Monday, October 10, 2016
Welcome to the World of Probability
Let's just get really real and face the ugly truth:
sometimes life is full of No.
My life has had more No than most at times, and the sad fact is that my No has to be controlled by an effort of will. In other words, I could but I must Not. It's like how I could eat meat but, thanks to a health issue, I would feel very ill and eventually it would kill me--easy choice actually: being alive feels better (even on a bad day) that any steak ever tasted.
Common sense, after a while, just becomes part of quid pro quo survival. But there's a difference between surviving and thriving; and that is also a matter of choice. If you stare too long at a problem, it blinds you to the other options that are all around it. Creative thinking just requires practice, and it begins, like anything else, with the decision to take a single step. Some things will be impossible in the Land of No but many other things are probable.
What brought on this philosophical thought?
Yeah, you heard me: couscous.
I wanted couscous. I had been wanting it for weeks. But the cost of a single box of the only brand available here in my small Mississippi town made me blanche--it held only a couple of servings and it cost $3. My weekly food budget is $20 or less. I checked the Dented Can Store (not its real name) but they didn't have any couscous in stock. (You never know what they will or won't have at the Dented Can Store--it's a place where they sell stuff that other stores don't want or have removed from stock or is past the Sell-By-Date--so you have to take your chances in more ways than one.) Thus there was No couscous that I could afford.
Improbable? Not at all.
When in doubt, there's always eBay. I went searching. And I found the perfect stuff: a lot with two containers (26.45 oz each) for the bargain price of $13.99, including Free Shipping. (Oh and a word for those who don't know: Free Shipping is Not free, not in the Land of No nor anywhere else. You pay for the shipping because it is included in the price of the product.)
Now, that eBay couscous was $13.99 and my budget for Everything for a week is $20, so how could I justify the purchase price when I wouldn't spend $3? Well, that's easy: divide 14 by 25. (13.99 = 14; 25 = total number of servings for both containers) and you'll come up with .56 cents per serving as opposed to 1.50. And you might also figure that 25 servings will last at least 2 months. So 14 ./. 8 (price of the couscous; number of weeks) and that comes out to 1.75 per week. That's tolerable and that's the basis for four affordable meals per week (if I should choose to eat it that often; since I probably won't, it should last even longer than two months).
Fortunately, I had money enough in my PayPal account to cover the total amount, so I made the purchase. The seller shipped very quickly, and now I'm having a lovely time making satisfying simple meals with couscous. I plan to purchase again from the same seller in future. I can't imagine how they can sell so inexpensively but I am grateful.
The important lesson here is that you can elect to remain mouldering in the Land of No, or you can make your way to the World of Probability. It is not easy to travel that road but it is, after all, on the journey where we see the most beautiful sights.
And by the way, the nifty plastic containers that the couscous comes in will be great to re-use to store other stuff in the pantry. Another win.
Life is good.
And it's full of probabilities.