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Goodness Guru: When you are too busy

By Jennifer Sant - Goodness Guru | Sep 22, 2021

Daily Herald

The exterior of Costco’s Orem location. (Daily Herald file photo)

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. This is a big deal of course, but he’s learned that September is very busy for me and often the month I feel short on funds. He’s never really expected much. The least I could do for him this year was host a family get together so we could see our Utah kids and grandkids on his birthday.

Friday night, I finally got around to planning said “get together” and I realized I really needed to let Costco do the cooking. Could I get home from school by 4:00 PM, get to Costco before the Friday night rush, and be home to eat dinner and maybe go to a movie with my birthday man? Sure! I had really wanted to do the shop earlier in the week, but evening events every day that week had kept that from happening. But I knew I could easily get everything done in time for a Friday night date.

I tried to “run” to Costco, but the Friday evening traffic had already started and it took twice as long as I was planning. I got into the store and glanced at my list. Yep, I can find everything quickly I’m sure. Well, you know how people stand with their carts sideways blocking the aisle when you want to hurry? And do you know how people with those huge carts stop to carefully read every nutrition label on every item, not noticing the people trying to pass them? And do you know how after you actually check out your stuff, you forgot two important items?

Well, after I had run back into Costco, for the second time to get the important items I had forgotten, I did an honest jog to my car. Yep. There it was, right where I left it. (I am one who forgets where I parked my car.) I hurried to put things into the hatchback. Wow, my cute husband had put the grocery divider bag in the car for me to make things snappy I’m sure. I tried to place everything carefully in the car, but dropped cans in the process. Oh well, dented cans, whatever.

Then I tried to hurry home in the Friday night traffic, finally pulled into my construction-infested neighborhood, and maneuvered my way around construction vehicles and into my own garage. My husband came out to help me unload the car, so I popped the trunk…and found…no groceries. WHAT?!!!

I knew it didn’t take long to run my grocery cart to the cart return. Surely no one would have taken out my groceries. OOOOHHHHH. I asked my husband to take me back to Costco, through the construction neighborhood and Friday night rush hour traffic. As we drove around the parking lot I spotted a red car with an older couple loading their groceries. I hopped out of my still moving car and ran over to them. “Did I leave my groceries in your car?” I blurted out. “Well, yes. We were so confused. We purchased two pumpkin pies and two lasagnas and there they were, already in our car!”

I was actually so embarrassed that I forgot to ask if it was that man’s birthday the next day just like my husband’s. This couple was very cute. They just laughed and told me they would give me their number so we could all get to Costco at the same time next week. They might end up with extra groceries again. Admittedly their car was red, just like mine, but that was the extent of it. I could have at least noticed that their car was really clean and I knew mine wasn’t.

Well, my husband got me home and I just had to sit. I couldn’t bring myself to cook anything but cold cereal for dinner. I couldn’t consider going to a movie. I was simply too exhausted both mentally and physically to do anything but stay home and read for a few minutes, then flop on the couch and see what we had recorded on TV. It was “America’s Got Talent” so that is what we watched.

Is this typical behavior for anyone you know who is over-rushed and a little overworked? Admittedly, I don’t know of anyone else who has pulled off that stunt with the same finesse. I even got my groceries back! I’ve known others who have done similar things, but I questioned my sanity for a day.

The next day, we sat enjoying our family at our birthday celebration when I confessed the events of my Costco trip. Guess What!? My daughters-in-law and my daughter and my mother had all done similar things! I wasn’t the only one! Do we try to do too much? Do we take on too many obligations, forget to rest our minds and bodies and forget to slow down?

This event made me realize that I need to stop and push reset. Maybe I’ll say “no” to some events. Maybe I’ll get more sleep. Maybe I will take a long bath. And maybe I will give myself the space to just “be,” so that I will be able to get my own groceries home in one trip next time.


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