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The comfy leather chairs in malls are designed for the tired old parents who just can’t keep up with their fast paced shopping children. Normally I would smile sympathetically and breeze by these older folks with my best shopping partner my daughter. Recently, after being in my third shopping mall, I literally dove onto one of those leather chairs at Sherway Gardens.  A sigh of relief and happiness escaping my lips, eyes closed I was pretty pleased with myself. Until I felt someone staring at me. I opened my eyes:

Kaitlin: Really mom? What’s wrong with you? Let’s go!!!

Me:  I can’t. I can no longer go on. Go on without me, leave me here! Save yourself!!!! (I thought it was funny, she was not amused).

Anyway, she is amazed and shocked all at once. Mom is tired.  Yes I am 45. I feel my age at this moment. She heaps her 100 shopping bags and winter jacket on me and I swear she skips down the mall with a wave! Wow.

So I look around me. In another chair is an exasperated looking father, poor soul. He has just as many bags as me, we exchange nods. I guess this is the protocol. In another chair is an old guy snoring, another chair has a dad reading a book and calmly sipping a coffee. These are my chair mates. Hmmm..

Before long I start to look around at the shoppers. All carrying similar bags to us, Abercrombie and Fitch, Nine West, Guess. I look at everyone laughing and talking, animated smiles and laughs. Before long, I find myself thinking about all these shoppers. I mean everyone has a story right? But here on boxing week, all our stories are the same. To come out and score the best deals possible. Find the items that we can say. “Guess how much this was???”  And pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

Then all of a sudden, I feel guilty.

I start to think about those less fortunate who probably would be happy to hold up a very used sweater and say “I finally have something warm to wear.”

Sitting in my chair, I shift around uncomfortably.  Text messages are vibrating on my phone. I look down at my Iphone and consider someone who does not even have a home to live in.

I’m getting sad.  I remember a few weeks ago when my Lexus was hit in a mall shopping parking lot and the person did not even having the decency to leave their number to discuss repairs. I had a temper tantrum that day of enormous magnitude. I’m embarrassed when I think of my behaviour and those less fortunate who probably have to take numerous busses or walk very far to even get to their low paying jobs.

I wish Kaitlin would hurry up and finish shopping so these thoughts can go away. That’s the thing, you can make the thoughts go away but it doesn’t change reality. Reality stays. So what am I going to do about it?

I make a decision.

2012, will be chock full of resolutions for everyone. The usual, eat healthier, exercise more, and stop smoking blah blah blah….but my decision. Is here:  http://www.habitat.ca/

Not just to stop the guilt. But for God’s sake to help out others. Yes I give to the food bank, yes I help out at Soup Kitchens, and yes I donate to the Salvation Army. But how about building a house here or abroad? How about doing MORE? What about doing some volunteering. I will, this year.

Who’s coming with me?