Well, it's certainly a relief to have that figured out. My path is now clear. The choices are laid out before me in an orderly fashion. The rest of my life is going to be a piece of cake—chocolate, presumably.
More accurately, it's going to be a fortune cookie.
Ordinarily, I don't pay a lot of attention to fortune cookies. They're fodder for a moment's amusement, a moment's thought, or an entertaining after-dinner conversation. Once in a while, though, a fortune comes along that makes more of an impact.
Like the one that stated enigmatically, "You will receive all the wealth that you deserve." That's been several years ago, and the millions have yet to start rolling in. Apparently the fortune isn't coming true. Oh, wait a minute. Maybe it is.
My most memorable fortune came years ago, when my boss had ordered lunch for all of us from the Chinese restaurant down the street. The slip of paper in my cookie informed me, "You will soon receive a promotion."
The next week, after a disagreement with that same boss over how to handle an employee problem, I got fired. Somewhere in my old files, I probably still have my copy of the "resignation" letter she asked me to write—with the fortune cookie taped to it.
Actually, losing that job did turn out to be a promotion, just in a different way. I've been self-employed ever since. And if my current boss ever tries to fire me, I'll show her. I'll just quit.
The fortune that is going to change my life, though, came with my cashew chicken the other day. It read, "When the moment comes, take the last one from the left."
Wow. Imagine the time and effort this could save. Just look how much it simplifies every decision. Which sweater to choose off the clearance rack. Which book to take off the library shelf. Which guy to accept out of the hordes of eager two-steppers lined up to ask me to dance. Which brownie to take off the plate. (If you take the last one from the left, then the next one in line becomes the new last one on the left, so you take that one, too, and then the next one in line—you see where this could go?)
There is still a bit of room for creativity, as well. For example, take the salad bar at one restaurant we go to. If you approach it from one direction, the last item on the left is the ham and bean soup. From the other side, it's the bread pudding. If you sidle up to it at an angle, though, and stand in just the right spot with your back half turned, the last item on the left—at least the last one you can see—is the chocolate mousse.
Perspective is so important.
It feels as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. From now on, no more worrying about making decisions. No more time-consuming consideration of pros and cons. No more thinking. Just follow the fortune cookie. The last one from the left, and bingo. It's the right—er, correct—choice.
Now, all I have to worry about is knowing "when the moment comes."