We all know the stress which comes with the holidays but I was keenly aware of the reality I chose in every moment during the month. It was a process. The long lines, the search for the perfect gifts, the financial aspect of gift giving, taking care of holiday guests, etc, etc, etc. But in each moment I chose to be happy.
Reality is really the emotion you chose in any given moment, reflected in that same given moment. I was walking up to the check out at the grocery store with an overflowing cart. As expected, the lines snaked throughout the other aisles. I chose a line and started thumbing through my phone, choosing to be patient and happy, not because of the long lines but instead because I was healthy enough to get to the store to get my groceries. I looked in the cart and smiled as I saw the special food and could see my family enjoying the fun we would have together. After a few minutes I realized my line had not moved while others had moved and at least showed a little bit of progress in those checking out.
I again, just refocused my thoughts and chose to be happy, even though it was late and I was tired, and on top of that, my phone was beginning to die. I put my phone in my pocket and just watched others around me. I started small talk with others about trivial things like what they were making for their celebration, kids coming home, I don't remember all the conversations, but it was so much fun.
The man in front of me, being checked out seemed anxious and I realized why. The checker was new and did not know how to ring through his five different purchases with his welfare vouchers. He kept looking back at me with an embarrassed flustered expression. I just smiled at him and said, "Don't worry, I'm in no hurry." I'm sure he was there late at night for the very reason I was, to avoid the crowds. I'm not sure if his embarrassment was due to the new checkers inexperience with welfare vouchers or because he had to use them, regardless, it didn't matter to me, all I made important to me in that very moment was being in the moment. Choosing to be happy in the moment, regardless of the circumstances.
Nothing "monumental" like a miracle, came out of this experience but in a subtle way it changed me. A long time ago, I would have believed I had a right to get angry with the inefficiency of the grocery store, causing me delays, "How dare they!" But I am choosing a new reality. If I had been angry, I would have had a different reality. Maybe a reality where the register froze or they had to do a price check causing me more delays, you get the picture. But everything went smoothly. I choose a reality of happiness which reflected in my experience at the store. I talked and laughed with people I didn't even know. I even got a new recipe I'm going to try. We are all in this together.
It was fun. Life should be fun. Choose it.