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Taking the Cake

Taking the Cake

“It’ll keep for a few days, won’t it?” he asked.

My eyes got big. I smiled nervously.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“I’m not sure I can be trusted with it,” I said.

The last quarter of the dense, moist two-layer spice birthday cake with thick buttercream frosting sat on the china dinner plate.  If it stayed in my kitchen, I knew that in a matter of a few days —or possibly a few hours—-I could polish it off with ease. With a cup of chai spice tea or a glass of almond milk, it would be perfect for breakfast, snack, or no reason.

Unless I’m entertaining, I avoid bringing cakes or cookies or chips and dips into my home. (Nuts, a part of the diet of global centenarians, are a notable exception.) Potato chips remain a top ten favorite food and I rarely turn down a good tiramisu.

It’s just that I know myself.

I’ve set the intention of eating only three Girls Scout Thin Mints at a time. Yet hiding the box from myself in the back of my freezer might not stop me from emptying its contents in record time. Domino foods for me include bites of black licorice or a bag of just about anything with sodium.

I understand the power of choice. Eat the cake or don’t eat the cake. Lift kettlebells this morning or don’t. Check social media before bed or not.

Each decision we make takes a bit of energy. As the day progresses and decision-making energy wanes, the quality of my choices declines accordingly. The next thing you know, I’m moistening my fingertips to get the last crumbs from the bottom of the bag of Cheetos.

When I make one big decision—Don’t buy tasty temptations pretending they won’t taunt me—I don’t have to keep making decisions over and over. Better to decide once and for all there will be no ice cream in my freezer at bedtime rather than making seven decisions a week whether or not to eat it.

The leftover birthday cake stayed. I put an extra layer of plastic wrap around it and moved it to the bottom shelf of my refrigerator.  That single choice left me with many days of saying to myself “just a sliver.” 

While big decisions simplify my life, occasionally being trusted with small ones can be pretty delicious, too.

Coach Koenig

Which decisions do you get tired of making?

Is there one big decision that would eliminate many other decisions?

What intentions will guide your choice?