E151 Midlife Epiphany at the Grocery Store

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Midlife Epiphany Experience 50 Podcast Episode 151

Midlife epiphanies at the grocery store

Hey, these moments can strike you anywhere and at anytime. Really.

I hear these stories of awakening from clients and podcast listeners in unique versions, unique epiphanies, but there does seem to be a theme in the setting.

We discover ourselves while shopping.

Shopping. We discover ourselves while shopping.

Yes, this seems to be a quite common locale for uncommon moments of self-awareness. Most frequently it is the grocery store. Who knew?

This has proven to be a theme as revealed in the stories I receive from Experience 50 listeners as they recount the highlights of their midlife transition.

A widow has continued to purchase her late husband’s preferred brand of toothpaste for 6 months after his death.

An empty nester continues to buy and eat her children’s favorite brand of breakfast cereal.

A woman decides she is worthy of shredded cheese.


One day while grocery shopping, our widow realizes that she is reaching for her husband’s box of Colgate toothpaste while her eyes meander to her preferred Crest brand. For 35 years she has purchased Colgate because of her husband. It wasn’t as if he forced her. He didn’t EVEN KNOW she wanted Crest.

She has wanted to buy the Crest whitening toothpaste for at least the last 10 years. But that is not who they were as a couple.

Right there in the personal care aisle, our widow is beating herself up for not having had the gumption to buy two different tubes of toothpaste. Her husband had always come first for her. Buying her own toothpaste would have seemed an open act of aggression.

When she realizes that today is the day, right here and right now, that she is going to buy what she wants, it is her epiphany moment. I can do whatever I want. I don’t have to put him first.

I have heard this same story in dozens of variations. The man is dead, divorced or still in the saddle, and the 50-year-old woman has decided – I’m going to do what I want.

A whole world opens up

Like a stubborn rusty key finally turning the lock, a whole new world opens up.

Lime Jello. Yes, Lime jello was my epiphany years ago. Who knows, what yours is?

Whitening toothpaste?

Breakfast cereal with dried fruit?

Triple sheet toilet paper?

Seedless English cucumbers?

I call this eating the pork chop that fell on the floor. She eats it. And she likes that about herself.

Well, I’m buying the Lime Jello, by God!.


All this and more fun in the podcast!

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