Positive Thinking at the Grocery Store

In a hectic week, a family chore turns into an opportunity to leave with not only a full cart but a full heart.

Posted in , Apr 13, 2015

Positive Thinking at the Grocery Store

It’s been one of those minute-to-minute weeks–work and deadlines, the kicking-in of spring sports and activities for the kids (which means fine-tuned scheduling and toing and froing), last-minute inquiries and to-do’s. You know the drill. This week I have struggled to lift my head and look around.

One of my current least-favorite tasks is grocery shopping for our family of five. Maybe it’s the monotony of it, or that it’s yet one more thing on the to-do list.

Two days ago, I had a 45-minute window to tackle the grocery shopping and drive the 15 minutes back to our town to pick up our kids. Before I walked into the store, I chuckled to myself about my recent aversion to grocery shopping. I mean, how painful is it really?

Then in the store, I ran into four women, all of whom were in our lives when our two girls were in nursery and elementary school in our former town.

Each one sweetly inquired about our children and our lives. Each offered kindnesses. One mentioned that she was buying ingredients for a church supper she and her husband would be preparing that night. “We are too blessed not to give back,” she said.

My unexpected encounter with these old friends reminded me of the value of connections to others, of  positive thinking and of making a mark on the world.

My grandfather, Norman Vincent Peale, spoke often of how we have a choice in how we feel, how we conduct our lives, how we make our mark on the world.


Some people have a big platform, as my grandfather and the late Dr. Robert Schuller did by preaching and speaking about positive thinking and self-belief. Some donate to organizations, like the Guideposts Foundation, in order to help others through outreach efforts. And some, simply yet powerfully, share their kindness, thoughtfulness and gratitude in their daily interactions.

Every day we all have the choice–or I should say, the opportunity–to positively impact the lives of others though our interactions and contributions to our world, big or small or both.

When I left the grocery store that day, it wasn’t only my cart that was full. I felt fulfilled. Now I’ll remember to lift my head, to look around, to take in and appreciate what’s around me (and who) despite the busyness of my schedule and length of my to-do list.

That will put me in a better place and in a better position to positively impact a life or two along the way.

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