Monday, July 23, 2012

The Choice is Yours

This past Sunday morning we lazed about until 10am until hunger started to strike. The plan was to walk to Dunkin Donuts (less than 2 blocks away). No doubt we would have gotten 2 chocolate milks, a french cruller, a boston creme pie and 2 cake donuts. That's the usual. Donuts are not exactly an "every weekend" affair, but often enough that we have our standards.

As we locked the door behind us, Bob and I decided instead to walk to Whole Foods (about 5 blocks away), pick up pizza dough to make dinner that evening and in the process find something for breakfast.

This course correction got me thinking to choices that we make and the little to big impacts they can have on our lives. I can get very deep when I think about choices, in my own philosophicy way (if I may make up a word). Wondering where my life would be if my freshman year neighbor hadn't worn a Camp Bird shirt to a dorm meeting (prompting me to introduce myself as being from the town Camp Bird is found in, leading to a sophomore year roommate, leading to a college relationship, leading to Chicago, leading to. . .here.); where my life would be if I hadn't answered the ad for a job at the zoo the summer after freshman year (prompting me to meet some amazing people, leading to a trip to Australia, leading to roommates, leading to some very memorable summers); where my life would be if my company did not call my temp agency back (leading to a job for 7+ years, leading to almost every person I call a friend, leading to international travel, leading to. . .Bob). 

Deep stuff aside, lets focus on the immediate rewards of choices! 

By avoiding the donuts, here is what our Sunday became:
- a lovely morning walk before it became ungodly hot.
- a breakfast of delicious cherries, fresh mango and croissants.
- a stop on the way back at Walmart Express for Bob to buy more Lean Cuisines at only $2 a pop. His goal of eating smaller portions continues with success!
- a dinner of another homemade pizza (we're on a roll).
What other simple choices do you make that can have an impact? A partial list, feel free to add your own!
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. When you have a job in which you sit for 8+ hours a day, a little bit of forced exercise is a good thing.
- Picking up the phone instead of sending an email. I would like to get better at this, as my email crutch is contributing to my thousand-email inbox....
- Making dinner after work instead of turning on the TV. I started getting more into cooking when I lived by myself and realized I would come home from work, switch on the tube and go to bed five hours later. Ugh. By checking out allrecipes.com during the day, stopping at the market on my way home and popping in some music, my first hour at home consisted of experimenting in the kitchen. Fun fact: I tended to cook to the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack. Strange.
- Getting an appetizer instead of an entree. Let's face it, restaurant portions are insane. Plus, you can never go wrong with quesadillas. 
- Saving as much as we're spending. This is a tough one and not always realistic, but to get to a place where the credit card can be paid off each month, the savings account grows and a bit can be put away for that coveted retirement is a good thing. Maybe one day our interest rates will bounce back....
-But spending on experiences. You can save and save and save, but if it wasn't for my trips to Australia, Egypt, London and more I think I would be missing out on quite a bit. 

Now, these choices don't mean that I am going to avoid the elevator and the donut shop at all times, far from it. And I certainly still get home from work, jump on the couch and turn on my shows a couple times a week. But, by mixing it up now and again you never know what you are going to end up with (or who you are going to meet!).

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