Sunday, September 25, 2005

Narrowing choices

In the past I have posted on how our seemingly unlimited choices make it hard to simplify our lives. It is only recently that I realized that the converse is true - limit your choices, simplify your life.

I absolutely love Coke and other "sodas," as they say up in Yankee land. Coke was my preferred source of caffeine in the morning (never drank coffee), and when I found myself not only drinking a can in the morning, but another can at lunch, and maybe another can at night, I knew I was out of control. After all, there is nothing redeeming about Coke. They call it "liquid candy."
At any rate, I decided to go cold-turkey and gives up the stuff. I left the "end Coke deprivation" time intentionally blank, because it was an experiment at first just to see if I could do it and how it would affect me.

After one week without Coke, I was surprisingly still alive and just as productive as ever. I was so pleased, I decided at that point to give up chocolate, too. Chocolate in all its forms. My family thought I was pushing it, but I was so enthralled with my Coke experiment that I thought I could do anything.

And apparently, indeed I can! I have been over 1-1/2 months without either Coke or chocolate now.

The reason for posting about my experiment is this: Do you realize that limiting your choices frees up your "decision-making" part of the brain? When Rachel and I were in Portland, we stopped by Mrs. Fields in the mall to get a cookie. In the old days, I would have pondered for several minutes on making my decision, as I always worry when making decisions that I will make the wrong one - even with a simple cookie! Anyway, I glanced over the cookies. Mrs. Fields had many, many delectable-looking treats in the display case - yet, I had to choose between 2 cookies. Because I have released chocolate from my eating repertoire, I only had to choose between sugar cookie and peanut butter cookie. Wow, that was fast! I didn't realize up until that point how limiting my choices could positively affect me.

Same with Baskin-Robbins. I stopped by there this week, and out of all the ice cream flavors (not counting sherbet), I could choose between vanilla and strawberry. Every one of the remaining flavors had chocolate in it. What a timesaver! I think it wouldn't take many trips to Baskin-Robbins before I was tired of vanilla and strawberry.

I discovered that chocolate is ubiquitous in our world. Giving up chocolate is not giving up ice cream, or cookies, or cake, or donuts, or this or that. It truly encompasses a wide berth of choices, narrowing them down tremendously. I don't even have to think. If it has chocolate in it, I decline. Such time saved in decision-making!

Now, I figured with all the time I'm saving, I could get in some quilting. So yesterday I made the 50th block of Rachel's quilt. Hey, I may be on to something!

1 comment:

Tif said...