Someone Crashed My Auto Pilot

I was grocery shopping the other day. Not something I look forward to. I always try to figure out the magical time frame to go… when no one else is in the store. I get overloaded with stimuli in the grocery store. People, music, overhead speakers calling Tim to the service desk, Gah!  It can be just far too much. I have gotten into the habit of keeping my head down and holding the intention of getting in and getting the hell out.

That’s what I was doing when the checkstand clerk asked me how I was. I said “So far, so good” which is my answer most of the time. Unless I’m practicing my grammar skills and can remember to say “I’m doing well” instead of “I’m good” ~  which has always seemed to imply that I’m good at something. And that seems like a completely different conversation.

As I loaded my groceries onto the belt, I asked him how he was ~  with the expectation of hearing “I’m good”.  But the young man said “I’m fantastic!” which kind of startled me. I looked at him for the first time since I walked up to the check stand and he did, indeed look like he felt fantastic. I said “Wow! What has happened today that gave you that fantastic feeling?” He said “Nothing happened. I’m just feeling fantastic.”

What fresh hell is this? Fantastic-ness in the world of retail shopping? Inconceivable!

He was a genuinely fantastic young man and we had a real conversation about the choices we make every day in the way we feel and present ourselves to the world. I left there feeling so much better than when I went in. Shocking, right?

My take away from that interaction was this; Pay Attention. Be Present.  It can be so tempting to just keep your head down, mind your own business and just try to survive the experience. But, what might you be missing? It reminded me to be childlike in my curiosity for life; to watch with the anticipation of seeing something unexpected.  Even better, to offer something unexpected to someone who clearly needs a fantastical moment to jar them into something better than survival mode.

Go be you. Astound someone. <3

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