20 Items or Less

I’d like to first start off by saying thank you to whoever anonymously gifted me Chips Ahoy! cookies  during class last week. You made my miserable midterms week a little brighter and definitely made having endured that lab worth it!

On another note, I’m not sure how I can begin to summarize the emotions or the weekend after the NCAA Division III Tournament- Round 1. “D3hoops.com: Eat Your Words!” is the most views or support I have ever received on a single post. Not sure how to write again after that one, guys! But thank you. If you are interested in knowing Brockport’s fate or simply reading my article I wrote, you can check it out here: http://www.thestylus.net/sports/heartbreaking-exit-from-ncaa-tournament-1.3149960#.UyerSShZIhw.

Moving on. I stood in line at Wal-Mart last week with three bottle deposit slips in my hand, simply needing to redeem them for cash. I specifically chose the checkout line I was waiting in because of the nice big sign below the register number that read “Speedy Checkout 20 items or less”. Ha, what a joke that sign has got to be. You would think by now I would know that.

There were only two people in front of me. It should normally, in a speedy circumstance, only take about 5 minutes tops to get through the line. But no. I stood there waiting, counting the number of items in the lady’s cart directly in front of me. Once I reached 20+ items I stopped counting. She obviously didn’t belong in the line. So why on Earth are you in the speedy checkout line lady?! Did she not realize she was standing between spring break and me?

Here I was thinking I would run in and return all my bottles before departing for home. Never did I imagine to be stuck in Wal-Mart for 20 minutes! To top it off the lady had the audacity to turn around and say to me, “I would let you cut in front of me but I’m in a hurry. Sorry!” Excuse me?! You are in a hurry?! Can you not read lady?! 20 items or less. Not 25. Not 35. Not “speedy checkout bring all your groceries here”.

It is just plain rude. Read the sign. Follow the rules. But come on Wal-Mart. Don’t waste your time with a speedy checkout lane if you aren’t going to enforce it. It completely defeats the purpose.

Anyways. There I was complaining to myself about waiting for 20 minutes on this lady (who also decided she just had to write a check for her groceries) when the reality is, what was I in such a hurry for? The only thing I was rushing to was a nine-hour drive home. My car would still be there. The road will still be waiting. And home was still going to be miles and miles away.

Truth is I had no reason to want to complain no matter how annoyed I was.

When Ash Wednesday rolled around a few weeks back I realized I hadn’t given much thought to what I wanted to give up for lent. I find that typically people give up things like food items, television time, social media, etc. However, most of the time the moment lent is over, they dive right back into eating dessert and watching TV everyday and using Facebook. There was no genuine reflection done or lifestyle change made.

This year for lent I decided to work towards “giving up” complaining. You can’t exactly give it up, because it isn’t like one day you complain and then POOF you never complain again. But I want to focus on complaining less. I want to focus my energy on seeing the good and making a bad situation better versus expending my energy on complaining.

I realized if my complaining annoys me, then it surely annoys those around me. It’s a useless thing to do, since complaining never solved anything. It isn’t easy. Complaining is an easy thing to do. Since I began making my effort to not complain, I feel that I’ve realized even more just how much I do it. Over things as simple or silly as a speedy checkout lane!

I want this year’s lent to be about a lifestyle change; change that will make me a better person. God has blessed me with so much and continues to do so each and every day. There is no reason for me to be complaining. I encourage each and every one of you, religious or not, to think on what you could do to be a better version of yourself.

A friend of mine realized since coming to college he has gone from the occasional foul-mouthed teen to quite the sailor, if you know what I mean. So for lent he has taken a step back and is trying his best to just simply not curse.

Lifestyle changes aren’t easy. Giving up cookies is the easier route (trust me I’ve been there and it is definitely easier!). But at the end of the day I know I will feel better about a permanent lifestyle change versus depriving myself of delicious cookies that I will just indulge in come April.  

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