fklwmn, I sincerely hope your situation improves.
Thank you. I'm actually not all that miserable in general. Well, over the past few months I've been trying to get through a rough patch... but for the most part I'm not a miserable person. I just accept that life is never going to be what I want it to be, and I focus on the few things that ARE what I want them to be.
This thread just REALLY hit a sore spot with me b/c the rough patch i'm going through is something I had ZERO choice about, it was thrust upon me and I was left to deal with it the best that I can. It bothers me to hear people make a blanket statement that you have a choice to change the things in your life that you aren't happy with when some things are not your choice at all. And no, I am not referring to my job situation.
The "you have a choice" part is quite a sore spot for me, too, which is why I posted earlier in this thread. I don't think the OP meant that you can ALWAYS change things, but that's how this particular phrase sounds sometimes, doesn't it?
I have health problems. They are genetic. I didn't ask to be born with these genes, nor do I get any say in how sick I get because of them. The only choices I have are to whine, to not whine, or to put a gun to my head and "fix" them once and for all. These are pretty lousy choices.
Most of the time I don't whine, but I have had the occasional pity party - most of us have (I don't have any problem with pity parties, since they usually involve stuffing myself with chocolate )
I think a better way to phrase it would be "You have a choice to make the best of what you have, or not." I'd say you are on the right track with that, since you have mentioned already that you put up with things you don't like for the good stuff, like your boys. Just keep thinking of them, and the other good things in your life.
Good point, Blue (by the way, I don't know how you feel about people telling you they're sorry that you're so sick, so I'm not going to say it, I'm just going to send you some healing vibes). Anyway, there are some situations where there really IS no choice, and yours is definitely one of them.
On a smaller scale, though, I'd just like to point out that another thing that really annoys me is when the people saying "you have a choice" are the very people who are creating that unfair situation in the first place, and then shift the blame back to the original person with the "you have a choice" line. For example, when I was in high school, we had several vending machines throughout the first floor of the school, which was all well and good, EXCEPT for the fact that those machines would sometimes take people's money without giving anything in return. Anyway, I guess the school got sick of people going to the office to ask what to do about it that they came up with a "solution," which was to post a sign on the door of the phys. ed. office saying "Vending Machine Refunds--See Mr. Gymjock on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2:35-2:45." For the record, that time was sort of the "rush" time between the dismissal bell, and the boarding of buses/beginning of all the after-school activities. So, often, Mr. Gymjock wasn't available during his "appointed" time, if he was sick, if he'd left early to coach an away game, if he was still AT school, but coaching a home game......in fact, it got so that when people were expecting Mr. Gymjock to give them their vending machine refunds on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he'd be unavailable more often than he'd be available, much to the dismay of the crowds of people lining up outside his office. However, one Tuesday afternoon, when I'd been ripped off on a few occasions over the past week or so, I'd had enough. Mr. Gymjock wasn't in his office at 2:35, so I left, and I found him in the front foyer of the school, not doing anything important, but just chatting with another gym teacher, Mr. Skinhead (who, by the way, was actually very nice). The ensuing exchange went something like this:
ME: "Umm, Mr. Gymjock?"
MR GYMJOCK: "Freakyfemme, can't you see I'm busy talking to Mr. Skinhead? He has something really important to say to me."
MR. SKINHEAD: "Blah, blah, blah, Senior Boys' Rugby."
ME: "Well, Mr. Gymjock, *I* have something important to say to *you.* There are about five people waiting outside your office for their vending machine refunds, since it's 2:35 on Tuesday afternoon. They know you're not sick or coaching a game today, so they're wondering where you are."
MR. GYMJOCK: "Well, they'll just have to wait. I'm BUSY."
ME: "But, Mr. Gymjock, I don't think it's very fair to post a sign on your office door telling people to come for their refunds at such-and-such time, and then not being there at the appointed time. Besides, a lot of people have buses to catch, and I'm about to be late for student council. I can't miss the meeting, because I'm secretary, and everyone's counting on me to be there. I was just heading there right now, but I thought I should tell you that there are people waiting...and since I've found you now anyway, well, that's great, it means I can get my refund after all, since it is, after all, between 2:35 and 2:45 on Tuesday afternoon, which is the scheduled vending machine refund time."
MR GYMJOCK: "Well, then, you'll have to make a choice, do you want your money, or do you want to go to student council? And, the other students will have to choose between getting THEIR money or catching their buses."
ME: "No, Mr. Gymjock, that's not going to fly, because if you'd lived up to your commitment, nobody would have to choose. Everyone could have their refunds, the others could catch their buses, and I could go to student council."
Other variations on this "you have a choice" theme included the elementary-school principal, who told me I had a "choice" between continuing to be bullied by a certain horrible little boy in my class (let's call him Thugrat), or "ignoring it," "trying to be compassionate/be his friend," or switching schools. Umm, since when was it okay to tell a nine-year-old girl who's getting her face pounded into snow banks and chain link fences, and having her gloves thrown on the road in the middle of winter every day on the walk home from school, that it's up to HER to fix it? Apparently, the idea of punishing Thugrat was unsavoury to Principal, because he "had a tough home life." Yeah, he wasn't being given the attention or discipline he needed and deserved, so he felt he had to resort to hitting girls. So, if the SCHOOL tried to give Thugrat some of that attention and discipline, well, that just couldn't happen.
My roommate situation was the same way--I did nothing wrong, the other girls effectively bullied me out. The Rez Gods told me that I had a choice between staying or taking a chance and moving (although I had them check out the new apartment, and talk to the girls, i.e. my current roommates), first, and now everything's fine, but I had to pack up and move EVERYTHING, get to know a new set of roommates, buy new bedding, since my new room had a double bed instead of a single, and, well, after the way the old roommates treated me, I spent several days just crying to myself at random times, because I didn't understand how I could have brought on that kind of treatment.
But, anyway, I digress......and, like MerryRaven said, I have a choice, right? Well......right now, I'm choosing to be at least reasonably content with the way things are......yes, it's freezing out, yes, Tanya and I are fighting, and no, the Rez Gods STILL haven't turned their minds to fixing our broken fridge shelves, but hey......whatever, I had a good rehearsal with my accompanist today, I got a lot of important things done, and I'm going to a play tonight. Tomorrow, I'm going to work out, practice, do some painting, and *hopefully* do a bit more thesis research, and Sunday night, the R.A.'s are putting on an ice cream sundae social type event, and then I'm watching Desperate Housewives with Lorna....oh, and I live in Canada instead of war-torn Beirut, I can walk to class without fearing for my life, I have enough money so I can have food, clothes, and a roof over my head (although it's still not much), I'm literate, and I'm about to finish a music degree, which was my choice to get, which a lot of people don't get to choose for themselves. So, from that point of view, yeah, I'm luckier than about 99% of the people in the world.....but still, I just wanted to speak some words of caution against indiscriminate use of the phrase "you have a choice," because it's not always true, and when it's not true, it can sound dismissive and callous.