Clean Up In Aisle Two 

I recently went to the grocery store alone. A mini vacation when you have young children. Despite being glad I was alone, I was feeling rather sorry for myself. I was annoyed with the day, annoyed with errands, just annoyed in general. I was going through the motions of adding things to the cart and checking them off my shopping list. My mind was wondering all over the place as I reached up to grab a box of pasta. I managed to push the cart into the shelf and knock down boxes and bags of pasta, splitting them open, and scattering carbohydrates all over the floor. My first thoughts were along the lines of, “how perfect that this is just a continuation of my crappy day.” Throw in a few “you’ve got to be kidding me universe” and my mind set was deep in the pits of ‘woe is me.’ Plus, I needed to find someone to tell I made a mess.

 I didn’t even have the kids along to blame!

I walked a few aisles over, assuring myself everyone thought I was just walking away and pretending I didn’t do it, until I found a store manager. I told him I was really sorry, but I knocked some pasta all over the floor in aisle two and made a mess. He told me it happened all the time and not to worry. I internally rolled my eyes and wondered if that was what he was supposed to say to clearly frazzled customers that make messes. I apologized again to him as he was walking away. I hate rocking the boat anyway, so I hated being the person that caused the mess in the grocery store. I didn’t expect him to say anything more at that point but he did. He paused, turned around, smiled and said, “Hey, at least it wasn’t the sauce, right?”

At least it wasn’t the sauce.

Such a simple statement. Yet, it changed my perspective on the entire situation. Sure, I knocked over the pasta and made a mess. Messes happen. But this mess was fixable and certainly not worse case scenario when I sought out someone to help clean up the mess. The thought resonated with me and I thought about it in regards to all of the other “messes” in my mind happening that day. They really weren’t worth the attitude I was giving them. 

We so often get so caught up in all of the negatives we can find in our situations that we forget to take a step back and think about what is really happening. I hope to remember this statement the next time I find myself grumbling over a less than ideal situation and stop to realize that sometimes we just need to be thankful it wasn’t the sauce.  

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