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Bumbling Through

     Big life decisions are pretty much black and white: get married or stay single? go to college or start working out of high school? retire now or in ten years? For those decisions we—some of us, anyway—write down all the pros and cons, ask a few friends what they think and then do what we wanted to do in the first place.

     It's the little decisions we bumble through that fill our days with angst. Should I wear the red T-shirt or the yellow sweater? Or the blue one? Should I get a small cone or splurge and get the large one? Strawberry or vanilla? If I leave now, will I get there too early or should I wait another ten minutes?

     They're never-ending, those little decisions. In the big scheme of things they don't matter a hoot. Today I decided to get my car washed after lunch. And then it rained—a brief shower. Ten minutes later the sun came out. My car was now covered with big, muddy splotches. Will it rain again? Accuweather says to expect showers.

     Lunch was good—decision made in a nanosecond. I love the EC Bistro's guacamole club sandwich. While I was enjoying my sandwich with the avocado pieces squirting out of the crust and turkey slices and tomato bits falling out after it, my son called. Shoving the mess back between the grilled bread slices and wiping my hands, I answered the call. Should I suggest he ask someone to join him and his wife and Paul on Sunday? Maybe not... No time for pros and cons. Oh, what th' heck. I asked, threw the decision on his plate. He bumbled through, but never really answered.

     Meanwhile Accuweather had updated its report to "no rain for the next 120 minutes." Big help! But after lunch it changed again: "Cloudy with sunny days ahead." So I go to the carwash. More decisions. What kind of wash? Basic? Superior? Deluxe? What flavor air freshener? Pina colada? New Car? Jasmine? Baby powder?

     Those multiple choice decisions drive us crazy. It doesn't make one bit of difference what we decide in the long run but still we spend precious minutes of our lives deciding. At least I do. I don't know about you. First thing I know a whole twenty-five seconds of my life has expired, vaporized, drifted off into thin air—never to return.

     Shall we get take-out tonight or order-in or cook? Italian, Mexican or Chinese? What do I want to watch? The news or "Man with a Plan" or "American Idol" or "House Hunters?" If I watch the news, which station? News is news. It'll be the same whatever station I choose—for the most part. Minutes later, decision made, I turn to "Man with a Plan."

     It isn't on. It's been replaced with a "Special Report" tonight. Talk about wasted time. Guess I'll read for a while. Or take a walk. Or bake a cake. Or...

     Maybe you never spend precious minutes mulling over small decisions. Maybe you always know exactly what you want to eat and what you're going to wear and when to cover the patio furniture. Maybe your closet is organized for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and every day for the rest of the year. Good for you!

     But come to think of it, for us bumblers, life isn't passing us by. All that time spent making little decisions—well, that IS life. We're just bumbling through. Might as well enjoy the ride.

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