Growing up in the land of options

landAmerica, the great land of opportunity, at least that’s what the brochure says.

Do you know what I think life in America really is about? The land of options. While yes, we are the country where we are given far more opportunities than others, we really are just a country with far too many options and I’m just plain tired of it.
My favorite grocery store is ALDI and I will pledge my allegiance to them any day of the week. While the good folks at Kroger have kept a roof over my family’s heads, I go to Aldi. I’m in and out in 15 minutes. Not only do I love their prices, but they give me 2 options and I’m good to go. Do you know how many options of cereal there are at a major grocer? 158!!!! That’s a crap ton of options and that doesn’t include the organic section where there are 10 versions of granola. I don’t need 10 versions of Ketchup either. Seriously, it’s a few smashed tomatoes and herbs with salt.

Why do we need so many options?
Did you know we have words that don’t actually exist in other cultures? For example, seafoam green. Not a color in China. They just have green and then proceed with lighter or darker depending on the shade they want, but no actual color of seafoam green. I love a 64 pack of Crayola’s as much as the next 6-year-old, but we don’t need all the options. A rainbow has 8 colors and I think those are good enough to brighten up the world.
The grocery store isn’t the only place to saturate us with options. Have you ever tried to pick out paint colors for your house? I had no idea there were 100 versions of white. There’s off white, pure white, cloud, cotton, vanilla, egg shell and so, so much more. Why??? Going to Sherwin Williams gives me anxiety.

However, I make one exception for the overuse of options, nail polish colors.
Standing in a salon reading names is half the reason I go. The other half is for the massage chair and foot rub. The pretty nails are a bonus in my opinion. With names like Teal the Cows Come Home, Dominant Jeans, Catherine the Grape, Kris Kringle Makes me Tingle and Kinky in Helsinki what’s not to enjoy about this color selecting process? I will overlook this over saturated market for a good play on words.
I still just don’t know why we have a million options for a million different things. If you’ve ever been around a toddler you know good and well you give them two choices: Apple juice or milk, color or paint, swing or slide, princess shirt or bunny shirt. We know not to give a toddler multiple options because their tiny little brains just can’t handle that nonsense. I think we should follow the lead of these little tiny humans and cut everything down to just a few options.

I love my country, but I’m over options.
I’ve decided I’m cutting back on it all. I’m going to start living on less for a variety of reasons. One being my own sanity, two being that I want to save money for fun things like travel and adventure, lastly, I want to cut out the crap, both in literal form and metaphorical. If anyone has read that organization book and wants to come determine if my things give me feelings, feel free to do so.

We really don’t need much to survive this life we’re living and I’m over the options.

What’s one thing you need to reduce the options on in your life? I’m looking for ideas so let me know!

2 Responses

  1. Jeff
    | Reply

    Great article. Good job.

  2. Elaine Pinkerton
    | Reply

    My husband and I just finished clearing out his mother’s house that she lived in for 50 years. It took us 6 months. I don’t want my life to be reduced to “things”. Like teapots, cups and saucers, and other collections that mean nothing.

    We had an Estate Sale. Anything of value had been taken by other family members, yet the house, including a full unfinished basement, was full to the brim of stuff none of the family wanted. We sold a lot, cheaply I might add, over a 3 day period. A veteran who owns a shop with a variety of “junk” offered to pack up everything left for $50.00. We grabbed the opportunity to completely clear out the house without having to pack it ourselves for The Salvation Army to take. It took most of the day on Monday with 5 people working. For FIFTY dollars.

    I will not leave this burden to my son. I will be clearing out my house and getting down to basics. Yes, I have read the book. I’m ready!

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