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Last night my husband and I had to run some errands. One errand was picking up my medications, but there were several others as well – things that just couldn’t wait. I haven’t been on a regular sleep schedule (as you can see I am up at 2 AM). So, I ended up taking my medications at 4:30 AM yesterday morning which meant I needed to take them again at 4:30 PM. Like many people, I need to take my pills with food for them to be the most potent. It was past 5:00 PM when we got to the grocery store to do our shopping. I was irritated, hungry and I wanted to get home to eat and take my medication. I don’t like getting off a schedule with my meds.

When we go to the grocery store, I am very fast. I go quickly to the things I need and then I am ready to go. My husband likes to go down every aisle and look at everything. Although we are partnered well with most things in life, our grocery store shopping habits don’t match well together. Normally, this doesn’t bother either one of us too much, but I was cranky.

After finding everything on the list, I went to find my husband. He was in the spice aisle talking to a woman. The woman was asking him about spices. I thought she was drunk. My husband (being one of the nicest people you will ever meet) was helping this woman find chicken seasoning. Then she asked him to help her find sea salt. I was standing behind the two of them with my hand on my forehead fuming. I was so irritated with my husband. Did he have to help everyone even when he knows I need to get home and eat and take my medications?

My husband looked over and saw my irritated and angry face and said goodbye to the woman in the spice aisle. I said, “I need to get home and take my meds!” My husband said, “Okay. Okay. I didn’t realize it was an emergency. Let’s go.”

When we got home, and we were putting away the groceries my husband said, “The woman in the spice aisle was legally blind, she couldn’t read the labels.” That is when my heart sank, and I felt a burn of shame. I was so worried about myself and my needs; I couldn’t even relax and allow my husband to help someone who was visually impaired find and get the things she needed. It reminded me that I am often too quick to make judgments about people just like they are too quick to make them about me. I always want people to slow down, listen and learn with me, but I need to do the same for others.

To make matters worse, my husband, being rushed by me at the grocery store didn’t get to buy some of his favorite foods for this week. My impatience and concern for myself kept the person I love the most from having the things he enjoys.

It reminds me of the lyrics of a Kinks song that I loved in college, “Stop. Hold on. Stay in control.”

I guess I needed a few lessons yesterday, and I learned them the hard way.