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Some women have a shoe fetish. Me? I have a thing for school supplies.

Every year, around this time, I wander around the bins of empty binders and unsharpened pencils and restrain myself from buying 10-cent folders for which I have absolutely no need. I’m not sure what draws me there. Childhood nostalgia is a part of it, I’m sure. It’s probably a bit of Pavlov-like conditioning, too. (It’s after Labor Day?! Ding, ding! Time to buy Elmer’s glue!)

Mostly, though, I think I just like all the fresh starts and new possibilities those school supplies suggest. Let’s face it, you can’t crack open a blank notebook without thinking about how you’re going to fill it. Whether I’m in school or not, looking at those backpacks and calculators always encourages me to do a little fall goal setting and, okay, fantasizing, too.

I don’t think I’m alone. Well, maybe I’m alone in the school supply freak thing. But I notice more neighbors outside getting serious about yard work — and not grilled hamburgers — this time of year. Amusement park commercials on television have changed to ads for cleaning products and those mini-scanners that organize all your office papers. And my gym’s parking lot has gone from desolate to full. It’s like New Year’s, but we’re dropping leaves instead of a crystal-studded ball.

It’s appropriate then that this month is also Life Insurance Awareness Month. Is there a better time to contact people about an important yet (let’s admit it) chore-y purchase than when they’re dedicating themselves to doing important, chore-y things? Whoever chose September as Life Insurance Awareness Month, in my opinion anyway, was pretty genius. And if you seize this major selling opportunity, chances are you’ll look pretty smart yourself.

Of course, don’t let all those life insurance sales distract you from your own fall goal setting. Is your practice where you’d like it to be right now? Where do you want it to be by (real) New Year’s? Maybe it’s time to go back to school yourself, whether literally, by studying for a professional designation, or just figuratively, by seeking out a knowledgeable mentor. Take some time to think about it.

And if you see someone lurking around the school supply aisle, picking up, putting down, picking up and then putting down bundles of shrink-wrapped loose-leaf paper? Well, say hi. Because that person is probably me.

 

For more from Corey Dahl, see:

Life Agents: This Isn’t 1776

We Can’t All Be Olympians

Equal-nomics