Wednesday 19 September 2007

Choices and regrets

My boss is a workaholic, and that is an understatement. I remembered she cancelled her leave, one she took to take her mom to physiotherapy due to work commitments. I still remember her words…

“No choice”

She eventually re-scheduled the physio session.

Like I mentioned before, life is all about making choices. From the beginning of the day when you have to choose to either wake up or continue to sleep till you choose whether to stay up and read blogs or sleep… it’s all about making choices, don’t you think? The day when you really have no choice, is the day you have ‘absolute rest’.

The reason why you think you have no choice is because you have not truly felt the need to choose the other option. Maybe the other option takes more time, maybe the other option causes you to miss out on something you like, maybe the other option causes you to lose an edge on your career… whatever that option may be, you just have not felt the need of it yet. Thus… you think you have no choice.

It could also be that you’re too engrossed on achieving something, that you truly believe that there is only one way of achieving it.

Amidst all that, it is interesting to know that regrets are often link to actions performed in a ‘no-choice’ situation, don’t you think? Let me share with you a story I heard 2 weeks ago…

One of the modern slaves in one of the big 4 slavery kingdom was clocking in high amount of overtime. It was the so called peak period. Well, I am not sure whether she thought she had no choice or perhaps she thought she was doing it for her future, and the future of her child… she was pregnant.

She “was” pregnant… and now, the husband is blaming it on company for the amount of over-time she had to work. Did she have no choice? Or did she choose not to exercise her right to choose.

If you’ve read AZAIG long enough, you will know a lot of people have dropped dead from over-working before. Death spells the end of everything, but when you’re alive to feel the effect of the “
once is enough” phenomena… the regrets can break you.

But then again, the word “regret” is often used when it’s too late. It’s existence itself probably means we will never learn our lesson… until it’s too late.

Do you think you have a choice not to experience regrets?


WY said...

very sensible post.

indeed, choice is always there. whether we see it or not, that's the more pertinent questions.

conan_cat said...

oh my, your boss is really too much lor.

is work more important than her mom's health?

sometimes choices are very subjective. maybe you're influenced too by "threats" by other people to do something.

like your boss, maybe her boss told her that she got a really important job to do that day and she just "needed" to do it, as the company "needs her a lot". or else the company will "lose a lot" and yeah, she will kena also.

then she ma no choice lor.

very hard to tell, really. we always try to make the best out of the situation, and we measure what is most important to us. still, family and love always go above work to me :)

Angie Tan said...

you're right. life is all about choices.

how do we make the right choices?

frankly, imho, it boils down to your character and principles in life. i'd guess in the case of your boss, her work is her principle in life. but, i'm making a quick swipe at her since i don't know her from eve. (^ ^)

anyway, if something involves my family or health, the choice is simple, it overrides my work/pleasure. it's pretty clear cut, because you can always work but if your health or family life degrades, it may turn out to be a regret later.

however, for other people out there, the choice may not be so clear.

Anonymous said...

Ah Zewt...almost stopped reading after "you choose whether to stay up and read blogs or sleep…" but scrolled down and saw the post short so I read it lah.Hehe...wonderful timing how this post about choices and my current "predicament" on moving on to greener pastures (in career)...hmm...
Anyways,I have been away from your blog and others for weeks it feels. I'm on "hiatus". What to do? LOL.

rainbow angeles said...

There is ALWAYS a choice, which was what I wanted to say in your previous entry but I got zzz-ed halfway yesterday :P Ok lor, I chose to zzzz :p

And regrets... never had any ;) Now that is a very liberating feeling, i can tell you :)

Anonymous said...


lunch at college tomorrow. KFC.. or pizza hut... ARGHH

zewt said...

rational thinker - and if we see it... whether we choose to take it or not.

conan cat - well, i must say she really devotes her life to the company. unfortunately, it's the family that always have to give way.

angie tan - good for you, but not many takes your approach. for most... money and convenience are everything, which of course, spells their downfall.

mar - what hiatus la... searching whether any of the magic schools want u or not issit? :P

angel - hahahaha... life without regrets? i think that is very impossible... i believe it's only a saying.

tingtitlei - bak kut teh while you still can la...

