Green River Star -

By Lu Sweet
Western Wyoming Community COlle 

My Shopping Cart Wheel


October 21, 2020

I am that person that always manages to “find” the shopping cart with the wonky wheel. I used to trade it out because it irritated me. The cart wobbled and sometimes made noise and it usually drove a little slower and pushed a little harder. However, in the last bit, I have stayed with whatever cart I get first. My reasoning is simple. Having this kind of cart is/has been teaching me a very important lesson: Just because SOMEONE is a little slower, or makes a little “noise” or is harder to deal with, doesn’t mean they don’t have value. We all have value despite our flaws, weaknesses or challenges. Similarly, my wonky cart still works. It still helps me gather groceries throughout the store and gets me to the checkout line and then to my car.

In life, I still like to run, but I am definitely slower than I was even just a few years ago. Not everyone learns at the same speed. Not everyone has the same sense of humor. Some people are more auditory learners. Some are more visual learners. Some learn best by doing. We are all fine the way we are. I have six children and each one has their own unique learning style as well as their own strengths and struggles. Chloe is quieter and prefers alone time more so than Aly. Payton is very organized. Madi, not so much, however, she is the first one to give a compliment. Gracie loves to learn through music. Jax is a talkative learner. I prefer reading printed material and working off a desktop machine. My kids work well with laptops, iPads and their phones.

Society has given us permission to be less than perfect, by giving us duct tape, white out and erasers. Likewise, we need to be as forgiving with ourselves. We need to get away from the notion that we need to be perfect, that we are not smart enough, fast enough or pretty enough. We need to quit comparing ourselves to others and just work on comparing ourselves to our own goals and ambitions and then being proud of others and ourselves for our efforts.

Instead of giving up easily, making excuses or being embarrassed because of our circumstances, we need to embrace who and what we are and move forward, like I am learning to do with my wonky cart. It is what it is-a less than perfect cart, still capable of helping me complete my task. My family and I are perfect the way we are and I need to constantly remind myself and my family of this.

They are perfect for me and I am perfect for them, even though I probably mess up twenty times before lunch, every day.

My three youngest are in elementary school. I am so jealous of them some days. They come home with papers they completed during the day.

Notes from the teachers include “please fix and return,” “so-and-so is such a great worker when he/she listens the first time,” “he/she is getting better. They get gold stars and the smiley faces which how it should be and not just in elementary schools.

We should celebrate the haves instead of the have-nots. We should celebrate the progress and not always the perfection.

Young people are only critical if we big people show them and tell them, through our words, attitudes and actions, that this is how we are supposed to see things. If we show them judgment, hypocrisy, negativism, criticism, skepticism, anger, nitpicking, harping and poor behavior then that truly is the wonkiness here. Otherwise, if we are able to show and teach them through positivity, modeling, compliments, encouragement and acceptance then they will embrace their circumstances and look for ways to push through when things are difficult rather than look for ways out or excuses to make. The fact is that when we do go to the store (much more before COVID-19 than now), none of my kiddos ever complained about wobbly carts unless they didn’t get to push it themselves.


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