Invictus
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance  
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.   
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley 

Let’s talk about the art of steering your own rickety, unpredictable life-cart through the bustling supermarket of existence, shall we? Imagine you’re there, in the produce section, your cart’s one wonky wheel spinning like a contestant on a game show, out of control yet somehow under your command. This, my friends, is a little something we might whisper about over-discounted, day-old sushi: personal resilience.

Now, resilience isn’t about having a cart with perfect wheels (though, let’s be honest, we’ve all envied the person with the silent, gliding cart). No, it’s about pushing that lopsided contraption, filled to the brim with your choices, mistakes, and a few impulsive buys, like that giant tub of “I’ll start yoga tomorrow” flavored ice cream.

Picture this: You’re navigating through the aisles, and life, in its infinite jest, has strewn the floor with metaphorical banana peels of misfortune and sprinkled the air with the distracting perfume of ‘What-ifs’ and ‘If-onlys’. There you are, doing your best not to slip, maintaining a grip on the handlebar of hope, all the while knowing that at any moment, a child might dart in front of you, forcing you to swerve and face-plant into the tower of canned optimism.

Resilience, my dear shoppers, is not about avoiding these obstacles; it’s about plowing through them, making an impromptu clean-up on aisle seven, and continuing on your way. It’s about recognizing that, yes, you will occasionally crash into the display of carefully stacked expectations, sending them tumbling down in a cacophony of chaos. But you will also be the one to pick them up, one by one, maybe rearranging them a little differently this time.

It’s in these moments, amidst the wreckage of our best-laid plans, that we truly find our mettle. It’s dusting off your knees, offering a sheepish grin to the onlookers, and continuing your shopping spree with a story to tell. It’s about laughing at the absurdity of it all, the cosmic mystery that we’re all just participants in a reality TV show called “Life’s Grocery Games.”

And so, as you wheel your cart to the checkout line, you realize that the journey through the aisles was never about the perfect purchase but about how you navigated the spills, the thrills, and the occasional grill sale that you never knew you needed until now.

That, dear friends, is the essence of steering your own cart—of being the master of your own grocery list, and ultimately, of charting the course through the supermarket of life with a wonky wheel and a smile.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.