Let’s Be Productive!
Monday started out great. I woke up feeling refreshed and energized, I had a delicious blueberry bagel for breakfast, and I remembered to bring my shopping list with me to the grocery store.
Produce was first on the list. Check. Then the meat aisle. Che…what? Where’d my list go? I looked inside my purse: not there. I looked around Addie and all around her shopping cart cover: not there. Panic started welling up inside me; it was a longer shopping list than usual that matched sales and coupons with our food storage supply needs. It had taken a while to create and I needed to find it. I tried to discreetly look up and down the meat aisle. Then I lost all inhibition and started going through the piles of beef, pork, and chicken that I’d shopped at. I texted Adam. He suggested it might have fallen onto the floor and maybe got kicked under a shelf or something. Leaving dignity 10 minutes ago, I crouched down and looked under the center aisle bunkers, searching for my list. Not there.
The list had just vanished.
A Bummer Deal
Like a toddler who got a red sippy cup when she wanted a blue one, I felt like melting into a tantrum of tears. “I spent so much time on that list!” I thought over and over. I’ve had such a hard time lately getting a complete list together on time for my weekly grocery shopping trip that I was really proud of myself for this one. And, somehow, I’d lost it not even 15 minutes into my shopping trip. I felt dejected, deflated, and done.
But my family was counting on me to get those groceries and, by golly, I was going to get the groceries. I pulled out my phone and found the online versions of the recipes we were trying. I tried to remember the ingredients we already had in the house. I soldiered along, having to backtrack who knows how many times all the while trying to ignore Addie’s growing fatigue and irritability.
We made it home. I forgot the hot dogs, but we made it home with just about everything else (I think). Groceries put away, Addie down for a nap, I still felt crummy.
Subconsciously, I’d chucked the day up as a loss. It would just continue to go downhill from here.
I left to go pick up Elle from school, dreading the possible arguments when she saw the long list of chores she needed to do after school on the whiteboard.
My Silver Lining
Elle came bounding into my car, as usual – a bundle of loud, exuberant energy. But today was different. Today, her silliness and random storytelling put a smile on my face and blew the gloomy clouds that had been hanging over me all day away. When we got home I told her about my morning. She ran to my purse, betting she could find my shopping list hidden in there. I assured her I’d looked many, many times and it couldn’t be in there. She looked disappointed that she couldn’t prove me wrong, but in the next breath and with a grin on her face she told me a knock, knock joke:
Elle looked at the long list of her to-dos on the whiteboard and told me about her plan to finish them all. No arguments whatsoever.
As she was studying her spelling list she turned to me and said, “Mommy, my friend told me today that Darth Vader has a sister. Ella Vader.” It took me a second, but her huge mischievous grin helped me catch the word play on Ella Vader and elevator.
After the first hour with Elle I had a spring in my step, a renewed sense of energy, and could think with positivity and clarity once more.
Some days, Elle’s rambunctious nature is too much for me. But on Monday, her quirkiness was exactly what I needed. She was my tender mercy in bringing me out of the funk that had rested on me because of an annoying but inconsequential mishap.
On Monday, I was reminded that a list is just a list – but Elle’s good-natured spunk and quirkiness, now that’s something I don’t ever want to lose.