Acute Critique said...

exactly. i always believe that at whatever stages in life, there always be choices. it solely depends on whether which 'choice' you have decided to take. like there is this friend of mine, she have a choice of either divorce her husband and seek her true happiness or well, just leave things as it is, or another friend of mine, he can choose either one of the girls that he like and not leave things in a very complicated state where it could hurt all the parties invloved. see? choices, choices and more choices.

but then again, as we face choices, we can only choose one. thus, the decision not taken will then be turn into regret. as the poem, 'The road not taken' by Robert Frost, any choices we made are bound to have some regrets due to the 'path' not taken.

Anonymous said...

very well written zewt. there is always a choice, but the real test is not abt making the choice, but rather living with the consequence/outcome of the choice that u made. the lady who 'was' pregnant, puhleez, don't tell me it was a no-choice situation. she made the choice to neglect her health and so now she's living with the consequence. period.

Rashikaps said...

Well said. We always have a choice.

The quote below is dedicated to all those who think they don't/didn't have a choice:

We never even pause to question why we allow ourselves to be led, because we have either accepted our lot or believe in the hand-me-down concept of life, knowing no better.

Anonymous said...

Regrets has become a fact of life-but it need not become a way of life. Most of the 'Regrets' that most of us experience is actually self-generated.
The key is to recognize when you're playing a losing or a winning game and stop long enough to consider an alternative:-

What have you got to lose?

Weig said...

Of course everyone has a choice. But to live without regrets makes you half a person that you should be.

Tine said...

Choices and risks come hand in hand. If you know the risk you're taking, and STILL want to make that decision to do it, then either happiness or devastation await you.

I agree witn ==sin== (tee hee), that we have to recognise whether we're playing a winning or losing hand. Upping the ante may win you the jackpot, or you might lose everything. Know when to get out.

PS: Btw, this does not apply to life-threatening situations. When you know you're in one, get the hell out!!

Anonymous said...

People just don't learn huh? What could be more important than mom's health? I am the one who brought mom to clinics every 3 months and I am very unhappy when my sis said she is too busy to send my mom to clinic even if her work place is nearer to clinic than mine.

Horny Ang Moh said...

Whatever choice u made, just made it for the betterment of ur life! So if u happen to made the wrong choice u will not have any regret as at the time u have already put in ur best effort/reseach in making the choice.U can always take it as a lesson in life!Life is also about choice!
Eg.U can do a lot of pokeing or don't poke at all.Sometime u do poke into the right hole but most of the time u will poke into hole of no significant!If u do happen to poke into a hole u like, by all meant stay there.But then later in life u can still poke into other hole which u think is better!The choice is yours to change or not to change? Any regret later? Think over it!
Have a nice day!

Winn said...

i have regrets. :)
but i always always and always try to tell myself i dont have any whenever i felt so.
coz i made my 'choice' i dont let myself regret...i refuse to feel the feeling of regret....

i keep telling myself no.

but sometimes..deep down, i do.

but if u ask me face to face again hor,i will say NO lor. coz like wat i said, i dowan the feeling of regret to reign

changeiam said...

I couldn't agree more life is all about choices and every single choice that we make has an effect be it to ourselves or the people around us and sometimes we do make mistakes and make the wrong choices but learning from our mistakes and ensuring we do not repeat them is what matters after all to err is human.

More often than not I have noticed that it's not that we don't have choices but we tend to take the easy way out or because of circumstances we are "forced" to choose that way. The day I can make choices for myself with disregards to other people feeling will be the day I will declare I'm a free person. Call it selfish if you must but I feel sometimes we have to stand up and protect in what we truly belief and not let people around us tell us what is best for us after all we are the one in charge of our own fate. For now most of the time I've been choosing to satisfy everyone's needs and wants except my own.

Anonymous said...

But if the boss wants you to stay late to finish something... do you really have a choice? Can you really say "no"?

On Monday night the doctor gave me MC for Tuesday coz I was running a fever. Guess what my boss said? "Come to work anyway and if you cannot tahan then only go back." Do I have a choice to say "No, I don't want to come to work"? I don't know... I feel like I have no choice.

On the other side of the story, it wasn't a normal work day coz we were organising a press conference followed by the monthly board meeting after lunch. So, I understand also lor. But I made myself look so sick and pathetic that I was given permission to leave after the press conference.

