Life Lessons in Aisle 9

Life Lessons in Aisle 9

I got out of the shower yesterday and was greeted by chaos in what just was my clean room. The closet rod managed to break during my shower, spewing clothes that I had neatly hung up and organized all over the place. I didn't know if I should laugh, or cry.

Chaos.

Chaos.

Numb, I went into problem solving mode and took myself to the nearest Home Depot before it closed for the night. Mind you, it was a Sunday. Mind you, I had spent all day cleaning and grocery shopping and running errands, so I was a little tired. Mind you, I had other plans for the evening. But the broken closet rod led me to Home Depot which led me to aisle 36 for the hardware and then aisle 9 for the screws. 

Who knew that there were so many different types of screws available? I sure didn't. And while I thought I needed screws, an associate mentioned that I might want to try an anchor instead. (I still don't know what an anchor looks like). Cue MJ, the Home Depot associate with a 49ers bucket hat and, what I would soon find out, a passion for DIY projects. 

In a rush, I was hoping he'd point out what screws I needed, I would grab them and I would be on my merry way. Not handy at all, I figured I would Google something that would walk me through how to install a closet rod, or maybe I could convince my roommate to help me out as well. But picking out screws wasn't a simple task. Was it going into drywall or into a stud? What's a stud, you ask? Are you installing this yourself or is someone else? MJ was taking me down a rabbit hole and I did not want to be Alice. 

But then I paused, and reframed the scenario. Here was this sweet man with a passion for DIY projects who was taking the time out of his day, 10 minutes before closing, to patiently explain to me the type of screw I would need and how to install my closet rod. Not only was he thorough and kind, but he also encouraged me to save the money I could spend on a stud finder and gave me tips on how to find it on my own. (Though the tapping sounds the same to me.) And he explained to me what a stud was. When I reframed the scenario and flipped the script a little, what had started off as an annoyance was actually endearing. How lucky was I to find the right associate would take the time and patience to explain something to me in exchange for a few minutes of my time?

This turned out to be a life lesson of sorts for me: we're so quick and focussed on what we need to get done, that we rush through life without giving these small encounters of kindness a second thought. I was going to Google something when I had a resource right in front of me. At the end of the day, a few minutes of my time turned into a reminder to reframe situations, especially when you're finding yourself getting annoyed. I went in for supplies and some screws, and walked out with a rekindled appreciation for kind human beings and their wealth of knowledge. And a fixed rod (thanks to the neighbor down the street who had a studfinder and is super handy).

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