2. i only really heard of black friday just a few years ago (i think while i was living in BC, so after grad school).
    Canada doesn't have black friday- but. But i hear many canadians are making the trip across the border for the crazy deals. ICK.

    Canada's equivalent is the boxing day sales events- to which ppl grasp a lot.

    i'm like you- i avoid all that stuff... :S

  3. Yes, yes YES!! I despise this day. I feel like I am being told I MUST go spend today, I MUST purchase or I will regret it. I hate this day.

    What I'm noticing is that al of my friends who are going nuts on this day don't really *need* (or truly WANT) any of the things they are buying, they are just indulging because it's all inexpensive. One of my friends never even considered a leather jacket or really wanted one but because it's so cheap, she decided she had to have it. And her husband had to have one, too. And I don't think either of them wanted one before this day.

    I think if something on my wish list or my family/friends wish lists were on sale, I might jump, but otherwise, it's an exercise in THOUGHTLESS spending and gift giving. I don't want prices to decide what I give people for the holidays. I like to take the time to browse around and see what speaks to me. I love finding deals, but they have to be deals on what I truly WANT or WANT to give, not what's the cheapest.

  4. Hi Lisa! Black Friday has become a wee ridiculous. I don't think it necessary to risk life and limb to break down the doors of a store where scared and very tired and slightly apprehensive employees are there to cater to the wild whims of shoppers. LOL I like my sleep!!!! Trying to lead my life as an independent crafter/artisan (instead of retail slave) has afforded me the luxury of offering my goods online - and I can sit at home and not deal with crowds. I felt really bad when I learned that shops were actually open on Thanksgiving Day! :( To me, it's a day for family and friends - not shopping. I was happy this year to wake up late, enjoy my coffee, promote my shop with some tweets and FB, go out with my hubby to an artisan craft show and then come home - without facing any crowds. :) Theresa
    PS I am sure your book will still be available - with or without the coupon. :)