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When You're Forced to Think Outside the Box, It Hurts - At First

Updated: Feb 20, 2018

Christmas shopping can be challenging. What's more challenging is shopping for my wife - at the last minute. Yikes.



If you wanted to see a man struggle just a few days before Christmas, you should've been privy to my Snapchat on Saturday, December 23, 2017. I was literally calling out for help on what to get my wife.


I repeat, I was calling out for help on what to get my wife for Christmas.

The Change - My Reaction

It was desperation mode and I was scrambling at the last minute. First let me tell you how I got to this point. This shit wasn't accidental. I'm not one of those guys that's going to wait until the last moment. Not to mention, I have Amazon Prime so I'll order anything from Amazon and it'll be here in a few days.


No no this was sprung on me at the last minute. Michelle and I have four kids. Trey being our oldest was born in 2008. We used to buy each other Christmas gifts but then we had Ellie and then Skylar and it became too much to buy each other anything. So we decided to come up with a rule: One gift under $50. Bet. I can do that. Those days were simple.


But the past few years, we've decided to forgo gifts. I mean, we still got each other something but it was more like she'd ask me what do I want and I'd tell her and vise versa. No thinking, just get me what I want and that's it.


Well this year, Michelle decided to put a monkey wrench in all of that. She wanted me to get her a Christmas gift but this time she wasn't going to tell me what she wanted, I had to give her something from my heart.


Oh shit! This is definitely NOT what I expected. I expected her to tell me what she wanted.

That at least took out the groundwork for me and I could do the simple stuff like look up the gift online and purchase it. Hell, that’s what I got Amazon Prime for. So that shit could be delivered in two days. But now that we moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, it’s a rarity that packages get delivered in two days, they usually show up in three days and I didn’t have that kind of time. It’s December 23rd for crying out loud.


Ahh… what the hell am I going to do.


Coming to Grips with the Decision

The narrative in my mind kept saying the following:

  • Where the hell am I going to find her a gift in this small ass town?

  • I can’t find her what she wants. I don’t want to mess up!!

  • This is fucked up man, I can’t do this.

  • I don’t have time for this, why won’t she just tell me what she wants so we can make this easier. Seriously.

Sound familiar? We all say these same things to ourselves at some point in our day. The funny thing about this is that I’m an Entrepreneurial Mindset Coach. I teach how to entrepreneurs how to get down to business by deflecting these negative thoughts. What I was doing was that grey area bullshit that I preach about.


Yes!! I get caught up in my own grey area bullshit from time to time too!! It doesn’t happen often but when it does, I quickly get to the bottom of it.



And in this case, I did. I had to tell myself on a few occasions to stop bitching and complaining and get on with it. My problem was that I wanted to finish my work and I had to stop working to deal with Christmas shopping and since I didn’t want to stop to shop, I got in my feelings about it. Grey area shit.


The (Apprehensive) Action

I left the house and got in the van as it warmed up on a rare super cold day in Sandpoint. It was about 10. I waited in the car and contemplated where to go and what I should by her. I was looking for suggestions from anywhere. I got on my phone and posted to Snapchat as a SOS for help in hopes that someone could offer me some sort of idea.


Nada. Nothing.


So I drove. Headed to Walmart first because I needed a few things but then I remembered that Michelle had talked about getting leggings from Walmart and wishing she had time to get more.


BAM!! An idea popped into my head to look at the leggings section. Only to find 50 different pairs of leggings. Yikes!! Which one to get!? As I pondered certain colors and patterns, i picked two and then had to ponder what size to get her. If you ever want to see a guy sweat, make him choose the clothing size of what he thinks his girlfriend wears. It was torture.


I don’t want to disrespect her and pick a size too big but I also don’t want to pick something to small because she may not fit into it.

I went to the checkout line with my two pairs of leggings and feeling good about my purchase. But that wasn’t enough. I needed to beef this up. The limit was $50 and I had about $10 worth of stuff. I needed to do better than that. I was not going to take the easy way out.


On my way to the Bonner County Mall, I stopped at McDonald’s to fuel up. Shit, … I need an idea from somewhere. Think. Think. Paid for my meal and then paid it forward to the gentleman behind me. Got to the Bonner County Mall parking lot to eat and then sat to think for another 20 minutes before finally entering JCPenney. As I walked into the store without a plan, I came across a nice pair of house slippers and socks in the women's clothing section. It was a great idea. She loves comfy's around the house and this was it!! I combed over a few choices of shirts, socks, slippers, then figuring out what sizes and colors that she might like and finally made my choices.


I felt pretty damn good about my decision making. I also ran into another guy who was on the same mission as I was and was also looking for last minute gifts for his wife. Both him and I struck up a good conversation as we helped each other get to the bottom of our decision making in what we thought would be good for our wives.

Once Christmas Day came, she got a chance to open her gifts and she absolutely loved them. They all fit and there were no complaints and no returns.


YES!! WIN-WIN BABY!!


The Power of Winning

This one day journey is a microcosm of life. Many people have big time fears towards what they’re asked to do.


My Christmas shopping was like torture because it required me to have to use brain power to figure out what Michelle liked and furthermore I found out that I wasn’t the only one that was put in that spot (by meeting the guy in JC Penney).


There was a lot of bitching and complaining before I finally decided to stop wallowing in the grey area (my feelings towards what I was supposed to be doing) and finally got down to business. I didn’t know what I wanted until I began the journey. All of the contemplation and asking others and needing the help was good and all but ultimately I had to get my ass out there and start shopping around.


Once I started to get in the game, I began to figure out what she might like by trial and error. I started to see more clearly and think with an open mind.


In life, you’re going to have these things happen to you. You will have moments where you will question why the fuck the process has all of a sudden changed.


Why you need to do this one thing that (at the time) seems so damn difficult. You’ll look to others for help to only get rejected and/or find out that no one can help you.


It’s up to you. What do you want? Are you going to give up and say that it wasn’t worth it or are you going to keep going until you reach the end?


Only you can answer that question.


Is there something that you need to be going after that you’ve put off for too long?



Be awesome, all day everyday.


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