As I’ve learned to pay more attention to what excursions drain me and which ones give me something to work with, I’ve realized that I both like and dislike shopping.  I like going to a store specifically to treasure hunt in the clearance aisles.  Finding good deals on supplies to donate to teachers and area shelters is uplifting.  For example, some boxes of valentines have pencils in them.  They usually hit 75 to 90% off sometime in late spring.  I can get a teacher enough pencils for an entire year and that’s worth my time and energy.  The regular basics that I need to help run my home are not worth that emotional expense.  Spending 20-30 minutes in driving plus 30-45 minutes in the store for just a few days of groceries leaves me with no energy, often buying fast food on the way home, knowing I have nothing left in my emotional tank with which to cook any of the food I just purchased.  When the pandemic first hit in 2020, I started having my groceries delivered and it was amazing.  The cost in tipping the driver was less than the cost of feeding my family of four on fast food after a demoralizing trip to the store.  Spending 15 minutes to place an order online understandably took a lot less out of me than writing a list, driving to the store, shopping, driving home, picking up food and feeling guilty about it, unpacking groceries, separating out the cold to put away first, then eating the fast food, then returning to the groceries to put everything else up.  I could have started going to the grocery again months ago, but I haven’t unless I need something immediately or from a store that doesn’t work with a delivery service.  It’s ok for me to acknowledge and accept that going to the store is hard for me.  It wears me down, leaving me achy and irritable.  Utilizing a delivery service is taking care of myself and my family at the same time and there really shouldn’t be any stigma around it.  Sometimes, I can handle the drive, just not the store, so I order pick-up.  I’m sure the shoppers and drivers have a lot of people who don’t show appreciation for what they do, but I’m extremely grateful.  Parents don’t have to shop with crying children.  People with disabilities have access to groceries while retaining independence.  Unexpected emergencies can be dealt with and handled with less stress, knowing that groceries will be at your house when you get home.  This new world of delivery that the pandemic made more socially acceptable has opened many, many avenues for all sorts of people.  Families can care for each other miles and miles away from each other within fifteen minutes now.  I know that seeing a whole bunch of people on their phones all the time might seem completely disconnected, but we don’t know who they’re connecting to on their phones.  Maybe they’re not doomscrolling but instead buying groceries and living their lives with the abilities they have.  That extra hour that a shopper/driver gives me to drink my coffee and read with my boys is wonderful and I’m not upset that technology has provided this to me and to others who need these amazing tools to be better versions of ourselves. 


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