Fridays in Israel.
A day for running errands.
A day for cleaning the house.
A day for last-minute shopping.
Before the Sabbath comes in.
I tend to avoid leaving the kibbutz on Friday mornings, but it just so happened that we had last-minute guests that were invited to our house for Friday night dinner, and I didn’t feel like I had enough food for a nice Sabbath meal.
So, I took the car to the nearby supermarket to do a quick shop.
Quick is the key word here.
Because it seems that everyone else was also doing a quick shop.
Or a hasty shop.
Or however else you would describe shopping, in a crowded supermarket, on Friday mornings in Israel.
So, I did my quick shop (and was quite proud to be done in less than 20 minutes).
But, when I stood on-line to pay, I looked down into my cart and noticed items that I never put in it.
I realized someone to my cart.
Somebody F%$%W! took my cart!!!
So, in a frenzy, I started to run around the supermarket (pushing the unknown cart that I had) looking for my own.
As I started to lose my breath, I realized it was silly to run around with a cart, so I parked this anonymous cart in one place and continued to look for my own.
“Are you sure this cart that you are pushing is your cart?” I asked about 30 people.
At first, I wasn’t really so nervous, but rather more annoyed.
Who in their right mind would have NOT NOTICED they took MY CART.
Why are Israelis so mindless?
I considered just starting the shopping all over again.
Hey, it was only a 20 minute shop that I did anyway. What’s another 20 minutes?
And then it dawned on me, that at the bottom of my fruits of vegetables (in my cart, which I had no idea where it was), lay the keys to my car and my cell phone.
(Yes, bad, bad habit, and I swore to myself that I would never do again.)
I ran to the customer service desk.
Someone has it!
And, my car keys!
And, my phone!
My husband is going to freakin’ kill me!
I got everyone moving.
The supermarket employees started to review the videos from the hidden cameras.
One lady started to call my cell phone (yet, no one answered).
Others helped me continue to approach every person in the supermarket to check if they had the right cart.
I ran to the parking lot to see if my car was still there.
Quick sigh of relief.
OK…. back inside to resume the search!
This run around lasted for what felt like a lifetime, but probably amounted to about 20 minutes.
I couldn’t think straight.
I didn’t pause for even a second.
I didn’t feel my heart beating a million times a second.
Therefore, I couldn’t even realize that I could choose to consider a different perspective.
That I could consider that no one ever took my cart in the first place, but rather *I* took someone else’s!
That perhaps my cart is still standing where I left it!
That perhaps it was *I* who was the mindless one, not some random Israel that I’ve been accusing for the past 20 minutes.
And, you know what?
My cart was standing where I left it.
At the dairy counter.
(Understand. I never thought to intentionally go to the dairy counter to look for it. I just noticed a lonesome a cart during my running around frenzy and approached it to check if indeed it was mine.)
I took a breath of relief.
And ran back to the customer service people and told them of the find.
And, I felt like a true idiot.
And, quite selfish… how dare I waste their time when it was *I* who was so incredibly mindless?
How dare I blame someone else for taking my cart, when it was *I* who did the unintentional “steal”?
Why didn’t I just pause for a mere second before running around like a chicken with its head cut off?
I closed my eyes and took another breath.
The word compassion came to my mind.
And then I laughed.
And said a blessing of thanks.
For all these mindless times, which remind me of the value and importance of practicing to be mindful in the first place.