My phone beeps, so I check the message. Package delivered! I hurry to the mailbox and scoop it up. I know what’s inside. After all, I did place the order. Still a rush of Christmas-morning-like anticipation flows through me. (It can’t just be me. You get that too, right?)
I tear open the mailing envelope and dump out the contents. New socks. Yea!
But wait, on closer inspection the label reveals that these are MEN’S socks. I wanted WOMEN’S socks. I check the invoice and re-check my order. Sure enough, I made the error. I ordered the wrong socks.
What’s the big deal, you say? Return them, you say?
That may be the logical thing to do. But I refuse to repackage these socks, trek to the post office, and wait for an exchange.
Then give them to the hubby, (or the homeless, or leave them on a neighbor’s doorstep) you say?
More reasonable solutions, but I’m not feeling reasonable or logical. I’m feeling annoyed, irritated, and disappointed. Besides I do NOT want to pay shipping charges. Why? These socks were an ADD-ON to my original purchase. They replaced the shipping charge with an actual needed, useful, and practical product. SOCKS.
Calm down, you say?
Okay, so maybe the socks aren’t the issue. The socks, the WRONG socks, are a sign. They flash like a lighthouse beacon warning me that I’ve wandered into dangerous waters. Ordering the wrong item is not a mistake I typically make. Don’t get me wrong. I make many, many, MANY mistakes. It’s just that I HATE to return merchandise. I consider it a waste of time, and I don’t have a lot of extra hours or even minutes to spare.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I tend to be overly optimistic about how much I can accomplish in a day. However, extra projects also fall into my lap. They might be a well-intentioned (or returned) favor, a gesture of concern or support for someone in need, or simply a payment toward my debt of adding three life forms to the earth’s population. Often the task doesn’t appear difficult, and I like to be a helpful wife, mother, friend, and citizen. The trouble is each additional project strains my already packed schedule.
The time to complete an additional task must be stolen from something else. Guess what? That something else either doesn’t get done, or as in the case of my recent order, done poorly. Scheduling complications in my life at this moment mean my blog posts are rushed, my work-in-progress is stalled, my vacation photos are unlabeled, (Which ones were from Skagway?) and I put the wrong socks into my digital shopping cart.
I’ve heard it said (pardon my language) SH*T happens. When holidays, appointments, and deadlines fill in those empty squares on my calendar, my daily routine must be altered. I can’t plan for illnesses, leaky water heaters, or power outages. Yet, the days still whiz by, unfinished projects linger, laundry and dust bunnies pile up in the corner. I end up feeling rushed, scattered, frustrated, and guilty about what I’m not getting done.
These socks remind me that no matter how tempting the project, how noble the activity, or how much I want to help, I need to respect my limits. I need to remember to schedule some quiet time for thinking, planning, and looking over my order before I hit BUY NOW. So, I will NOT return these socks. In fact, I’m wearing a pair right now.
What keys you in that you’ve taken on too much? Share your comments. I’d love to commiserate!