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Have you ever received something delivered to you and questioned how it ended on your doorstep? In your heart, you know you did not place an order, but now you are thinking, “Maybe I did.” The brown or white truck (UPS or FedEx) rings your doorbell on a sunny Monday afternoon, and now you are trying to recall what you ordered for the fifth time last week. A few months ago, the previous owner of our home had something delivered to our address. I know it was intentional because we have been getting all his mail to the point; I had to reach out to the post office because your girl was over it. I heard the doorbell ring while upstairs, but as fast as I could get to “What Can Brown Do for You,” he was gone. The driver must have been running late to his next stop because all I could see was him turning the corner on two wheels like he was in the Indy 500. I looked around the box and started inspecting it to see if there was identifying information. I discovered who it belonged to based on the label and the picture on the side. The photo showed a hoverboard, and let us be real, having boys, the spirit of not returning was heavy. I know the spirit of jail and karma is more prosperous, so I decided to do the right thing. I instantly tried to find a way to get the package to its owner because I knew he would be looking for it. I did what I did best; I started researching by utilizing my secret weapons to contact him. I did not have much luck with my regular outlets, so I went to LinkedIn and, long behold, found him. I sent a message but no response. I eventually figured he would trace the package to where it was, so I left a note on my door letting him know his package was inside and how to retrieve it. He finally came to get what belonged to him, but it took some time. It made me think of how often we do not return packages that belong to us or accept those we do not need.

Return to Sender

Many of us keep letting the wrong packages get delivered to our doorstep because we do not see it coming; or are accepting it and waiting for it to be sought after. We need to treat those that get delivered in our lives with care. Some packages are fragile; by the time they are delivered, they are broken, not what you expected, or just not a fit for you. The decision to accept or reject (return) is up to you at the point. The other thing you must be worried about is if you take on a damage item, is the damage minor enough to keep it, and the cost to resolve it. I have been the person that gets those packages more often that what I like. Some were exactly what I expected, and some I was not ready for the damage I found when I opened the box. The packages were not items but the “Stuff” that people hand delivered, and they all were wrapped differently. I had moments where I had too much empathy and allowed their packages to be my package. I was so consumed by what was being dropped at my doorstep, and now I was faced with the decision that I had too much stuff already. I did not need anything extra. I have learned that once that box is opened, I must be prepared for what is inside, or I can choose to reject and return it to the sender.

Intercepted Packages

Growing up, my mom would always go to the Post Office to put her mail on hold until she returned from trips. This is because she did not want a mailbox overflowing with mail drawing attention that they were not at home. The times she had forgotten, she would have someone she trusted to gather her mail and keep it until she returned home to pick it up. I always thought this was wise because she was proactive and protecting her space which was their home. I have implemented this behavior into my life because this is valuable and who wants to draw the wrong attention to their safe space. A lot of times, we do not think about being proactive with the packages we have. We know our friend “Can’t Get Right” is getting ready to drop some mail on your doorstep, but you allow them to drag their stuff right in the house. You just signed off on something you could have rejected, but now it is 2 in the morning, and you have to be up in the next 3 hours for work. Did you forget that this just happened six months ago and they have learned their lesson so it's gone happen again. Sis, why are you missing sleep for someone who caused their sleep to be disturbed based on their actions? If the UPS Store, FedEx, therapist, and other businesses have store hours, you need to. When those packages show up, they need to be treated as if you are on vacation and put on hold. If you choose not to pick them up, that is fine because it is junk mail anyway.

The next time you get a package that shows up on your doorstep unwarranted, evaluate how you are going to handle it. Make sure that you have the capacity to accept it, and if you do not, reject it and return it to the sender. It will save you the headache, the disagreements, energy, and time. Treat it like the hoverboard that showed up at my doorstep; although you want to keep it, remember it was not intended for you in the first place. Please do whatever you have to ensure it gets to who it belongs to so that you do not end up with junk not needed.

Ask yourself these questions?

  1. What packages are you accepting?

  2. Do you know what you are signing up for?

  3. What can you do to make sure when they show up intentionally or unintentional you handle them with care?

  4. How will you get rid of the packages you did not sign for?

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