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.