Life Lessons from the Winn Dixie

I took my regular trip to the local Winn Dixie recently and made note of some life lessons that can be gleaned among the aisles of canned goods, produce and rotisserie chicken.

As I pushed my grocery cart along, clutching my list of items and the $5-off coupon I clipped from one of those fundraiser books and while my preschoolers asked for everything within eyesight, here are some I came up with:

1. Have a plan: The world (and Winn Dixie) is a big place. If you fail to plan, then you are bound to waste time, miss out on opportunities and have regrets. Plot out your course. Although there will be unexpected detours along the way, with a plan in tow you can still make sure that you get what you need.

2. Count the cost: Everything you do (and buy) has consequences, whether financial, relational or, heck, even caloric. Think about the decisions you are making and examine whether it’s worth the end result.

3. You gotta wait your turn: Who doesn’t want everything to happen as swiftly and smoothly as possible? In life, though, (and at the check-out aisle) that is not always the case. Life is about seasons. Today may be the season for your best friend, and not you, to get married. Or, it may be the season for your coworker to get the promotion. Your time is coming, just as long as you stay in line.

Grandma may be in front with 30 canned goods and 50 coupons, but your turn is coming. Promise.

4. Expiration dates are real: Just about every season has to come to an eventual end. Take advantage of the time you have been given, whether with your kids, on your job, pursuing your dream, etc. Don’t take time for granted and assume you’ll have endless opportunities to say ‘I love you’ to that loved one or to finish up that degree. Do it now. Just like a carton of milk, when the date is done, it’s done.

5. Stuff happens: Spills, broken carts, you name it, unexpected things happen in life (and at the local grocer). You have got to roll up your sleeves, own up to your mistakes and take care of it so that no one else, including yourself, gets hurt. And, when things get too hard to bear, you can always ask for help: ‘Cleanup on aisle four.’

Side note: Did you know that it is a proven FACT that the moment the clerk is checking out your buggy filled with groceries and there is a growing line behind you, your children will scream bloody murder that they have got to go potty right away. It’s not a life lesson, just a fact. Trust me, I know.

Happy shopping (and living)!

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