Tag Archives: on my mind

Extreme Couponing Did Not Work For Me!

Extreme couponing did not work for me. I put in a lot of effort. I cut out coupons until my fingers grew calloused. I tried (and failed) keeping the coupons in binders. I joined coupon groups and obsessed over sales ads…for hours. HOURS! I went shopping almost everyday.

Extreme Couponing Did Not Work For Me
Extreme Couponing needs the kind of love and devotion I don’t care to give.

The truth is, I spent more money than I ever saved. I bought more food and deodorant and shampoo than I could possibly consume before the expiration date. I’ve recently started cleaning out my pantry and the cabinets under my sink. I have really become aware and shocked about how much “stuff” I have wasted due to my adventures in extreme couponing.  I have several brands of deodorant and toothpaste stockpiled that nobody even likes. It is expired. All of it!  When stores have big sales it’s probably because they need to get rid of the excess merchandise, which means it’s likely close to expiring, at least closer than some other products are. At least that is my theory. I mean, toothpaste is usually good for more than a year or so, isn’t it? Mine wasn’t it. After closer inspection, some of it expired only a few months after I purchased it. I never should have even put it in my stockpile, or bought it to begin with.

I’m feeding expired cereal to my chickens. They love it. I have box upon box upon box of expired cereal. I wish I had just donated it before it expired. I think to be good at extreme couponing you really need to be highly organized. I mean, TYPE A to the max. You need an inventory list just to keep track of the food. You need a coupon system that helps you keep everything in place too. You have a lot of coupons to keep track of and to organize every week. You also need self-control. Just because it’s a good deal doesn’t mean you need it or even want it. Buying stuff just because it’s cheap is still a waste of money.

I never got anything for free. I never walked out of a store with a cart filled with things I didn’t have to pay for. I was never handed money back without paying a dime first. I think these coupon deals are the stuff of TV legends. Most stores have a lot of rules regarding coupons. They have limits and policies that vary from cashier to cashier and store to store. Not to mention,  there were times I was treated badly for using a handful of coupons in one transaction. I was often asked, “How much cereal can you really eat?” I think they just stamped my forehead with the word “gluttony” as they moved my excessive shopping haul across the conveyor belt. It was sometimes pretty uncomfortable. They also questioned my coupons a lot. They assumed they were fraudulent. I don’t think I ever used more than 14 coupons at a time, so I can imagine people who use even more get the stink-eye pretty often. I actually wrote a letter to the CEO of one of our super market chains because the cashier was so rude to me. Which leads me to how much time is spent on extreme couponing.

Time is the biggest expenditure. You spend time collecting coupons, cutting them out, organizing them, and organizing each shopping excursion with a flyer, a calculator, and a list. You spend a ridiculous amount of time going from one store to another. You spend time arguing with cashiers and looking up store policies, writing letters, searching for online deals, making a stockpile, arranging your mountain of merchandise…keeping track of when it expires. It’s like a full-time job. Except, a full-time job probably pays better.

I still use coupons. I look through flyers. I spend a little time each week organizing what I need to buy and buying it, but I no longer do extreme couponing. It’s just a waste of time and expensive for me. I don’t have the ability or the patience to keep my shopping missions that organized. Plus, I really don’t like shopping that much.

Over the holidays I will put a little more effort into getting a good deal. The thing is, if the effort out ways the joy, use, or value of an item, I’d rather just go without it. There are other things I’d rather put my time into. Plus, to be a good extreme couponer you have to truly love shopping because you are doing it all the time. It’s a lifestyle.

I’d rather be blogging.

I guess that’s why extreme couponing did not work out for me.

 

Have you ever tried extreme couponing? How did it work out for you?

 

 

Impostor Syndrome (Share The Love Sunday)

Do you suffer from Impostor Syndrome?

I think I do. I recently bought a ticket to attend Blogher 2014. Right after I purchased the ticket I was super excited, but within a few minutes I started questioning whether or not I truly belonged at a conference like that. Was I a good enough blogger? Did I have enough experience? Would people look at my blog and realize I wasn’t a very good writer, a very good parent, a mediocre blog designer? Would they think, “Who does she think she is?” Never mind that the conference is designed for beginners and experts alike. I still worry that I don’t belong. Looking back on my life I can see how these questions come into mind for almost every project I take on. In college I had to study longer and harder than anyone else did. I had to get the A. I would feel terrible if I got an A-. I was afraid people would discover I wasn’t perfect, or smart, or talented enough to be there. I felt a constant need to prove myself. I did the same thing when I got my first job out of college. I worked lo

nger hours than my coworkers and went above the call of duty every chance I got. To prove something, probably that I belonged there at all.  It was exhausting. I also discovered that no matter how hard I worked I never really felt competent. I always could have done better.

I hear that voice in my head questioning my ability when it comes to my art too. I worry that people will discover I am not a “real” artist. I wonder when people will finally realize I am a fraud. I think this keeps me from getting too close to people and it keeps me

from being truly successful. While I fear failure, I fear success even more. I am afraid success will expose all of my faults and limitations. People expect more out of successful people and I fear that I will not live up to those expectations. I worry I won’t be prepared enough even though I spend hours and hours preparing.

Overcome Impostor Syndrome

It’s like I am walking around trying to keep a secret. A secret that only exists in my own mind. I’ve thought a lot about how this Imposter Syndrome developed for me. It’s easy to blame my childhood. I could say it’s because I grew up in the shadow of alcoholism where keeping secrets was a way of life. I could point to the times people felt the need to explain that I was “lucky” to be a part of some group because I wasn’t really talented enough to be there. I could point to the times people asked me, “Who do you think you are?” That happened more than once when I got a little too confident about something. I certainly got the message that it wasn’t polite or appropriate to be too proud of my accomplishments. I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to downplay my achievements and I also don’t accept compliments very graciously. I sometimes wonder if I get this from my mom. My mom is a wonderful cook, but every time someone tells her a dish is delicious she is quick to point out everything that is wrong with it. As if to remind people and herself that she isn’t THAT good at preparing delicious meals.

