Decision Fatigue

Does anyone else have trouble with the multitude of decisions one needs to make to carry out mundane activities? Like grocery shopping?

Before I leave home I enthusiastically get out my pre-printed list that includes commonly purchased items. I make up a menu for the week and circle all the items I need to create these culinary delights. Then I skip off to Hannaford with a song in my heart, grateful that I have the funds to buy food in such a clean, well-stocked grocery store that employs such wonderful people who look out for my every need.

I begin my expedition and so does the decision-making.

  • Do I buy salad ingredients at the salad bar or in the produce department?
  • What is the best buy based on cost per unit?
  • Do I buy store brand or name brand?
  • Do I buy in quantity when on special? (I’m sure Patrick and I will eat up this five-pound box of clementines before they turn into adorable little green fuzz balls that smell like finger nail polish remover.)
  • Do I buy organic or food laced with chemicals? (I am getting older so realistically how many years can I benefit from eating clean?)
  • Do I buy fresh or frozen?
  • Do I buy full fat or ‘lite?’
  • Do I buy salted or unsalted?
  • How do I best avoid the person hawking samples?

On and on it goes. It’s enough to drive you straight to the liquor aisle but have you seen the choices in that aisle lately?

By the time I plod along to the check out counter I barely have enough energy to feel a sense of victory, before I have to start making more decisions.

  • Did I find everything I was looking for? (A little late to ask – I could have used your help in the liquor aisle).
  • Do I have any coupons?
  • Do I want plastic or paper?
  • Do I want my bags packed heavy or light?
  • Do I want my chicken double bagged?
  • Do I want my beer in a bag?
  • Do I want cash back?
  • Do I want help out with my cart?

As I wander around the parking lot in a daze looking for my car, clutching my coat around me to avoid frostbite, I feel a sense of relief that I don’t need to buy gas. The onslaught of decisions involved in that attempt might put me over the edge.

  • Debit or credit?
  • Car wash?
  • If yes on the car wash do I want Deluxe, Super Deluxe or Deluxe on Steroids?
  • What grade of gasoline?
  • Do I want a printed receipt?

Please forgive me for ending this post awkwardly and abruptly. I wrote up several brilliant endings but I can’t decide which one to use……..

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13 thoughts on “Decision Fatigue

  1. Cross one decision off your list: paper or plastic? No, no….bring your own heavy cotton bags!! Oh, gee, now you just have to decide how many to bring into the store! That is, unless you forgot to bring them at all!

  2. You may want to adopt some of my techniques, sis. No list necessary. ..at our age if you don’t know what you need to get best let someone else do the shopping. .besides it’s more exciting making impulsive choices. Next suggestion: start at the liquor aisle……run that stuff through checkout right away; double brown paper bags works best for me. …later, go exclusively plastic bagging as you make your imprint on mother earth longer. Fat vs. non fat is easy…..just check out my belly to tell my preference. I find it’s best to avoid the candy aisle….thankfully, the candy isn’t in the beer aisle.

  3. I finally was able to check out your Blog, and LOVE it as I knew I would! This article made me laugh many times out loud….and I needed it today! Thank you! ♡

  4. Hi Molly,
    You certainly have missed your calling. Should have been a blogger long before this. Too funny thanks for making me laugh!!

  5. Molly,
    This is, in every sense, the “bitter truth” – I “LOL’d” through nearly every thought that you brought about. How right you are. The thoughts/questions that zoom through my head at rapid speeds during a grocery shopping trip are just as you expressed. I can already see that your blog is a hit!! I LOVE the title – it is absolutely on point with the vibe you’ve so comically, yet eloquently portrayed! A round of applause goes to you! Thank you for taking our suggestions by creating this!

    • Thanks so much for your support! I’ve set up the subscription feature if you’d like to sign up.

  6. Too funny Molly!! As I read your blog on s Saturday afternoon (just waking up) I know I must go food shopping. I unfortunately have limited funds and I pretty much have to be done in 30 minutes, amazingly it allows for easier decision making. Bypass fresh too expensive, head to the meats to check out clearance, wine isle not an option (I wish), everything generic (cheaper), and what is organic? LOL
    Checkout… Usually can go to the under 14 items isle and plastic because I reuse them. In and out in 30 minutes or less. I’m exhausted and it’s cold so gas will have to wait another day.
    Great article!! You should write for the local paper, I have connections!!

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