Huei said...

y the fortune cookie look like poo wan? =P

ahh..i've removed regrets from my dictionary..i dun wana regret! i wun regret!! regrets are bad!!!

H.C. Tan said...

yalo i work 3 mths ord so miserable. that's why i decided to quit. haha. n go italy. hahahaha~

but true life there are choices and it is up to us to make it.

whisperingshout said...

People often choose "no choice" as the choice :D

Anonymous said...

Choice is driven by priority..whether one admits it or not/realizes it or not.

Anyway, thanks for the reminder that we only have no choice when we are dead.

Purple~MushRooM said...

We can say that we have to work late to rush for project deadline or whatsoever.

But if we have something else, like physiotherapy treatment, pregnancy etc. I believe the choice is always there. Just that whether we dare to voice it out and tell our boss that we have more urgent matters than work.

You are right.. life is all about choices. The day that we do not have a choice, is the day we say sayonara to the world.

Cutiez said...

regret only for those who never ready or try to make their choices before they felt it ..

Anonymous said...

The people who said hey have no choice should go and buy the DVD movie "click", watch it again and learn from it.

Anonymous said...

I always believe that one have regrets because they know they made a bad choice. If that was the best decision to take due to circumstances at that time, then one should not have regrets.

I lost a baby because it was budget time at work. When I got pregnant again, I quit the minute the doctor confirmed it. No regrets. Only the occasional longing for the good times with colleagues and scouring the city for good eats with the sales team (never fail to find good food with them!).

Sometimes I wonder, all those people who work super hard, do they think that the company will care when they fall sick and take time off from work?? At most, they will send you a basket of fruits or a bouquet of flowers. And ask when you are coming back to work. Oh and also a lousy watch when you retire after working your ass off for 20 long years.

One last note, no one has ever complained on their death bed that they wished they spent more time in the office...

Jorji said...


i choose Simple Life bcuz I fucking love Nicole Ritchie!

Seriuosly, i choose to take things easy, simple and always think that everything will be ok,under control..
take a deep breath..control..all problem can be solve,settle..

All i need is someone to talk with and i will forever choose life.

Jacss said...

Yes, i agreed it's all abt "choice".

It took me like nearly 2 hours to arrive my work place every morning (not d distance but sending kids to school at one end & back to office at the oth end etc).

Instead of looking for a nearer place, i still hang on coz i'm comfortable & reluctant to face changes....that's the choice i made!

But today, i'd learnt that i must be wise in d choice so as not to land in regrets.....which can haunt forever!!

Anonymous said...

We have to make a lot of different choices everyday. No matter it is a tiny choices such as "What should we have for lunch today ?" till big choices such as "Should I changed my job ?".

Sometimes choices make us cannot move on from the original point. Why ? We may afraid that the choices that we made may affect us badly and we may regret on that !

BUT if we think another way round, if we do not make the choice, we may miss out that golden opportunity.

You have choice or no choice, it is really depends on how you think and see it.

Between, I like the picture of Choice Signboard that you post. No Choice then EXIT!

Eileen said...

I think we have a choice, or at least for me. I do tell off my boss/colleagues after a couple of times that I prefer to go off on time. But ppl who have "no choice" says that coz I can afford to lost the job that is why I am vocal. I guess maybe that is one of the reasons, but if you also prove that you can deliver your job, why do you need to be scare of right?

Personal life is much more important to me than working life. I rather earn less than not having a life and looking back and see myself as work-work-work-work.

Ehon said...

choices. i guess we all know that life is all about choices. but the world has changed. most people are absorbed into a culture where you see it but you don't do it.

a culture where more is better. a culture where faster is better. it's a race. everyday. and at the end of the day, when u thank God, what have you achieved? like you said, after all the races, where's the ARK? it's good to detach yourself from the culture. a culture i never believed in.

my culture - i, have a choice. :)

zewt said...

soulblade - then the question is whether the path not taken is more worthy of the one taken.

sooi2 - consequence, yeah... thus the regrets. i am sure she had a choice, just that she thought she didnt. blinded perhaps.

rashikaps - indeed, if only we pause and re-assess our options, and weigh the worthiness of all of them.

