Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Paying Attention

I went grocery shopping the other day. Not terribly unusual, I do it every week or so. This time, though, I did it in a wheelchair, because of my broken foot. My son went in and requested one and an employee soon arrived with an electric scooter. Very helpful.

Using the scooter was an adventure in the crowded store. I frequently had to navigate around other scooters and, also, a manual wheelchair or two. There were at least six other people in wheelchairs.

There were a few people who got aggravated and pushed past either me or one of the other chairs and some who just didn't notice them. There were also several people who were very helpful. The woman ahead of me in the checkout line unloaded my basket for me.

But here's the thing. I shop regularly at that store. I can't imagine that if there were six wheelchairs there that day, there have never been any on other days, but I can't remember ever seeing one before. I must have missed them. I am an advocate for disabled children by profession, so it's pretty embarrassing to admit that.

Once my foot has healed, I am going to plan a shopping trip so that I have some extra time. I want to go a little more slowly and notice those around me. I especially want to be aware of anyone who might need an extra hand.

Will you join me in paying attention?

I am participating in the January 2013 Ultimate Blog Challenge.


  1. There are a lot of things we see but do not register until we put focus on them. I drive down certain street regularly, but never see a certain house or landmark until i have a reason. Ok, here is one. My Ex used to always use stores like Target, Walmart etc as landmarks when giving directions, never worked for me as I wasn't interested in the stores. Now on the other hand using Golf courses as landmarks works for me :)

    1. It's true we see many things every day that we don't register. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I will join you, Melinda. It is easy to slip into a mode where we go through life on auto-pilot at any given time. I think it is especially easy when we aren't doing something that grabs our attention. Shopping at the grocery store or dishes would fall into that category. Bringing attention to what we do, "loving the one (grocery store experience in this case) you're with," can make the experience more meaningful.

  3. I like to take my time when I grocery shop so I always make sure I have the time. I go slowly, wait for people if they are "blocking" my way, smile at the mother who looks like she's at her wits end. My hope is that I make the experience a little nicer for those around me. However, I know that I irritate some people with my pokey-ness. (I do try and be considerate and stay to the side of the isle so people can go around me). It is interesting to discover what we don't see until we're the one that is "that person." I hope your foot is healing well.

  4. Great comment, Heather. I am going ot try going slower, too. The foot is healing slowly.