When my kids were little, they made me read Edith Kunhart's "Which One Would You Choose?" book over and over and over. It's a lovely little book which tells the story of Will and Maggie making choices from breakfast to bedtime.
Time to get dressed. Will chose the red shirt, Maggie chose the blue shirt. Which one do you choose? How about breakfast: Will chose cereal, Maggie chose oatmeal. Which one do you choose? Playing outside in the rain? Will chose the raincoat, Maggie chose the umbrella? What about you?
All day long, in this simply drawn world, Will and Maggie make little choices. What kind of ice cream? Which kitten to play with? Which cuddly toy to sleep with at night?
Every time we read the book, my kids would hesitate a little over their own choices. Oh, sure, they had their favorites, but it was fun to mix it up a little. Maybe choose the green striped shirt this time, even though Maggie never did, just to be brave, and go a little crazy!
So, I've been busy with work lately, and my husband's been in charge of the kids and the cooking. And they all like to cook things, for fun. To entertain themselves. To experiment. To learn how to look up a recipe online, how to read it, how to work the stove, how to measure things, and best of all, how to operate little machines like mixers and blenders.
Lately I've come home after meetings in the real world, and I get hit with the amazing smell of bacon or cookies when I open the front door.
Sometimes there are donuts in pink boxes sitting on the counter when I get home from my run in the early mornings, because, you know, we ran out of milk and my husband went to the store and took a kid along for the ride. They all know they can talk him into donuts if I'm not around. He can even talk his own self into donuts, with or without a kid there.
So then I have to make a choice. Oatmeal or donut, which one do I choose? Dad chose bacon, mom chose turkey, which one do you choose? Duh. I'm sure Will and Maggie would probably choose bacon. Just a guess.
I gave up wine a while ago because it's hard for me to stop at one glass, and it gives me insomnia, and sometimes I feel a little off the next morning when I run, and I have a hard time losing weight if I drink 2 or 3 glasses of wine a night, so I chose none.
But then I chose vodka for a while because it doesn't have sugar so I don't get hangovers, and I can usually stop at one drink, and I do enjoy a little shot of relax-ment after a long day.
But then I realized I was choosing it every night, and it became a habit, and it was getting expensive, and because I'm a bit of a control freak (me?) after a while I feel a need to prove to myself that I'm not addicted to anything, so I stop.
It's funny how easy it is for me to stop doing something when I choose to.
It's easy for me to stop drinking alcohol every night, because I'm the only one who buys it. So I just stop buying it. Then there isn't any more, so I don't drink it. The first night, I missed it because it was such a nice habit, and I rather enjoyed it. But then I chose peach tea on the rocks. And now I haven't thought about buying vodka for several days.
It is a little harder for me to not choose bacon and donuts when they magically appear on my kitchen counter while I'm gone, because, well, duh. They're bacon and donuts.
The trick I use to not choose them is to think of them as food. They aren't signs of love or loathing, they aren't morally good or bad, right or wrong. They don't represent success or failure. They're just units of calories. Just like oatmeal and egg whites and flax seed.
Right...just the same.
Well, most of the time, this works. For the record, sometimes I choose donuts and bacon. They are yum, personified. And I'm sure I'll have vodka again before I die. Maybe even tomorrow. But then tomorrow comes and I remember that every day I wake up, I get to choose again.
Good luck with your choices!