In my family I was the overly sensitive one and my sister was the intelligent one. I think these family labels still cling to us today. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to prove to family members that I am smart too. As I’ve gotten older I’ve stopped caring about what other people think so much, but sometimes it is a real challenge to break out of those family dynamics. Those roles become so ingrained in us that even when we are aware and intellectually able to separate our self-concept from the role we had as a child, we occasionally find ourselves stumbling back into them again. I find myself repeating the phrase “You have no power here!” when those old patterns and ghosts from my childhood rear their ugly heads. It’s what I tell my inner critic. For some reason that helps.

The thing is, as a child, I was also told I was smart and talented and a good person by lots of people. As a child I received compliments on my good behavior, my artwork, my ability to get along well with children younger than I was, but for some reason I was more quick to internalize the negative messages I received than the positive ones. I have no idea why that it is, but I still do that to some extent as an adult. For instance, 20 people can compliment me on a painting, but it only takes one person to say, “Oh isn’t that cute,” in a condescending tone to make me doubt my abilities, knowledge, and talent. That one comment will get the most of my attention. That one comment will make me feel like I need to work harder and harder until I please that person. Unfortunately, some people are never pleased, which I am learning to recognize and not beat myself up over…or not really care about. Some people are just saying those things because they feel insecure or because they want to make sure other people feel as miserable as they do. They might be suffering from Impostor Syndrome as well. It doesn’t mean what they say is true anymore than what I think is true. Twenty people liked my painting. Those are the opinions that should matter most. Those people have taste, right? Internalizing that praise makes more sense because the majority of people had something positive to say so in reality most people think my painting is pretty good. That’s a more rational approach than clinging to one negative reaction. If twenty people thought it was poorly done and only one loved it, well, that might be a signal that you need to take another look at your workmanship. I mean, there is value in recognizing when improvements can be made and when working harder is a more “accurate” response to criticism.

Anyway, now that I have told you a little about how Impostor Syndrome affects me I want to share some insightful ways on how to deal with it if you recognize some of these thought patterns and traits in yourself. We don’t have to live like this. There is hope. We can change the way we see ourselves. I know it’s possible because I am much more confident than I was 10 years ago and while I still struggle with these thoughts I can at least recognize them for what they are now: Hogwash.

 

Do you want to know more about what Impostor Syndrome is? Check out this resource page from the Caltech counseling center: The Impostor Syndrome.

Want to read about how Impostor Syndrome affects gifted students and high achievers? Read The Curious Case Of Impostor Syndrome published on Byrdseed.

Want tips on how to overcome Impostor Syndrome? Read 10 Ways To Overcome Imposter Syndrome by Joyce Roche or read Overcome ‘Impostor Syndrome’ And Believe In Yourself by Erin Cox.

 

At some point we have to acknowledge that the thoughts we have about our abilities and talents aren’t exactly accurate. We have to admit that we are pretty awesome just the way we are. So, I am going to go ahead and say it to myself right now:

You are good enough at blogging to go to Blogher. You work hard and have earned the success you have. You deserve to accept the opportunities that knock at your door. You are an artist. You are a good wife, mom, and human being. You are imperfect, but you have worth. Being sensitive is not something to be ashamed of. It is a gift. Being sensitive allows you to feel empathy for your fellow human beings. It allows you to see nuances and to feel things. Embrace it!

What would you say to your inner critic right now? What is the truth about you?

 

Need more information? These books might be helpful (affiliate link):

 

Best of It’s A Dome Life

Best of It's A Dome LifeThis is the Best Of It’s A Dome Life: Posts that are popular with readers plus a few of my personal favorites. I hope you enjoy them!

Family and Parenting

I peeled An Orange In The Shower

Practicing Her Executive Leadership Skills

If You Give A Toddler A Cookie She’ll Throw It In The Bathtub With You

Do You Need A Fairy Godmother?

10 Things I Don’t Like About Being A Stay At Home Mom

Someone Wants To Call The Pacifier Police On Me

I Want To Win A Gold Medal In Bed Making

1 Out Of  1 Fathers Prefers Changing Diapers to Jillian Michaels

 

Best of It's A Dome Life: Tiny-Small Painting
Best Of It’s A Dome Life: Art & Painting

 

Art

I Make Silly Things Like Caticorns and Unidogs

Painting With Toddlers (For Reals)

She’s A Brick House and I Painted Her

When Songs Make You Blue

10 Things Painting Has Taught Me About Relationships

 

Best of It's A Dome Life Living
Best of It’s A Dome Life Living

Life

I Choked On My own Saliva

Not Taking Care Of Yourself Is Like Saying Nothing Really Matters

We Attend The “Toxic People” Seminar Sponsored By The Institute For Brain Potential (Review)

When Ex Co-Workers Pretend You Don’t Exist

I Accidentally Say “Pocket Rocket”

A Few Embarrassing Moments

Jim Turns Cookie Monster Into A Serial Killer

 

Best of It's A Dome Life catting-around
Best of It’s A Dome Life catting-around

On My Mind

High Heels Are Bad For Your Feet So Why Do You Keep Wearing Them?

Do You Feel Pretty?

I’m Prejudice Against Beautiful Women

Why I Will Always Support The LGBT Community

 

Best of It's A Dome Life Blogging
Best of It’s A Dome Life Blogging

 

Writing and Blogging

Wait, How Much Longer Do I Have To Be Fabulous?

It’s A “Do-Me” Life: When Blog Names Go Horribly Wrong