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    Celebrating a moment of gratitude on encountering something that actually met my expectations, prosaic though it may be.

THE Shopping Cart

Start: See this shopping cart?

I am grateful for this shopping cart. Not just for shopping carts, but this shopping cart, specifically. I latched on to this one in the parking lot of the neighborhood big box store a week ago, and after I was done with it I just knew I’d be writing this.


No, it didn’t hold the most exciting purchase I ever made, win the war against terrorism, or even save my life. However …

  • It didn’t have a caved-in basket or bent frame from being pummeled by someone who probably should have lost their license to drive six decades ago;
  • It actually didn’t have garbage in it, or anything in it covered with someone else’s (or someone else’s children’s) bodily fluids;
  • It didn’t have any unsightly thing tied to it that was so visibly annoying that it demanded sawing off with a dull car key;
  • It didn’t have any components torn off of it making it not only less functional but actually something of a laceration hazard;
  • It didn’t pull to either side, making it as impossible to maneuver when loaded as a car with a lockbar on the steering wheel;
  • It didn’t produce a distinctively loud and equally embarrassing thump with each revolution of one wheel or another;
  • It didn’t have that problem with the big front wheel (you know, the wheel with the anti-theft mechanism built into it that probably doesn’t really work anyway) where they twirl constantly and refuse to stay in contact with the floor; and …
  • It didn’t rattle and squeal as if it were half-full of frustrated chinchillas.

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The TV Psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw has noted a definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So why do we keep doing Mondays?

Start: Monday morning.

About four weeks ago, I woke up and hit that wall that most of us know all too well: I’ve got to go back to that damned job.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’ve got a good enough job. The pay is keeping me afloat and the benefits are certainly adequate (a true blessing in today’s mangled economy), but that morning, like most the Monday mornings of my working life, I just didn’t want to have to go to “that place” again.

Fortunately, instead of falling into the pattern of buying into a low-grade resentment or giving in to the “Monday Morning Blahs,” I had the presence of mind to question it.

Frankly, I could finally see it was ridiculous to continue reliving this same emotional roller coaster I had been riding, basically, since a few years into elementary school.
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