Fandango’s Provocative Question #187
The question is:
I am not sure what you mean by “a whim.” I know what I mean, but what do YOU mean? To me, a whim is a passing fancy without much depth. Is that what you mean?
If this is what you mean, then my answer is a reluctant “no.” I don’t generally make whimsical decisions and I’m not a very whimsical person. I’ve had a lot of hard years. There hasn’t been much room for whimsy. I wish there had been more periods when a light-hearted choice was possible. I’ve lightened up a little in my late years probably because I couldn’t stand the stress of being me … but whimsy? I think that neither Garry nor I are light-hearted decision makers. Maybe things would have been more entertaining if we had been.
I suppose my answer to this one stays no unless you count feeding the birds as whimsical. It changed my life and awareness of the world, though I don’t think it could be considered a “life changing decision.” Or maybe it was. Sometimes, it’s hard to figure what choices were life changing and which ones were not.
Categories: #FPQ, Anecdote, Humor, Provocative Questions
I used the phrase “on a whim” to mean a sudden wish, idea, or decision, especially one that was not well thought out or very deliberate. I didn’t mean whimsical or whimsy, as in playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way. Perhaps I should have used “Spur of the moment” or “spontaneous,” rather than “on a whim.”
Spontaneous works better for me. I think to some degree, all decisions are initially spontaneous. First, a lightbulb goes off and you say “I WANT A DIVORCE!” Then, years later, you have a divorce because between that spontaneous moment of ignition when you realize you want to make a serious change in your life and actually MAKING that change lies (usually) a lot of pretty complicated organization and planning. Like deciding to take a new job or move to a bigger house. Or get pregnant.
Anything major and life-changing may start spontaneously, but it’s not like at that very moment, you can “do it.” Unless, I suppose, you’re the guy who one day decides he doesn’t want to be married or have a family and goes out for a drink and is never seen again. I don’t know anyone like that, but I have heard of many over the years and I find it completely baffling how anyone can do anything that important that has so much significance to self, family and friends without at least talking it over.
I’m sure there are exceptions where you/he/she has been thinking about it for a long time and this isn’t really spontaneous but rather the final outcome of years of trying to make it work. Then it’s not really spontaneous. It’s just the moment when you realized it wasn’t going to work and now, it’s time to give up.
But I can see how the term “whim” was perhaps a trifle whimsical 😀
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No, nor could I. Some might say our decision to move to Tasmania was made on a whim I suppose because I got the idea while on holiday here. However, I didn’t go home and pack up everything. I thought it through. David and I considered the pros and cons and we didn’t actually do it for a couple of years. So I don’t think of it as a whimsical decision.
I think Fandango (see above!) meant it a little differently than we took it. There are a lot of “lightbulb” moments in life, but that’s just the moment when you think, “Hey, you know, we really COULD do that ….” It’s not when you actually DO it. Not unless you’re 21 and you have no baggage, partner, or substantial possessions. Maybe then you can spontaneously cut and run. The rest of us have a lot of stuff that has to be thought through.
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That’s true. It takes time to up sticks and change your life when you have a home, job and family to consider.
It takes time and if you are a normal person, a degree of compassion. People get upset when you disappear from their lives. It’s almost like a little death. It is much easier to be the one who moves than the one who gets left behind.
I couldn’t think of any whim that changed my life either. I’m very cautious and planny 😀
Me too. I get ideas, but that’s just the beginning of a long process during which I may decide it wasn’t such a good idea after all … or it might take years to actually make it happen. Even substituting “spontaneous” for “whimsical,” most of us have far too much baggage and relationships to cut and run. Unless, I suppose, I found myself in a war zone. That changes everything.
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