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Choices, choices…

February 19, 2012 by Mark McGlothlen 

Life is about choices.

Choices can create stress.

Stress is annoying.

As much as I hate to admit it, making a decision can be a time-consuming process for me. I am definitely not a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of guy when it comes down to it. I think. I wonder. I debate. And even then, I might still not be any closer to deciding what I should do.

Back in January of 1996 I was working at K-Mart in Three Rivers and I was not sure what direction my life was going to take me. Then, at the urging of a friend of mine who worked at First of America Bank (now PNC) in Kalamazoo, I interviewed for a job there.

When an offer was extended to me to work for them, I hesitated. The job was in Kalamazoo. I would not know anybody. Was this the right move for me? After much deliberation and talks with family and friends, I accepted the job. One of the best decisions I ever made, even if I had help making it! It was clear to everyone that this would be a good move for me, but making the decision to say yes was not as easy for me, even with all of the evidence pointing in that direction.

As I have alluded to in this column before, my wife hates shopping with me. I take my time and I can try on few pair of pants multiple times before I make a decision. Heather on the other hand, grabs what she wants and she is out the door, only stopping to pay. Do the pants look OK? Do they fit right? For Heather, she has pretty good luck just picking what looks right.

Since I have been unemployed (again), I am in charge of the grocery shopping. I don’t mind it at all, except for when my wife is not totally clear on the list. Why? Because I am left reading her mind and that is not something I am very good at. Many times over the course of our marriage I have heard her say “do you even know me?”

Take for instance a can of almonds. Being that she likes to snack of them, I offered to pick a few cans for her. But when I got to the store, I was not sure what kind to get. Plain? Salted? Wasabi? I was perplexed and did not buy any.

Choices!

In the world we now live, we seem to be able to find anything that we want, in any flavor, size, shape or form.

I remember when there was regular pop and diet. Now look at the all the different kinds available to us.

The same can be said for Pringles chips. They came in the bright red canister, you bought it, you ate it, you were happy. They still do come in that famous can, but now there are several different kinds to choose from including ranch, salt and vinegar, baked potato, and at times flavors such as cheesy fries, screamin’ dill pickle and onion blossom that appeared in some markets for a limited run. And there are several other varieties.

Do you remember when a box of Cheerios was just that? A box of Cheerios? They later introduced Honey Nut Cheerios and now there are 13 different options to choose from. In addition to the two listed the list includes Multi-Grain, Apple Cinnamon, Banana Nut, Chocolate, Dulce de Leche (caramel), Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Burst, Frosted, Fruity, Oat Cluster Crunch and Yogurt Burst.

Having a choice is a great thing. It is a part of our everyday lives. Having so many options to choose from can keep it interesting, new and fresh. But if you have a tough time making a decision, they are making it all the more difficult for you! I will leave that up to you to decide if that is a good thing or not.

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