-=Sin=- - that's the thing, we failed to realise that there's much to lose.

cirnelle - dont quite understand your second sentence.

tine - the problem is, we always think we are on the winning side, we fail to see the losing side of things.

rinnah said...

Sure, the choice may be there, but how many people can really say that they have the absolute freedom to make that choice?

I could say I choose not to work, but I would starve to death for that choice I made. *grin*

Hey, your boss sounds like an ex-boss of mine... also had to take her mother for a check-up but decided that work was more urgent and pressing.

jolcy said...

Somehow I dislike the topic about choice..

anyway, what I want to say is that when you talk about regret.. what I want to say is that.. to be frank.. you can never really regret about something that you did or you didn't do.. or rather that's what I think.. because you will never know what will exactly happen if you have chosen to do or carry out your other choice.. you might also feel that you regret doing what you might have chose to do.. ya, sounds really confusing..

in short, what I want to say is that no matter what you choose to do, there is also the possibility of regrets even though the option seems good.. so, just do what you want to do and try to live without regrets..

zewt said...

anigma - good for u. how i wish we all share the same sentiment.

hor ny - indeed... when we are given a second choice, that's when we should know we always have a choice.

winn - self denial la u.

changeiam - not many of us dare to stand up for the things we believe... for the things we want... just look at the way we are being brought up... we have been taught to take things as they are. and when we grow up... we carry the same virus.

sunflower - i will say no in your situation. it's just toug to do, not impossible.

huei - hahaha... i tot they look like poo too.

Anonymous said...

I guess it is a Malaysia thing. We often shorten the proper sentence on the pretext that the listener will understand.

For instance, when we want to ask someone whether they have eaten, we would most probably just say, "Eaten ah?" or if we want to pass through a busy crowd, "Excuse!"

Perhaps she should have just said, "My work responsibility is more important than my mom. She understands too since her physiotherapy can be postponed."

Helps to put things in perspective right?...:P

I do agree that life is all about choices and some choices, wrongly made will have drastic irreversible consequences.

zewt said...

HC Tan - good for u la. not everyone is so fortunate leh.

whisperingshout - well said my friend!!! well said!

babbles - hey! welcome to AZAIG. let us start living... today!

purple mushroom - we just dont dare to face the prospect of bad evaluation. that's all actually. but we fail to realise, sometimes, a good evaluation doesnt mean anything at all.

maegen - let us try to minimise them :)

Jonny - yeah man! you reminded me of that movie. i asked one of my friend to watch it... wonder if he did.

kat - how is dubai? your last sentence... taken from first thing first... hehe... i guess you learnt it the hard way huh. i wonder if that girl will work hard again when she gets pregnant again.

zewt said...

j or ji - well done my friend. i am trying to take that approach... and slowly telling my boss that.

jacss - i am glad you learnt something new today... and i hope you apply them :)

keeyit - hahaha... the problem is... exit is not part of the choice... then how? well said, we need to see the need to make a choice.

princess eileen - the proble is... those ppl think they will lose their job if they leave on time. in reality... do u think the company will sack them for leaving on time?

ahon - yeah, with news that kids age 3 can already play piano and do this and that, i fear for the next generation. choice is an endangered species now.

rinnah - honestly, i dont think we will starve to death. we want to think that way becos we wanna choose the 'no choice' option.

jolcy - yeah, as human, we are not perfect, with mistakes, i guess regrets are inevitable.

anon @ 2.09pm - so it's all about wording it properly eh? haha... then we are all stuck with no choice when we can say it nicely. are were ready to face the irreversible consequences then?

Helen said...

yeah, everybody has a choice. But then sometimes people are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

The choices are there, but the outcome in choosing either one can still be as tragic.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

to be or not to be..period haha
gf very bz with work..n i m not exactly in the mood to have dinner and bcome a lamp post..but like i offered..a drink maybe?..

Pak Zawi said...

Managing priorities is the essence of living. Making choices will be easier if you know which is of more importance.
Now i know why you want to whack your boss hahahaha.

Arena Green said...

The fact that almost everyone have made choices they later regret goes way back to ADAM, don't u think? :-)

Anonymous said...

