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What happened in the "aldi checkout" this morning


To give you some perspective on how my morning unfolded, I woke this Monday morning with yet again "lockdown fatigue". Owning a small business, it is not the lockdown itself that hurts so much, it is the uncertainty it brings trying to change and adapt and keep positive that take an emotional toll. So this morning I woke exhausted and to be honest complaining and a whole lot of negative self talk. So I got out of bed, had a shower, made the bed, got a coffee and took the dog for a walk on the beach. Things were looking up as I walked along the beach, a neighbour spots a pod of dolphins playing in the bay just off shore. Ok, my day and my mindset was starting to shift. For those of you in Melbourne, you can relate, we don't often see dolphins in the bay.


So next job on the list was food shopping. I do an Aldi shop once a month and its a big one. So I had 3 weeks of food lined up on the check out as I start loading it all into the trolley (joys of Aldi) AND I hear a conversation at the next checkout. It's an elderly man (maybe mid-80's who has walked up to the front counter saying "Excuse me, I need an Aldi Mobile". The checkout guy responds "You have to go online and do it" and the gentleman says "I have gone online, and they said I need to come into the store".


Basically no one was prepared to help this man, so I piped in "Hey, you need to purchase the Aldi Sim, they should have one behind the checkout just here" as I point. Oh great, the checkout guy just grabs it and said "Is this what you mean?". Way to help a customer, but anyway... So the checkout guy says to the gentlemen "just wait for a moment and I will put it through once I finish her shopping" indicating to me.


So the elderly man comes over to have a chat and say thank you to me and wait, and points to my broccolini and says "You know that if the bottom of the stalks are brown, that means they were picked a long time ago. Most people just look at the leaves, but it is the stalks that tell you how fresh the produce is". Part of me was ready to brush him off and say "yeah ok" and try to get on with my mammoth shopping bagging mission. But I stopped, listened and conversed. "Oh really I didn't know, thats good to know". He says "I know this because I am an old farmer from Gunbower". I say I know Gunbower, we go camping on the Gunbower Creek. We got talking for the next 10 minutes about the old tobacco farms up in Myrtleford and his farm and his son in Cohuna and the wine region of Nyah-Vinifera.


He got his Aldi Mobile Sim and we parted ways. That single conversation got me thinking about how self absorbed I had been the last couple of days. Too often we get so caught up in our tiny insignificant universe, we make judgements and assumptions about things that really in the grand scheme of things, are so small and irrelevant. And yes, shit is tough right now in Australia. People are struggling and I feel blessed that I have the tools to navigate tough times through routine, self awareness, movement and the teachings of yoga. Mainly this week those teachings are about gratitude, kindness and compassion to others. Do yourself a favour and initiate a random act of kindness this week. People are struggling and just one small act has the potential to completely change someones day. Also this may sound selfish, but it feels really good :)

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