I know a lot of my friends really, really dislike
going the grocery store.
I can empathize with why.
We all have busy lives.
Lives packed with too much to get done
in our limited waking hours.
And the hassle of going to the supermarket,
often with kids in tow,
can just be overwhelming.
Plus, there’s the battle for a parking space.
Rising food prices, limited resources,
will there be enough money to get everything on the list this time?
And then, there’s the long checkout lines.
But the truth is
I really love going to the grocery store.
Maybe that’s why grocery stores feature heavily in my novel?
I’m very far from anyone’s idea
of Suzie Homemaker, though.
I really dislike most household chores.
Can’t stand cleaning in any shape or form.
I usually end up breaking stuff whenever I do clean.
And I am not a good cook. I burn everything.
But oddly, I love doing laundry. (That’s a story for another day.)
I work from home.
And the mess from my desk tends to overwhelm the rest of my house.
Grocery shopping is a good excuse to get away from my own mess.
Get out into the world.
Plus, my repeated circumnavigating the store maze looking for where they moved the sunflower seeds counts as exercise.
But there are a couple more reasons I love going to the grocery store.
One of those is how much I love buying nourishing foods–
okay, maybe I love buying a comfort food or two, once in a while.
When it’s on sale.
Or every week.
But the biggest reason I love to go grocery shopping is…
that the store is a wonderful place
to practice kindness.
I know that sounds odd.
But the grocery store–even in my small town–
is filled with people I don’t know,
probably doing a chore they hate.
So while I’m wondering the aisles wondering where the devil
they moved the sunflower seeds to this time…
I look for someone who seems to need a little cheer.
Finding something kind to say is the easy part.
People have great haircuts,
interesting t shirts,
(yes, the employees deserve some kindness too)
wear colors that complement their skin.
Or maybe the person reminds me how at ease with myself I want to be when I grow even older.
There’s always something to say that brings a little light into a person’s day.
I love doing that.
It makes me feel a bit better too.
After bringing someone some cheer, I can face the rest of my work day with more energy.
Kindness is good exercise for the soul.
Do I worry that sometimes my good intentions will go awry?
Have they gone awry?
A nice old man thought I was hitting on him.
Well, that made his day, too.
So all in all,
kindness is worth the risk.