Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Observing a Chipmunk: Why Do We Feel Compelled to Hoard?

256pxtamiasrufus001_2 A very cute chipmunk has taken up residence in my flower garden. I thought this was OK but friends have told me he will damage my plants so I will be on the lookout for that. As I write this, though, I'm enjoying watching the little guy scurry around the yard. He's everywhere! He darts under the large bird feeder to fill his cheeks with sunflower seeds and then he runs off either to eat them or store them for the winter he knows will be here all too soon. Then he scampers under the thistle seed feeder to feast on those fine tiny morsels. Again, he'll eat a few and then store the rest. This goes on and on...under the porch, through the day lillies, among the daisies...gathering and storing all day long. Except for time out to hide under a flower pot from our cat, Cookie, this is how he spends his time. He doesn't even seem to rest! Where is he putting it all and, more important, how on earth will he find it when the snow flies?

"My goodness," I think. "That chipmunk reminds me of myself when there's a sale on canned goods at the grocery store or when I make a trip to Sam's Club. Perhaps I have the same instinct to hoard for the future as that little chipmunk!"

Preparing is a good thing. Saving money is a good thing. Buying so much we'll never use it before it goes bad is NOT good. Buying things and forgetting we have them is NOT good.

Header_products2 Think about your own shopping habits. Do you really need to buy so much...will you really use a dozen cans of artichokes? Do you have enough space to store what you are buying...or will you be sleeping with cans of chicken noodle soup under your bed?

Chipmunks can't stop hoarding. It is an instinct. We humans walk a fine line here. We also have the instinct to hoard. However, we can control that instinct and make wise choices.

I'd love to hear from my readers. How do you control the impulse to hoard?

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