Another, and another, and another, creeps in this petty pace from day to day.
– William Shakespeare, The Scottish Play
Another jug of Tide™ laundry soap, that is.
Intent on starting my washing load, I still pause for just a few seconds to consider exactly how I came to have seven (yes, count ’em, seven) jugs of high-efficiency, low-fragrance Tide™ in my laundry cupboard.
But I know exactly how.
Shoppers Drug Mart emails me links to download coupons to my frequent-shopper card. Coupons for bonus points if I spend over a threshold amount. Coupons for bonus points if I buy specific products.
Like say, jugs of high-efficiency, low-fragrance Tide™. Just as, you know, a hypothetical example.
They watch what I buy and send me coupons for those products. And also for bars of 75% dark chocolate from Ecuador, oddly enough. And I buy more than I really need, to earn the bonus points.
They make it so easy to accumulate points that, well, I do. The last time I checked, I had 200,713 points.
This, in a plan where the bonus structure tops out at 95,000 points. Just an over-achiever, I guess.
But as I approach my impending and entirely self-regulated retirement date, I see these seven jugs of high-efficiency, low-fragrance Tide™ and my 200,713 Shoppers Drug Mart points in a new light.
I see that the pattern of saving for a rainy day will no longer serve me well.
I see that getting anxious about a dwindling hoard – whether of cash or drugstore points or jugs of Tide™ – is wrong-headed.
I see that it’s time to stop putting all the effort into earning points in whatever area of my life, and to pay at least a little attention to spending them.
Give and take, earn and spend, yin and yang. You can have one without the other, but it doesn’t make much sense.