Our dog Dutch has my husband wrapped around his little paw. And he knows it too. When Bill returns home from his weekly Walmart run, Dutch knows there’s something in one of the bags for him. He does his little dance and sniffs all the bags until he finds the right one, and licks Bill’s face in gratitude.
On the other hand, Dutch and I have a completely different relationship. For some mysterious reason, he listens to me like no other animal- or kid for that matter- ever has. I can get him to stop “talking back” with a look; to instantly stop chasing a deer with a shout. It’s not because I’m some dog whisperer- trust me I’m not. But for whatever reason he decided I’m the alpha dog and he does what I say (I’m not gonna lie, I love it).
So when we sit down for dinner each night, Dutch, like any dog worth his salt, puts on his saddest, most deprived face and whines at Bill. The other night we had BLT’s, and he squeezed his way up in the chair opposite Bill, and gave him his best sad puppy dog face. He really wanted a piece of that bacon. I was sitting next to Dutch, eating the same thing, but he never took his eyes off of Bill to look at me. He’s smart enough to know that his powers of persuasion are lost on me- after all, I have a tough guy reputation to keep- so he focuses only on the one he has a chance with.
His persistence, while annoying, is admirable, and he usually succeeds in conniving a bite or two out of Bill (although that night he only got a bit of toast. It was bacon after all). I thought as I watched him stare so intently during our BLT dinner that he had the right idea- focus on the things that have the greatest chance of success and tune out the rest.
I am terrible with grocery store coupons. I am in awe of people that have organized coupon boxes and save a bundle at the checkout. But I have never been able to really get my coupon act together that way. At one time I had a coupon box and tried to keep it organized, but I would forget it at home, or go to use a coupon and see it was expired, or end up buying a generic brand for less anyway. On the other hand, I love finding coupon codes and deals for shopping for other things. I just stretched a $100 Kohl’s gift card so far that it reminded me of the loaves and fishes. Coupon upon coupon, free shipping, Kohl’s cash, and then finally $1.98 in cash back last night when I eked out the last bit of it. Staples rewards and cash back on ink recycling- I’m all over it. But I just can’t get into grocery store couponing. I know it can be done, and if I really put my mind to it I’m sure I could save money, but it’s one of those things I’ve decided to let myself off the hook about. So I focus on saving money where I know I can be successful, and after a quick perusal of the coupon inserts for something I know I’ll use that week, I put away the guilt and let it go. I stock up on what I can at ALDI‘s (the go-to place for dairy for sure), shop the sale items for the rest, and save my couponing energy for my non-food shopping.
What do you let go of to focus on something with a greater chance of success?