Monday, May 10, 2010

What I Learned From My Pitney Bowes Machine

I recently made the last payment on a 5 year lease on a Pitney Bowes machine. It’s funny how I never sat down and calculated what that machine would cost me when I made the decision to get it. After writing that last check I added it up - $3400 – for a machine I have to send back! That doesn’t count the cost of the ink needed to print the postage.

Why? Why did I think I needed this very expensive piece of machinery? I needed it because don’t you know……………I was too busy to place stamps on postcards. I needed a machine to do this for me.

In my defense, this was during the height of my art festival frenzy and I was mailing out hundreds of postcards for every show…..but really…..was the time I saved worth around $4000? What about the two able bodied teenagers I had living in the house?

I am not bringing this up just because it uncovers some truth about why I am in the debt I am in, but it also sheds some light on how I was living.

That time where I thought I needed a Pitney Bowes machine seems like a lifetime ago and it was – a different life, one I can’t imagine living right now. Do you know that for a few years I spent Thanksgiving setting up for show in another town while my family enjoyed a turkey feast without me? Not something I am very proud of.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that lately I have been devouring books about people who quit or got laid off from their fast paced, important jobs only to discover a life filled with more meaning and in most cases, more fun. There may be some clues too as to why I am considering taking a 15 hour train trip to a destination an hour away by Southwest Airlines. I believe my inner Thoreau is looking for my inner Walden Pond.

I thought that taking a break from shows would automatically lead to a slower lifestyle, but that hasn’t happened yet. It is still a work in progress. I recently found myself drinking two triple lattes a day, eating on the run and staying up late to get work done. Would Thoreau approve?

As I get ready to send back my postage meter, I am again reflecting about how I can work and live differently. Awareness is the first step. That and giving back machines I should have never had in the first place. Another lesson learned………….


  1. Dear Dianne,

    I too have a fair amount of stories I could share with you on the subject of having made a purchase believing this piece of equipment or software would save me time and money, if not also generate income.

    So clearly I can understand your point of view. Just ask yourself, do we really need to send this FedEx over night before 10 am?

    We have been sold a bill of goods that made others rich and now we or most of us have become dependent. However I hope that during this recession we evaluate not only our business practices but also our life style.

    Wishing you a wonderful week,

  2. mama, you know i love thoreau. i say take the train!

  3. Wonderful post Diane! Here's to hoping you can immerse in your inner Walden soon.

  4. Thanks everyone! I too believe that the recent economic difficulties have given many of us time to rethink our priorities. This has been a good exercise for me and for that I am very grateful.