Grocery Store Enlightenment

Grocery shopping never used to feel like such a chore to me.  In my memories, it was a time of getting all of the necessary items and a few non-essential things with no time limits, during the daytime work week when most people were out of the way and it was nestled nicely between breakfast and my son's morning nap.  It helped to only have one child and a husband that was the breadwinner, but my favorite part of shopping was the conversations I'd have with my son strapped nicely in the shopping cart as we strolled from isle to isle.  We'd converse about the items that he saw and we'd take our sweet time.

Those days of easy shopping, stress-free spending and quality time while grocery shopping felt pretty much in the past. Lately, we have been lucky if we get to stroll up and down each isle. Instead it is has been a quick step from isle to isle pulling what is needed and forgetting most of the wanted items. Budgets are tighter and time is shorter.  We are usually in a mad dash after I pick him up from daycare or we are in a crowded standstill if we go on the weekend.  Grocery shopping just hasn't felt fun for a long time.

Recently I was shopping and decided to take the time to watch people around me. I stopped for a good 2-3 minutes and took it all in.  There are still the mothers strolling with their kids slowly up and down each isle.  There are a lot more dads with their kids and no mother and I am finally noticing just how impatient and rushed most people seem to be regardless of their situation.  I even heard someone say, "I'm going to kill someone" at the pause of oncoming carts.  Grocery shopping sure feels different.

What has changed for me? Does the fact that I'm a working single parent change the way I grocery shop? Not completely, although dynamics have evolved into something new.  Is it the time factor? I simply choose to not allow enough time to grocery shop with ease.  Is it the money? Does lack of funds make grocery shopping more of a chore rather than a gift?  I honestly can't dissect these questions enough to give a solid answer yet, but one thing that I do know is that the ability to go into a store and have a plethora of items to choose from, all varying in price and quality should definitely feel like a gift.  The ability to budget what I'm spending and how I'm spending is a great lesson for me to share with my son.  Grocery shopping can still be filled with memories if I choose to slow down and let it.  Where I am in life shouldn't change the ability to make memories.  They are just different and that's okay.  They are still memories.  This can apply to anything in life, really.

Everyone is in his or her own stage of parenting.  We are all experiencing our “now” version of our situation and just because mine looks different and may be cause for me to slow down and re-evaluate, is no reason to dislike something that once held great memories.  The opportunity I have now is to make new memories and that's what I'm setting out to do.  Join me.