We humans are an interesting breed.

We could give or take something, until it’s gone or the threat of it being gone is present. When someone passes, all the things people “should’ve said” come out. All the people who didn’t make an effort while the person was alive, now pay their last respects. It’s sad, really, but it’s often what we do.

This week I experienced this condition on a much smaller scale than death, but it was impactful nonetheless. Within walking distance from our house, there is a large, fabulous gourmet grocery store. This store opened three years ago to everyone’s delight. We absolutely loved this store and would walk to it “just because”. Every time we went it was an experience. It carried specialty items you couldn’t find elsewhere, offered delicious samples of foods and cheeses, held cooking classes, and had a restaurant attached with a $5 pancake breakfast on the weekends and a killer happy hour every day.  

This week, they announced they were closing their doors – on everything – within 2 weeks.

They were offering everything in their store at 40% off immediately. We figured we go up and check it out because we loved this place so much. What we found was, honestly, a bit shocking. Scores of people filling every aisle, throwing things into their carts like there was an impending hurricane. We just kept asking, “Where were all these people before? If they valued what they had before it promised to leave, we’d still have the store.” But the 40% off carrot that dangled in front of them seemed a little too tasty to resist. As we walked the aisles, we heard at least eight people say, “I’m impulse shopping right now. I don’t even need this stuff. I just can’t resist.”

It’s amazing how the scarcity mentality really does work. The checkout line was at least 50 people deep, with carts full of, well, stuff. If there is a FOMO (fear of missing out) or a threat that someone else will get it before I do, people come out in droves. Stuff people don’t even want or need gets thrown into their baskets, just for the thrill of the savings and “catch”.

I (re)learned one extremely significant lesson that day:

Value things (and more importantly, people) while you have them. Nothing is a guarantee. Our health, our finances, our loved ones, nothing.

Have you ever found yourself in this situation? Or found yourself appreciating something more after it’s gone?  

Today, let’s stop. And value what’s in front of us, if even just for an extra minute.

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