Friday, December 18, 2009

The Unexpected

Olivia and I were stranded in Kroger tonight. Their POS system had crashed, and it took them about an hour to get it back online. In other words - no checkout lines were working for an hour. The Friday night before Christmas week. For whatever reason, though, I just didn't feel like getting bent about it. So we played patty cake and sang the Itsy Bitsy Spider and the ABC song. I looked at People magazine and she looked at a book about cookies. Then she ate a cookie. She entertained some of our fellow shoppers, who in turn tried to entertain me. Very sweet of them. They finally managed to get things up and running again, we paid and left, and that was that. Or was it?

You know, as soon as I saw what was going on, my first thought was: alright. Let's hit up the Kroger in the Heights. But I had a basket full of stuff - really, really random stuff - and I honestly would have rather waited in line than walked all over another Kroger looking for all that junk. Lots of people abandoned their shopping carts and left. Those poor clerks are probably still putting Cheerios and green beans and loaves of bread back on the shelves. But I stood and waited. And because I had chosen to wait, I think I unknowingly chose to be happy about it. I say unknowingly because this has been a taxing week, and today especially left my brain in a world of hurt. Under such circumstances, my normal response is crankiness. But you know, that takes a lot of energy. Thank goodness for fatigue and its ability to flip the cranky switch right back off.

As we were leaving the parking lot, I looked at the time on the clock in my truck, and I figured up where I would be in the process if I had gone to the Heights Kroger. I would have just then been checking out probably. With lines that were just as long, even if they were moving, and then I would have had to drive back to Leawood. So I came out on top, in both time and money (they gave everyone who hung in there a discount).

And so I'm thinking about all of that. About waiting, and being patient, and being content in the meantime. And I think part of the challenge of being content in the meantime is not seeing the meantime as, well, the meantime. I was so happy that I had waited, and that's partly because I was happy while I waited. It would have been far more difficult to walk out of there relieved and contented if I had been a stinker about it. Those kinds of negative emotions can just really be hard to shake, you know? What's more, I would have missed out on some very real blessings if I had chosen not to wait, mainly in the form of time with my daughter. Oh, for the courage to apply this principle on a much grander scale...

So I came back to Mom's. I made my new holiday tradition: homemade Irish cream liqueur. Incredibly excited about that. Finished everyone's Christmas presents (the 4th annual Christmas cookie bakeoff starts tomorrow a.m.), helped Mom get the tree done (down with the ting ting...) and just enjoyed being with Mom/Charlie, Rachel/Jeff and my baby girl. What a blessing tonight has been. Now if only I can remember all of my lines and blocking in dress rehearsal tomorrow......

1 comment:

Bierman Adventures said...

Ok, now I'm really wishing I was there to partake of some Irish cream liquer! You may need to share that recipe with me!