When you work in a grocery store it's easy to fall into the habit of shopping every day. As I got my purse out of my locker at the end of a shift, I'd pull out the fabric shopping bag I kept inside and told myself that I was just going to pick up a few things. Perhaps lulled by the smaller daily dollar figures at checkout, I was blind to the weekly totals I was amassing due to my buying frequency.
That changed dramatically when I injured my elbow. Initial grocery store runs were of the emergency variety only, and accomplished in the companionship of my husband who hates few things worse than shopping in crowded food marts. Driving difficulties kept me home-bound more than usual, so my later visits to the store became add-ons to other reasons for going out, such as necessary doctor visits and scheduled physical therapy sessions. Limited in my ability to push a cart, shop and carry everything on my own, I was much more selective in my choices and kept my buying on a smaller scale.
I was surprised at how well we survived and even benefited by the change in my shopping habits. We became more diligent in eating up leftovers, wasting less food. I opened the freezer and cabinet doors and cooked whatever I found inside. Going through the shelves made me realize how much money I'd lost on outdated items I found there. The money we weren't spending at the grocery store helped make up the shortfall caused by my reduced income in the weekly budget.
The positives in this “elbow interruption” of my lifestyle have spread to other areas of my life, as well. I have come to realize how easily we fall into ruts in our living and thinking that sideline us from the easier road we were meant to travel. Like the textured warning strips on highway shoulders, sometimes it takes a rough spot in the road we're traveling to open our eyes to the issues we were blind to before.
“...One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
(John 9:25 NIV)