Ulterior motives II


A noble crusade can keep you from your real needs and tasks — indefinitely.

I had doctors’ appointments scheduled for November 27 and November 29, but a week or two prior decided to cancel them and reschedule for the last week in December.

Wednesday, November 22, after I’d put off this task for some time, at mid-afternoon it finally came onto my front burner; and I sat, phone in hand and tablet at hand, and suddenly became terrified.

Feelings aren’t rational. 

I don’t know what about this task terrified me, but I went outside to smoke and collect myself — or not.  I just wanted to get away from that task.

Escaping what I needed to do, my mind and heart went straight to wrestling with abstractions.  Specifically, among other things, I puzzled over whether all the horrible things Munroe Bergdorf says of white people are in fact part of her “lived experience.”  Many issues become available.

Somewhere in there, I could easily have come across some noble cause to feel passionate about, into which to pour all my emotional energies, with baiting prospects of struggle and pride and accomplishment — the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat — the mandate for justice, for self-importance, for glory — David and Goliath, Don Quixote and his “giants” — to preoccupy me, God knows for how long.

It’s happened before.  I’ve been distracted this way for weeks, for months, having made such a choice in a moment no more momentous than this.

In the event, I finished the smoke, went back inside, and made the phone calls.  This time, I did the necessary.  I haven’t always done so.

Related: Ulterior motives are funny

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