The Salt Truck, The Overflowing Cart, And 35,000 Choices

Does each person really make about 35,000 choices every day? I heard it several times, but it is a little hard to believe.

This morning, the temperature was in teens–this is in Fahrenheit, not in Celsius, which usually takes quite a while for an immigrant to get used to. Even the facial wipes in my car are frozen. When I drove to the stores, I was stuck behind a salt truck, which is the ugliest vehicle on earth. Somehow the whole truck is being eroded, and it clinked and clanked in misery, with specs of salts falling from the creases of its body. I felt that any minute it could fall apart right before my eyes, but it kept going.

Every parking lot was full. Everybody was out shopping, which seems to be the solution for everything, like a pandemic, a snow storm, a Super Bowl, a holiday, a heartbreak, a depression, a friendship. The Costco and Walmart plaza was impossible to get in since the line of cars waiting for the last left turn stretched half a mile. I had to abandon my first plan, and opt for the next store.

It’s just going to be a little snow of 6 inches, and looked at this man who’s pushing a cart filled to the point of falling over. Is this really necessary? Why so much spring water? I don’t understand the connection between a snow storm and spring water? Whenever there’s a snow storm, the spring water shelf is the first to be emptied.

I think my brain, like this man’s filled up cart, is stuffed with 35,000 useless decisions to make every day. No wonder my writing is not improving. All because my brain is being drafted to make all those mundane and petty decisions, all 35,000 of them. How do I even have energy left for things I really want to do?

Also none of the 35,000 is exciting, just like the man’s cart. Nothing exciting. My life is too uneventful, too protected, too uninspiring, full of little delights and annoyances of everyday life. Even the difficulties I’ve faced are boring. Often I’m not even motivated to solve those difficulties.

Sometimes I imagine if I was born as short as Somerset Maugham, also with a stutter, I probably can write the short stories he wrote–I love his short stories. Being challenged in height and verbal fluency is a great motivation for him, which is the reason why he wrote “Of Human Bondage”, my favorite book. Life is so unfair that I was born with no such motivators. I am just an average, normal, healthy human being, which is a blessing as well as a curse.

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