Profound Reluctance

Do you sometimes feel a profound, almost painful reluctance to do something you really must do?

I experience this feeling regularly and I always give in to it. I have never once managed (or even really tried) to fight it. And every time it turns out that giving in to the reluctance was the right call.

Recently, there was a big deadline for a document that everybody was writing for their department. And I just… really didn’t feel like doing it. So I reread an old Ruth Rendell mystery and then made sensationally tasty tefteli. And get this, 16 hours before the deadline we were told that the data we’d been given were all wrong, and we needed to throw it all out and start anew with different data and a new deadline.

I still felt great reluctance and did other things. Worked on a translation, decorated my planner, listened to a few philosophical videos from Arestovich. Two days before the new deadline. . . yes, you guessed it. We were regretfully informed that the new data were also wrong and now we had to wait for the correct and supposedly final data. I’m now well-rested and don’t feel as much reluctance, so I’m not averse to doing the document eventually. I don’t want to imagine the feelings of the people who have now done this excruciating work twice for absolutely no gain. I’m planning to steer clear of them at work so they can’t share their resentment.

It’s been like this my whole life. If I felt like I really needed to miss class as a student, it always turned out that the class was cancelled or interrupted by a fire alarm or something like this. As somebody said, intuition is a shortened leap of cognition. If you really don’t want to do something, maybe it’s a sign that you are better off not doing it.

6 thoughts on “Profound Reluctance

  1. I feel this way…about any given task. In almost none of these cases has giving in been the right call. Alas!

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  2. I am having this profound reluctance and procrastinating at the moment. Still not at all sure it’s the right thing. Just don’t know.

    Here’s the thing: we just moved into a rental house. Two weeks in, I found a campsite in the yard (yeah, big yard– some gripes about that), obviously inhabited. I think I know who lives there– I’ve seen a woman coming and going quite a lot on a bicycle. Everybody is like “you need to call the cops” and “make the landlord deal with it”.

    But I keep not doing it. Do I really need to kick this person out of her safe little hidey-hole in our quiet residential dead-end-street? I dunno. Lots of reasons to. Lots of reasons not to.

    But I don’t know if that’s because I shouldn’t, or if it’s just regular old conflict-avoidance rearing its ugly head, you know?

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    1. I had the exact same situation a couple of years ago. I discovered a little campsite in the wooded area belonging to our HOA. A male vagrant lived there. I didn’t do anything and then COVID started, so it was all moot anyway. Nobody was going to the wooded area. And after COVID, I guess he moved on.

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  3. When I started college, my school required nine courses in P.E., which was one of my most hated subjects. I am worse than useless at sports, and all P.E. did (beyond being extremely annoying) was drag down my grade point average. I suffered through three P.E. courses freshman year, and three more sophomore year, and then I just couldn’t bring myself to sign up for any more. Miraculously, right before my senior year began, the school changed its P.E. requirement to six courses. It was one of the few times in my life that my natural avoidance of distasteful situations actually paid off.

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    1. Right? Back in Ukraine I avoided the state exam on Nursing (which everybody studying to be a translator had to pass). I was great at translating but I’m a nurse like I’m Mao Zedong. So I didn’t go to class or to the exam. This meant I’d be expelled. But then I received my immigration documents from Canada and it all turned out to be moot anyway.

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