At least sinatra & elvis was upbeat & amused about their lives charted course:

" And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing...
To think, I did all that, and may I say, not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no not me, I did it my way "

Anonymous said...

with the 'judicial fixing' scandal of highest order...

choose you must & choose wisely in the next GE, or lives to regret on your choice

Jun said...

haha i was gonna write about something similar to this post of urs but the mooncakes got to me first :P mite link this post of urs if i get that up ;)

yup. i agree. we all have choices-- down right to how we feel (my post was gonna be along the emotional choices actually). so yeah, we can choose not to experience any regrets even tho we may have made the "wrong" choice in the first place, but then again, who's to say wat's "right" or "wrong"? sure, there are moral values one adhere to, but if ur options are value-free ie btwn an apple and an orange, who's to say that u're rite in choosing the apple and wrong in choosing the orange, or vice versa, right? (sorry, just had to throw it in hehe)

and i dunno if u remember this but in one of my posts ("This Heals") when i was emo-ing about the workplace, u left a comment saying something about "... being urself". i thought long abt it cos it didn't click at that time, and later on i realised why i had written that post: it is not about being urself, it is about choosing to feel good about urself even tho things around u suck.

so hope this answered ur comment better :)

and yeah, now i know why i keep coming back to ur blog :)

Anonymous said...

What hiatus? All on my blog...haha..
Speaking of magic schools, are u aware that this magic school "Hogwarts" really exist? Well,minus 2 letters and add 1 other letter la. LOL.

may said...

someone told me once that regrets will only hold you back. in a way I agree, but we should also learn from them, and forgive ourselves -- we are only human.

and the choice here is to learn and be a better person, or forever dwell in the "no choice" choice.

zewt said...

Helen - if choosing either one is tragic... then dont choose lor... then really no choice... haha!

constant craver joe - think my turn to be busy this weekend dude. why la your gf so busy.

zawi - hahahahaha... shhhhh... dont make it so obvious la.

anak merdeka - hahahaha... i couldnt agree more. looks like we are genetically designed to make wrong choices.

anon @ 6.20pm - hahahaha... well, sinatra did set a legacy there.

anon @ 7.34pm - ahhh... let me slowly move to that haha.

Jun - hhaha.. guess i beat you to it. well, i vaguely remember that comment. i sorta comment about the same thing when i see a certain type of post. i await your entry... and thank for dropping by so many times.

mar - yup...minus g and s and add h.... but not reputable ler.

may - hmmm... i think another way to see the choices in front of us is to have more self worth... hmmm....

Unknown said...

Regret? I can say uncountable for myself, well... if for choices, I got not much, all I have to do is hard work. I used to be workaholic too and now still, what choice I got? If no hard work how to keep family survive? No body like to be workaholic but always got some factors that made us to be like that.

changeiam said...

zewt yes that's so true but sometimes it's easier to assign the blame on to our surrounding and our conditioning and become a helpless victim to our situation rather than stand out and be a pain in the ass for everyone by truly saying what's in our minds. Maybe it's just human nature to avoid conflicts and just go with the flow or maybe that's what separates visionaries from normal people.

Anonymous said...

Zewt -- I guess I am not tough enough. Conditioned to say 'yes' to authority figures :P But getting tougher. Otherwise cannot survive in this world liao!

Azlan Zed said...

regrets is a result of a bad choices... :)

anfield devotee said...

corporate slavery is a modern phenomenon many feel unable to escape from. Similarly I used to work meself to the bone runnning me own business but decided that to chuck it all in to spend some quality time with wifey . . . & basically be a bum fer a bit.
Truth be told, it ain't half bad, this unemployed gig!
Choose to do Fook All? Go ahead, make yer own day!

Jonzz said...

We have to make choices one way or another.

But as for regret itself, we can choose whether to regret over our choices or not to regret what we've done but learn from it.

zewt said...

kenny ng - i think family can still survive without hard work... just that it may not be as luxury as you want it to be. i could be wrong though.

changeiam - to avoid conflict? hmmm.. well, we may be conflicting ourselves.

sunflower - hahah.... i think we are in the transitional stage of the modern slavery evolution, shall blog about it.

alan zed - and bad choices is a result of? hehe...

anfield devotee - hey! welcome.. good for you mate... i am sure your wifey is quite happy.. hehe... i am certainly trying to find my way. thanks for dropping by.

Jonzz - very tough to do that. i think the human flesh has to be trained well by the character first before the flesh can comply.