Everybody Does It

That’s right: everyone grocery shops.

#Scandalous, I know.  Well maybe not everyone participates, but I would wager that regardless of socioeconomic status at one point or another 99.9% of people have had to purchase a necessity or two of their own accord.

My secret is that I mostly hate the process.  Entertainment or apparel shopping I can abide, but groceries?  Dreadfully boring.
While I acknowledge expressing disdain that I both have the ability & can afford to food- & shelter-gather is a fairly privileged stance to take…that doesn’t honestly make me more excited at the thought.

What I realized, though, is that instead of begrudgingly gritting my teeth as I set off for the store when I see that rations are running low, I can use that time to practice some zen and/or mindfulness.  “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise,” Benjamin Franklin once mused.

Zen, because really all I need to focus on is pushing my cart forward.  I can take deep breaths, and enjoy this time which does not require me to be seated at a desk or behind the wheel or any of the other day-to-day time management that life requires.  It is simply me and the shelves.  Why must everything be a rush?  Patience — the virtue.  In what aisle might I find some Enlightenment, please?

Mindfulness, because every day that goes by my health and diet become more important and deserving of my attention.  I need to be making conscientious choices about what I’m consuming.  We live in a nation in which we (think we?) are free to make whatever choices we wish, and often the easier and softer (like a warm cheese?) of those choices ends up being gratifying in the immediate, but less beneficial in the long-term.  I must proactively choose whole grain over white, organic over processed, so on and so forth (including mindfully giving the ‘alcohol’ section a wide berth where possible).

And gratitude (always gratitude), because by and large at this point in my life, I don’t have to be discerning when it comes to my budget.  This is not to say that I can afford to be frivolous and flippant, but rather that within reason, price doesn’t have to be a consideration.  Also a function of shopping as a bachelor in his mid-20’s — without a family or even spouse to provide for, my personal limits are relatively minimal.

Just goes to show: there is a beautiful, insightful value to even the most mundane of life’s charges.

———

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