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Life Lessons From the Buffet Line

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There's a special place in my heart for a special place near my house. Hubbie and I visit it regularly... as in, at least once a week. It's that awesome.

It's Souplantation. And it makes me souper happy.

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If you don't know Souplantation (also known as Sweet Tomatoes in certain areas), it's one of those soup/salad/lots-of-other-stuff buffet-style restaurants. The kind where you pay one price and then can just go to culinary town, filling your plates with all kinds of goodies. Over and over again.

Perhaps you're not a fan of the buffet-type restaurant, which is perfectly fine. Some simply aren't into it. (I once had a friend say she never eats anywhere where a sneeze guard is required.)

Whatever your opinion on this matter, there are a few life lessons we can all learn from the buffet line.

I present them to you now...

Why Life is Like a Buffet

1. You have about a bazillion choices.

Like those buffet lines, there are tons of different ways to go with how (and with whom) you go about your life. Heck, there are tons of different ways to go with how (and with whom) you go about your day.

This is true every day. We're always evolving. The world is constantly changing, and so our choices can, too.

The thing is, we often forget we have choices, allowing ourselves to feel trapped in things just because we were originally interested in them (and because it's easier, especially since change can freak us out).

But, just like food from the buffet line, if we don't like something we can try something else. We're very rarely truly stuck. We just need to remind ourselves of that fact sometimes.

2. Sometimes the stuff you want isn't there

There have been a few incidents where I've shown up at Souplantation in total anticipation of a special salad or dessert which, for some reason, didn't make an appearance that day.

And then I've felt... well... is crushed a bit over the top?

Same thing happens with life. We get attached to our vision of getting that big promotion or finding that dream house or holding that perfect birthday party... only to have our worlds proverbially rocked when things don't turn out as we planned.

This is when it's time to accept the situation, to detach from our vision, to find something different -- perhaps something new -- to focus on as our Plan B. To fully enjoy whatever our Plan B might be.

After all, there's no point making ourselves miserable over something that isn't there.

3. Sometimes the people around you will get on your nerves

It turns out that Hubbie and I are not the only ones who love Souplanatation.

Lots of people (and their kids) do, too. Which means the lines are packed with other people... people who are slower than us, who take the last piece of sourdough, who talk super loudly behind us.

Same thing happens with life. Which is when we must remember that we are the center of our universe, but not the center of the universe... and that others have a right to live whatever way they want.

Really, most of the time people's actions just aren't personal. Even if it feels like it.

Perhaps because of this, it's also extremely important to actually go through life with people you do like, decreasing or removing those who don't delight you.

That makes dealing with everyone else a whole lot easier.

4. Sometimes we really, really regret our choices

Case and point? Hubbie during our last Souplantation visit.

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There will be times when we make choices that aren't healthy for us... unhealthy relationships, unhealthy habits, unhealthy thoughts.

They make us feel bad... inside or out.

The best thing we can do is acknowledge and understand what happened, resist beating ourselves up, and use the experience to learn how to do things better next time.

We also need to remember that this bad feeling will pass, that there will always be another day. That we can choose healthier options that lead to happier lives (and less bloat). That we must do so.

After all, we'll have a whole new set of choices tomorrow.

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This week...

Embrace all of the choices you have in front of you. Be open to new experiences.

Surround yourself with awesome people and don't worry about the others. Learn from your mistakes.

And know that, despite those tough times, life's buffet can be one heck of a satiating adventure.

P.S. I swear to you that Souplantation gave me nothing for this blog. I just love the place that much. Because it's that awesome. In fact, if you're near one, you might just want to check it out. Just sayin'.