Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Don't Give Me You Have No Choice! by Brenda Whiteside

There's barely a week left of April and the possibility showering is heading toward a trickle - from us anyway. You can keep on looking for your own possibilities. Which means what? Choices. That's where my mind wandered. There are always possibilities...there are always choices.

Have you ever said "I have no choice?" This is one of my most hated phrases. There is always a choice, or even choices. Many, many years ago my father-in-law was explaining to me why he did something he hated doing. It's been so long ago, I can't remember what, but I think it might have been what he did for a living. He told me sometimes in life, you have to keep doing what you hate. I was very young, about twenty, and I suppose he thought he was tasked with imparting some deep wisdom. Being the uninhibited person I was (am?), I said, but why? For instance, if you hate pancakes, why would you get up everyday and eat pancakes? It sounded smarter at the time, but you can see my youthful idealism.

I still abide by it. Never settle. You always have a choice in life, no matter the circumstance. Granted, your choices may be bad and worse, but you can't always determine that until after the fact. Afraid to make a choice? What's the worst that can happen? You chuck it aside and try something else.

There's a saying I love that is credited to Lucille Ball:
"I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done." 

So go for it, whatever it is. Make the choice and own it! 

Visit Brenda at
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at
She blogs about prairie life and writing at


Jannine Gallant said...

There's not much point in going through life unhappy because you're afraid to take a risk and jump out of the rut you're in. Go, Brenda!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Oh so true, Jannine!

Regina Marie said...

So agree Brenda!! Phrase that gets me is "Make no mistake"...really?? If we didn't make mistakes how would we gain experience or learn what we hated?? Move forward I say!!! :)

Brenda Whiteside said...

Right on, Nancy!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

We always have a choice. I think for writers, who deal in all sorts of wonderous and disasterous possibilities, we find "I had no choice" leaves a bad taste in our mouths. Good post, Brenda.

Brenda Whiteside said...

You betcha, Vonnie.

Karen Q. said...

Yes, my father was very similar to your father-in-law. Hated being a mechanic for all those years, but he had a family to care for so I guess that was the choice he made. Life is much too short to spend it not doing the things we love. However, the known is sometimes just so much easier than the unknown, which prevents a lot of us from going after that dream. Great advice, Brenda.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Definitely words to ponder, Brenda. I like the idea that there are always choices. Could have, would have, should have - is one of my favorites.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I think you're right, Karen. Some times the path of lease resistance or the known is our choice. And if you're happy, then great!

Yes, Margo, even not making a choice and letting life make those choices for you is making a choice.

Herbert Grosshans said...

Great post, Brenda. To make a choice is thinking positively, it also means being hopeful. Hoping to make a better choice. Sometimes we really don’t have much of a choice, though. I grew up in Germany after World War II. We had no choices at all, unless one considers dying a choice. If you have a good paying job but you hate it, it is difficult to leave this job and look for another one, one you love but may be paying less. It may mean struggling to feed your family, to keep the house you’re living in. We all love writing, but most of us will never make enough money doing what we love. Unless you have nothing to lose by quitting your job and devoting all your time to writing, it is best to stick with the choice you made when you took the job you have. Sure, we always have some choice, but it is not always smart or desirable to drop everything just because we want to chase a dream. I think it is most important to love what we are doing and to put our best efforts into it, but to be ready if an opportunity comes along and then take it. Some people are never happy with the choices they make, but that can be a matter of the mind.
Some of my own choices were not always the right choices, but I accepted them and worked with them. I didn’t waste any time regretting them. There is nothing worse than saying, “I should have...I wonder what would have happened if...” It is better to say, “I made this choice and now I will do the best I can.”
Now I better get back to my writing, or maybe I should spend more time on the internet. Oh what choices -:).

Brenda Whiteside said...

You are very right, Herbert. I over-simplified my post in many ways. Growing up under bad conditions, fearing for your life or loved ones - well, those kind of conditions require an entirely different outlook. I'm glad you're here to comment!