On Choosing

Which one? I ask Bee.

We’re playing near her tiny kitchen, talking of vitamins, choosing the morning’s dose. We’ve been working on reading the labels (T-U-M-M-Y… Doesn’t that spell really really tasty, Mom?), but mostly she just wants to choose a favorite color.

My body is asking for the pink today, she says. But actually, the other side of my body wants the purple, so I probably just need the pink and the purple, you know what I mean, Mom?

I know what she means. Choice is hard for me. It’s hard to choose just one thing from this big, wild world, and I find myself unable to answer questions, mostly.

What do I want to make for dinner?
What do I want to make?
What do I want?

Bee knows what she wants. I love that about her. I love that about all toddlers, really. Ask a toddler what she wants and she’ll give you a straight answer, no second-guessing, no doubts.

I’ll take both, she’ll say.

But I stopped “taking both” a long time ago. I stopped making the choice, stopped asking for what I want, stopped voicing what I thought I needed.

Mostly, it doesn’t bother me. I’ve grown into an easy form of acceptance, a true place of “I don’t know; what do you want?” but sometimes, I forget that I get to choose. That I must choose.

That in not choosing, I’m choosing.

There was a time when the fear of choosing the wrong thing was paralyzing. I didn’t want to miss anything – Which relationships to foster? Which career to pursue? – so I chose it all. I spent my days walking every path, chasing every sign, exhausting every option.

Do I feel pink?


I burned out, of course.
Our options are infinite, but our bodies? They’re not.

Ken and I used to bike to a fro yo shop, the self-serve kind where you pile on endless toppings in a limitless variety, where you create mountaintops of sugar and are charged per ounce for the bowl you choose.

I’d just stand there, paralyzed. Red velvet cake? Peanut butter? Extra whipped cream or hot fudge? Both?


My bowls were terrible, every time.

You’ve gotta choose, Ken would say.

In not choosing, I’d choose.

Purple or pink? I ask her.

She ends up with the pink, after a long deliberation, and pops it into her mouth with joy.

I am the best chooser I know, she says.

I’m still working on being the best chooser I know. I’m still working on making decisions for me, on deciding what I want, on choosing to choose.

It’s slow-going, but the best things usually are.

Which one are you gonna pick? Bee asks after she’s finished her pink, after she’s placed her bottles back on the shelf and is off to a new adventure.

I’m not sure yet, I say. They’re all good, right? I think I’m gonna eeny-meeny-miny-moe it.

(It’s a start.)



This is an essay written for Olly, the friendly crew who makes vitamins the most delicious, foolproof, enjoyably good habit you’ll ever start (and never stop)! Thanks for reading.

  • I am stuck right now on trying to make a decision that feels too big…so I weigh every option and go over and over and over it in my head. I feel exhausted and then I just don’t even want to think about it, but it always sneaks back in. Decision making is hard, but a friend recently told me that sometimes it is best to just eeny meeny miny mo it, she said when you do that and you come to a choice see how you feel with that choice…then that might actually help you decide if it feels like the right one! So I thought it was perfect that you put that in your post. Here’s to that! And goodness, you guys are the cutest!!

    • I love the idea of eeny meeny miny moing it, then weighing it from there. It’s an odd method, but it definitely helps me figure out what my gut thinks. ;)

  • It’s hard not to see choices, even the every day ones, as set in stone and unchangeable. But today I can choose pink and tomorrow I can choose black, and that’s okay. NOT choosing is okay too, as long as you don’t pile on the guilt and self-judgment behind it!

  • I do remember vitamins that my mother and grandma forced me to take. Wish they had colors back then.

  • I remember being in the dressing room in a shop as a teenager, not able to choose between 2 dresses. My mother said: ‘you cannot make a wrong choice here, because you look great in both of them.’ Now that made choosing a lot easier for me. Choosing is difficult when you only see the loss (of what you do not chose), while actually, you can gain a lot.

  • Ever since I can remember, I’ve struggled with choosing ( more so with small day-to-day decisions than with big life ones). I had a book when I was a kid called Quail Can’t Decide. Have you ever read that one? You’d appreciate it! ;)

  • My husband and I had to make a big decision regarding one of our children. It was completely overwhelming as it was going to impact all of us. I researched everything, talked to lots of people, looked at the pros and cons from every angle, prayed lots and in the end it was these wise words that I followed. I was told to quiet the chatter around me, get rest and stillness and how that often in the quietness and stillness the answer will rise. That day I read this verse from Isaiah 30:15 ..”in quietness and trust shall be your strength..” Our family holidays arrived right during this time and we left for the ocean for 2 weeks where I slept in every day for 6 days in a row ( I didn’t realize how much this process drained me). About 8 days into our trip while walking along the beach with my husband one morning we both new what path to take. In completely quieting the chatter, getting rest and stillness the answer arose for us which path to take. It was such wise counsel for us during that season. Love Ginny

    • Oh goodness, what lovely advice, Ginny! I’m so happy you reached a decision you felt so much peace with. Thank you for sharing this story with me! Biggest of hugs.

  • It’s a big thing to be able to teach your child how to choose and I can definitely identify with you. Sometimes I don’t know how to choose either. I’m making a choice right now to focus on my health instead of being passive. We use Olly vitamins and I am really happy to see them on your blog!

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