Because of the pandemic, I’ve taken to minimal grocery shopping and always on weekdays at 7:00 AM. That’s what found me rushing through the toiletry section one Thursday morning, racing the clock to get back to my (home) office.
The crumbled note in my hand reminded me of my dwindling supply of toothpaste and I stared blankly at what seemed like an endless number of choices. Finally, I grabbed a 3-pack—it was on sale—and power walked my way to the baking aisle.
A few nights after this, I was brushing my teeth with some disappointment. Wow, I thought, is this a bummer of a toothpaste? Can’t believe I’m locked into this for 2 more tubes.
And that’s when it hit me. How lucky am I to hate my toothpaste?
How incredibly fortunate that I have not just the toothpaste tube that I’m using, but 2 extra tubes in the cupboard. I turned the faucet and was immediately greeted with a stream of cool, clean water. How incredibly fortunate am I to have water accessible at the snap of my fingers.
I rushed to my room, toothpaste spit dripping off my chin and typed “write about how I have to go through 2 more tubes of a toothpaste that I’ve labeled ‘annoying’ but what an absolute ridiculous privilege this whole situation is. Running water. Financial security to buy extra toothpaste. A home to put it in. All that stuff.”
And as I’ve sat with that note for a bit, talking through the normal pinings about gratitude and “a roof over my head,” I’ve thought specifically about what this idea of “bad toothpaste” really boils down to for me: options. I have options. Not just of toothpaste, but of what I want to do with my life. And that is perhaps the most privileged position to be in.
And if I can choose the way I spend my life, I want to choose to spend it doing something that matters… surrounding myself with compassionate people… and showing up every single day for what is right and fair and good in this world. How lucky I am to have the opportunity to do that.