Yesterday, for what was the second time in my life, I went to Costco. Mike and I were recently gifted with a membership card from a good friend of ours and we decided to venture in and get the lay of the land.
It’s worth mentioning that neither of us wanted to go to Costco on a Saturday afternoon. But I’d been putting off my inaugural visit since receiving the card, which was about 2-3 weeks ago, basically because I’ve allowed Costco to frighten me. I needed Mike to go with me the first time in with a membership card – and with his work schedule that meant we had to go on a weekend day, when everyone and their dog would be there.
We were like strangers in a strange land, upon entering the doors of our local Costco. Here was a place that pretty much everyone we know goes on a regular basis and we were like greenhorn country folk entering a big city for the first time, eyes wide and heart racing.
Soon after we landed inside the store, Mike made a really helpful observation. He said: We’re like tourists! His statement changed my whole perspective. I love being a tourist in a new town. Being a tourist means that I’m open, receptive, interested in, and curious about my surroundings. So I got my tourist on and it changed everything.
As we strolled leisurely up and down the aisles hand-in-hand, we noticed how easy it was to get pulled into wanting to buy things we didn’t really need. We found great entertainment in discovering what items were placed in the same aisle – our favorite being the aisle displaying toilets directly situated across from boxes and bottles of Cabernet. And we felt a wave of relief and satisfaction that we were able to leave the store, after roaming around for an hour, empty handed.
Now that we made the inaugural plunge, I’ll go back solo at some point and purchase a few things. And I’ll practice to keep my tourist energy alive when I do, as that proved to be a really helpful support in doing something I super didn’t want to do.
I’ve said it many times before and I’ll keep saying it: everything takes practice.
Here are some additional pics Mike took of me being a tourist in Costco:
The good ole days are happening right now and the answer to every question is: It depends.
I feel as though the above declaration could serve as an incredibly rich and powerful guiding statement to life. It pretty much sums things up. Life. The pursuit of whatever it is we’re looking for.
If we can crack open our hearts and know with every tendril of our understanding that this moment is it – if we can expand our consciousness to the point of embracing the truth of there being no one right way to do anything or be in the world – then we’ll find ourselves in the midst of living a full blown good life, the best life.
The best time of our lives doesn’t have to have happened already – it doesn’t have to get regulated to sometime down the road in the future. The best time of our lives really can be right now, today. With our thoughts we make the world, as the Buddha said.
If you think your life sucks, then it does. If you think your life is good, then it is. If you think you have great abundance beyond measure – that every day is a gift bestowed upon you – then the freedom to enjoy each moment is boundless.
And, it doesn’t hurt if every once in a while you find yourself wearing matching chicken hats with your cat, too. Just sayin’.
A few days ago my 16-year-old stepson Jaden and I went out paddle boarding on Lake Como in the Bitterroot Mountains (in Montana, not Italy :). It was a beautiful sunny day. We decided to set our sights on making it to the waterfall at the other end of the lake, where Rock Creek spills in at the head of the lake. It took us about an hour and forty minutes to reach the waterfall and it was pretty smooth sailing the whole way. However, things changed quickly when we turned around and started heading back. The wind picked up and was coming right at us, making it very difficult to paddle. Every stroke was a struggle. We were hardly making any progress at all.
After a few minutes of hard paddling we headed for shore and decided to huff our boards down the hiking trail, which ran alongside the lake. We thought that if the wind settled down we’d hop back on the water but we soon discovered that our paddleboards were like giant wind sails as we headed down the trail so we made the call to deflate them, in the hopes that they’d be easier to manage. Hefting out our terribly awkward, deflated 20-pound boards (we weighed them when we got home) and paddles the 3-miles to the trailhead was the unplanned adventure part of our day.
I’ve entitled this edited picture of Mike and I, taken in 2014: Love at First Sight :)
This Wednesday, March 9th, my husband Mike and I will celebrate 16 years of married life together. I think our marriage has lasted this long due, in part, to the spirit in which the above photo was taken – that of fun and humor!
And had it not been for our shared mindfulness practice in Thich Nhat Hanh’s tradition I don’t think we would’ve been able to weather the storms and challenges we’ve been able to. So I attribute our strong relationship to both humor and mindfulness.We have a lot of fun together. I can safely say that we laugh almost everyday together, which I think is a big part of our success as a couple.
We got married young enough for my mom to be pretty upset when I told her we were engaged (as most concerned, caring mothers would be). I was 19 when I met Mike, and he was 20. We got engaged in Las Vegas, of all places, only 2 months after we started dating and were married just 9 months later. Normally the odds would be against such young-aged marriages working out, but then Mike and I have always leaned towards the atypical side of things, even when growing up in our own respective parts of the country, he in Montana and me in the suburbs of Philly.
Last September my friend Jennifer and I started collecting change in order to do something fun with it together. After some deliberation we decided to put our funds towards buying local flowers and passing them out for free to people as a random act of kindness (RAK). Between the two of us we collected about $90 in coins over the last year. My stepson Jaden joined us too and we had a three-man Random Acts of Kindness Brigade and set out yesterday at our local Farmer’s Market downtown. We had a great time!
We had some unexpected results as well in performing our RAK. I realized after our first round of buying flowers and handing them out to passers by that I was shying away from offering them to men. So when we stocked up with our 2nd armful of flowers to pass out I was set on targeting men to give them to. I saw a man sitting at a booth selling his art work and I went and offered him a bouquet. He gratefully accepted and then invited me to take one of his wonderful pictures (as seen in the above photo). A kindness in turn!
We also walked by a Downtown Ambassador who worked for the city and had a mobile cart with free info about Missoula, maps, bus schedules, and that sort of thing. He saw our signs and decided to give us a few free carousel ride tickets, which Jaden then passed out to a few kids on the street.