Don’t leave room for regret

October 15, 2008

Whether we like it or not, we are defined by the choices we make- be they active choices or indirect. We notice when people change their ways, and we make assumptions and draw conclusions from that. After eating the turkey leg at Thanksgiving for the first 18ish years of my life and then switching to the white meat, I received a lot of strange and perplexed looks.

The world must indeed be falling apart!

My change in diet has been noticed by everyone who has known me for any length of time, and it generates a great deal of curiosity, confusion, and teasing. My choices in that have shaped who I am, and regardless of if I want them to, I am defined by them.

Another critical choice that we make has to do with politics: what our ideals and values are, who we want to win, which party we vote for, and whether or not we vote at all. Last night the votes came in for our Canadian election, and my sister and I hosted a mini election party to watch the news coverage on CBC. There was a mix of people there; most of them felt very strongly that it is absolutely essential that everyone votes, but one person had completely forgotten about voting and another hadn’t because she just didn’t want to. Gasps of horror! (These are the kinds of things you just don’t bring up in a room full of politics students).

But everyone reserves the right to vote. However, you can’t choose to not have an opinion when it comes to anything, including politics: by choosing not to vote, that in itself is saying something. By choosing not to participate or engage in the discussions, that is, in the words of Deborah Tannen, “marking” you.

Remember this the next opportunity you have to vote or make a statement in your community. Remember this when you buy food at the grocery store and go exercising (or when you don’t). Remember this when you’re choosing for both big and small things- remember it, so that you are choosing what you really believe in and truly value, rather than making a half-hearted choice.

Remember that what you do, or what you don’t do, tells the world who you are and defines your identity.

Are you making choices that you’re going to stand by and stick to?


  1. I tivoed tonite’s presidential election, something I’ve never come close to doing and in sharp contrast to the other shows I have tivoed (Gossip Girl, Project Runway.) I just know that I CAN make a difference with this eelction and quite frankly, the idea of McCain winning makes me want to lose my mind so I am registered and ready to vote!

  2. Sagan, this post is fabulous (just like all your other ones, haha) – I ALWAYS try to make the best choices, and I ALWAYS stand by them (even if they aren’t the best ones, I take responsibility for them).

    This will be my first time voting in an election, in November (since I’m finally old enough), and I’m quite excited to make my opinions known.

  3. Leslie- the idea of him winning makes me want to lose my mind, too. Shudder. You know its important when it gets tivoed right up there along with Gossip Girl and Project Runway hehe.

    Veggiegirl- it was my first time this year too (also because of the age). So exciting! And great point about taking responsibility for our choices, regardless of if they are the best ones or not.

  4. Sagan – I’m so glad to hear that you exercised your right to vote (for the first time). So many young people don’t bother, and it really does make a difference.

  5. that’s a tough call, but its right on the nail! better to make a tough decision now than make an easy one that turns out to be lousy later!:)

  6. an election party sounds so cute. But I don’t think I could hang out with anybody else who’s interested (sad state of affairs). Plus anybody else who IS interested in polics would probably be the polar opposite of me and I wouldn’t be able to stand hanging around them. Hence I watch the coverage myself and yell at the tv periodically!

  7. what a great post, as all of your posts are. it is so true. We ARE the choices we make, whether we want to believe it or not.

  8. Bag Lady- it was very cool! And because I moved so recently they sent me 3 voting cards. But they figured it out and wouldn’t let me vote 3 times. Damn.

    Mansi- for sure! It’s all worth it.

    Randi- yelling at the tv is always a good time. It’s true, usually other people don’t appreciate that very much if they’re in the same room:)

    Rhodeygirl- thanks! We can learn lots about ourselves by just looking at the choices that we make.

  9. this is such a great post! i hope your message reaches everyone who needs it ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Good post, Sagan. Veggiegirl puts it well.

  11. “Remember this when you’re choosing for both big and small things- remember it, so that you are choosing what you really believe in and truly value, rather than making a half-hearted choice.” An excellent point! Thank you for the post!

  12. Yesyesyes!
    As I’ve told you—-youre such a role model.
    And I also love Deborah T.


  13. Absolutely!!

    Less than a month till our U.S. election! Hopefully, Florida won’t be on the news too much this year ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I was just in our brand new local history museum last weekend reading all about the struggle to earn the vote.

    Aside from the political implications about not voting, isn’t it just plain ungrateful if we don’t vote after all those brave, determined people went through to get us the right to have a voice?

    Turning in their graves…

    TA x

  15. I asked the airline attendant to have the Captain announce the election results when they came in – as I was somewhere over the ocean……Thankfully I was near the loo when the results came in and I could have my tragic moment filled with tears and sadness all alone! As soon as I reached my destination I checked out all of the local riding results and was equally ill over some of them and not so disappointed over others..the point about taking your right and priviege to vote is important…the gentleman on one side of me did not bother to vote…he was a Union Man and so that surprised me, the lady on the second leg of my trip did vote…She was an arch-conservative and she DID vote and had a good appreciation and understanding of the whole system. She was originally from Hungary and knew what it was like to live under a system in which there is no choice. Both of the conversations with these people were interesting..one with someone who did not care at all and the other with someone who did. Choice, it is a great gift.

  16. MizFit- aw:) And Deborah Tannen is such a fantastic writer.

    TA- that’s something that not many people consider. We really neglect history in that way. But it’s true; its a way of honouring what they’ve achieved!

    Rebecca- that’s good that you got to hear the results as soon as they came in. Interesting story! It seems that no matter what people choose when it comes to voting or not voting or who they vote for, everyone has VERY strong opinions. Always makes for enlightening conversations!

  17. Yes, I definitely am…nothing I can share but it’s quite important and necessary to me!!
    I am definitely voting in this election (as I have in all that I have been able to). Am going to an election party also! Obama is looking strong – woohoo!

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