It is your choice

3 min read

The voice of the train conductor sounds through the cabin. The next stop is home. Finally. I look up from my book and out of the window. In that moment rain starts gushing down like someone is emptying out buckets full of water. Fantastic, I think to myself. No umbrella and I am wearing my cute but very impractical coat with no hood.

I sigh. And take a deep breath. It is only rain I tell myself. You can choose to not get upset by this.

This is something I have recently learned from a good friend. She has three wonderful, very strong-willed children. Something I hear her say to them a lot is: “You have a choice.” A choice to be grumpy or to smile, a choice to throw a tantrum or to calm down, a choice to share, a choice to be kind, a choice to be grateful.

I was really struck by this. Even if I don’t consciously think about it – every minute there are decisions.

Am I going to be annoyed at the lady at the checkout because she is taking her time or will I be friendly and ask about her day? Will I ignore the homeless guy or say hello? Will I be thankful for the rain because it sustains life or will I be grumpy because I forgot my umbrella? Will I frown or will I smile?

We all have 24 hours every day but I still often feel like my time is not enough. There is not enough time to exercise, to play guitar, to keep the house tidy, read, water the plants, work and get eight hours of sleep.

But even though I can’t increase the amount of time I have – I can still choose how I spend it.

I might feel forced to work my job because I need the money – but no one forces me to show up to work every day. I could stay in bed and deal with the consequences. That might not be pleasant, but it is a choice.

I am not suggesting we should all stop showing up to work so we have more time to read books (even though that would be a good life) – I am suggesting that we shift our perspective.

If I clean my house and I am doing it because I think I have to I probably won’t be feel very happy. If I am cleaning my house and think I am choosing to do this because I enjoy living in a clean house, it completely changes how I feel.

Often we feel more constrained in what we do, when other people are affected.

I might think that I have to cook dinner for my husband because he has been at work all day. And I might resent him a little bit for that as I would rather do something else with my time. However, no one forces me to make dinner every night. My husband would probably take on the cooking if I asked him to. However, I make dinner because I am better at cooking (sorry to be so honest; he is not a bad cook, I am just really good) and I enjoy doing something nice for my husband.

If I focus on my choices and why I make them, my perspective is completely different.

Rather than feeling resentful, I feel empowered.

Please do not hear what I am not saying – this is not a ‘you can do anything you put your mind to’ kind of post. There are no endless possibilities in life. There is a limit to your energy and time and resources. Life is about making the most of it.

How you do that is entirely up to you.

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  • Reply Ellie 13 January 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Such a good post Britta! Very true. We all need to be mindful of our decisions and why we make them. Most choices we make are not conscious but are still because we think the outcome will be best for us. Sometimes we need to consciously remind ourselves why we do what we do and keep our motivations positive.

  • Reply Kimberly C. 14 January 2017 at 11:10 am

    Love that quote. I don’t think it’s reason to worry if you don’t post for a couple of days. I think it’s better to aim to post quality posts than just quick stuff.

  • Reply Annemarie LeBlanc 15 January 2017 at 5:47 am

    I love this. I can relate pretty much with what you wrote. There are times that I feel the same way, that the days are not long enough and that weekends should be 5 days long instead of only 2. The best thing I learned that worked for me is the ability to say “no.” Instead of trying to make everyone happy, I opted to make myself happy first. Furthermore, putting God in the middle of my life has definitely given me the strength and courage to face every challenge that comes my way. Peace and love to you. May you too be blessed.

  • Reply Nina 15 January 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I can relate to this so much. I find myself doing the exact same thing with blogging. I find myself doing other things like silly games on my phone rather than just sticking to the schedule I set for myself. And you’re right … there’s fear there … it’s driven by fear.

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus 15 January 2017 at 2:18 pm

    That is actually a good way of looking at life. Instead of saying we have to we should change it to we want to, to make us happier.

  • Reply Carrie 15 January 2017 at 2:55 pm

    We definitely need to be mindful of our choices we make as well as our perspectives on those choices. However this is no easy task. It is something I am working on this year though.

  • Reply Kusum 16 January 2017 at 4:38 am

    Could not agree more on perspective! I think two different people when faced with the same problem will handle it completely differently because of their perspective on things, its always great to have a positive mindset!

    xx, Kusum |

  • Reply Surekha 17 January 2017 at 8:04 pm

    That’s a great way to add positivity in our lives. Loving what we do also lessens our burdens. For me, when do things, I do them with at most dedication and love but pushing myself to do that is difficult!

  • Reply Ali Rost 19 January 2017 at 12:58 am

    These are such wise words and all things I struggle with too. Procrastination .. worrying there isn’t enough time to get everything done. I love your perspective and will remember it the next time I’m caught in thoughts like these.

  • Reply Daisy J. Crawford 19 January 2017 at 10:01 am

    Thank you for this very enlightening post! I really need to change the “I have to…” attitude. It’s really stressful and not as productive as a mantra!

  • Reply Anupriya Basu 25 January 2017 at 12:59 am

    That’s a nice perspective, although we know these things we still continue to do things because we feel we have to! I also do the same, everyday! I keep whining that I have to do this and that, forgetting that I am making that choice. I do choose the things to do, yet I crib. Will change my thinking and try to be more positive

  • Reply Via Bella 25 January 2017 at 3:30 am

    I love this outlook! We are all changing I think to be able to be more this way.

  • Reply Ana Ojha 9 February 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Beautiful piece of writing! Sometimes I too believe that 24 hours are not enough for me! I need more time to balance my life!

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