Monday, August 16, 2010

Fidelity, I Guarantee

I have written in the past about wrestling with the difficulties that lie in the reconciliation of conflicting events scheduled in my agenda. As I then noted, it's difficult in such cases to made the hard decision to back out of one thing or another, as committed as I am to the impossible goal of pleasing all. In a sense, though, it's an easy thing to do in that it's physically impossible to do both things. A decision must be made, and in the end it's not possible to weaken and attempt both short of 80s-style sitcom antics. Not having any friends who would be game for posing as either me or my wife, I don't do that. As I said, in the end, a choice is made for better or worse because I can't delude myself into thinking it not necessary. There are other situations, however, where I very much can delude myself into believing I can do it all.

The thing is that just because two events take place at different times, it doesn't make it any more possible for me to do both. Take a recent sequence of two things I made myself believe I could do. A frenzied afternoon and evening culminated in an improv show. I wounded up pressed into duty as a performer, but that has nothing to do with having drawn the night out any longer or making it any more arduous. I knew very well that I would be out late carousing (to the extent that such can be done at a fast food restaurant), just as I knew that I was committed to attending my Friday morning Toastmasters meeting and giving a speech there. I persuaded myself that I could do both. Reality struck around midnight that I would not be able to turn around and do justice to my morning plans. I resigned myself to opting out of the thing which was unlucky enough to happen second, hoping that I had not yet exhausted the well of goodwill I had built up among my fellow members in that club.

 At the heart of the matter is rest. I believe I have written of the need for idleness in the midst of an otherwise packed schedule just as there is need for negative space in a visual work of art. Even if I were superhuman enough to do all the things I want to, perhaps none of them would get their due in the eyes of others for lack of separation from everything else. I'm not superhuman though, so the way I'm going runs the risk of the best things I can do going wanting because I failed to identify and prioritize them. Whatever the best thing is, though, I must be true to my word. I value that quality highly, and can do no less than embody it.

I remind myself of Anais Nin, in a way. Reading some of her diaries, I was struck by the notion that where quarreling friends were concerned, she seemed to favor whichever one she was with at the time. I think that I'm something of a weather vane myself, throw in one direction or another by the most recent efforts to secure my participation in an endeavor. Making sure that your thing is the first thing in my queue seems to be the key. It's something to work on in my never-ending campaign to better myself, although I can hardly think of a better final legacy than being regarded as highly as Nin when all is said and done.

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