May 28

INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 28: “Where one leaves a shopping cart in a parking lot says a lot about their character…or lack thereof.”― Bobby Darnell

This is another new quote. It gave me a laugh when I first read it. I once broke off a dating relationship with a man who left his cart sitting in the parking lot without taking it back to the store or putting it in one of those areas set aside for carts. I am offended by those who are too lazy to walk their carts back or put them in those areas.

What is the big deal? Well, three things come to mind for me. It is the right thing to do, first of all. Then I know I have had my cart hit by a random cart going through the parking lot because it was not returned to a safe space. Also, I worked at a Trader Joe’s for a while and had to round up carts in the rain. Ugh! It is part of the job, but why not take personal responsibility for your own cart? Even when you put them in the designated spot, someone has to come and take that long line of carts back to the store.

In today’s world, they also have to spray them down with sanitizer or wipe them down.

In our culture, people with enough money pay others to do things for them that they can easily do themselves or learn to do themselves. I take every advantage of doing everything I can for myself personally. Why? It gives life more value for me. I feel more empowered by doing as much myself as I can. Not everyone feels that way, but I am a big fan of learning how to do household maintenance, yard maintenance and even automobile maintenance for myself.

Sure, it is a treat to pay someone to do it for me, but I really love how physically rewarding any kind of work is for me. I do not like privilege. I think it is the downfall of our culture that we can and do pay others to do things and then wonder why we have no self esteem or sense of self-worth. I think they are related.

I feel good about taking care of myself in all these little and big ways. Aging is taking some of them from me, but I remember a woman I knew when I was in my early 20s. She was in her late 80s and still grew all her own food in a garden she dug and tended and weeded and hoed each year after the winter snows were gone. She had to finally hire someone to shovel her sidewalks because she could not do it any longer. But her home and her yards were impeccable; and she did all her own cleaning and cooking and canning and was so dynamic. My hero! I want to age like she did…with a strong sense of identity and feeling confident in her independence and strength. I may not make it, but it won’t be for lack of trying. And I think it will certainly include putting my own cart back at the store.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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