Everyday and everywhere we have choices. We choose the things in our lives that take us in one direction or another. Of course, some would say there is a sort of pre-determined outcome (didn’t the Puritans call this “predestination”?), or a sort of master plan. But that is not germane to this blog.
Robert Frost wrote a whole poem about choices. It’s the fork-in-the-road concept. When faced with options, you must (/should/ought to) pick one.
I found myself staring at the nuts section in Meijer last night. My options (once narrowed): Mixed Nuts, Mixed Nuts – lightly salted, or Deluxe Nuts. This is past the Planters vs. Meijer brand choice. But now I’m getting picky. Why can’t I get Deluxe Nuts, Lightly Salted? Why do I have to have twice as much sodium in this more select nut selection? This is a case of not enough choices.
But then I go to the cereal aisle. It’s an aisle unto itself. I have heard the shocking number that there are over 300 different cereals. How about that for options? I stick to my Post Selects and call it a day.
Choices apply to intangible things as well. Time management, for instance, is another area where we make choices. Right now, I am packing my schedule with hefty extracurriculars (soccer, Junior League, Michigan football, and occasionally riding or actually spending time with friends). Before I even get out the door to do these things, I typically am at the office for 9-12 hours each day. But this is a choice I have made; I choose to do all these things and leave very little time for myself. But when I do muster up the energy to say “No” to something and spend time spoiling myself, I find it too to be well worth it — a choice well made.
Choices are only as good as your ability to exercise them. And sometimes you have to deal with the options you are dealt. You may not get Deluxe AND Lightly Salted. But you can get one or the other. And you may find not only that there is a grouping put out by Post called “Selects,” but that within it there are another four or five specific options too.
So the next time you order your “Skinny, skinny, grande double chai” (that is Beaner’s [aka Biggby] way of ordering a “Skim, sugar free, large chai with two shots of espresso”), or are asked if you want fries with that, just remember: you have exercised your choices, “and that has made all the difference.”