Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thoughts from the Grocery Store

The Full Kitchen--1566--Joachim Beuckelaer c.1534-c.1574

I know y’all think I spend more time at the grocery store than any other place…and you’d be right. I just can’t seem to organize my food menus enough to keep from going to the store every other day.

So I was there yesterday, in a tearing hurry. The school bus was depositing my 3rd grader in 30 minutes but we were out of yogurt and napkins.

The cart, naturally, was $65.00 full by the time I got to the cash register. I’d realized all the things that I was out of while I walked through the store. On top of that, I was hungry, which is a huge no-no when grocery shopping.

So, still in the wild frenzy, I race up to the checkout and start pulling out cans of cream of something soup. Then, who should come up behind me but a lady with only a few items.

My personal rule is that people with only a handful of items go in front of me. All the time. It results in good karma the next time I go to the store for only sugar. But…the school bus. And my frenzy. And she might be one of those people who pays with dimes and quarters. And…

So I started off pretending I didn’t see her and unloaded my cart. By this time the customer in front of me was finished paying.

I couldn’t stand it. It was my personal rule! I quickly stopped the cashier before she started scanning my things and asked, “Would you like to go ahead?”

Fortunately, this lady apparently had nothing else in life to get to because she said, “Well aren’t you sweet! No, hon, you go right ahead.”

Hot diggity dog!

As for the writing?

I have a personal rule—I go with editorial suggestions. It’s a policy that has served me well. Once it gets into an editor’s hands, I truly think of the book as a collaboration and not my baby anymore.

I was asked to incorporate a particular idea into a book. And I did. I wrote it in and wove it into my story.

Except I thought there might be a problem with one aspect of the addition.

As I continued writing, I saw the problem grow.

I decided to continue writing the idea. Following editorial direction is my personal rule! It results in good karma. I’m easy to work with. I like to do a Good Job.

Sure enough…there ended up being a problem.

Fortunately, after the issue was realized by the editor, I had a great idea for getting out of the problem and still incorporate a part of the original idea.

Following both personal rules served me well. The lady beamed at me for asking if she wanted to go first—I played nice and still got home in time. I followed editorial direction, was a team player, and was able to tweak the problem area later.

Do you have certain rules or principles that guide you each day? Do you stubbornly stay the course like me? Do your personal rules ever lead you astray, or do they work out in the end?