My husband Chris has finally contracted my addiction to Mass Effect II. He was up late the other night playing it.
I knew he was going to regret staying up so late the next day, but I felt like a total hypocrite pointing that out to him.
“I can see now why you stayed up late on work nights playing this,” he said, saving me the trouble.
“Yeah,” I said “You keep telling yourself ‘Just one more mission.'”
“I know! ‘I’ll just do this one more thing, mine one more planet, it won’t take that long.’ and the next thing you know, it’s 1AM.”
A lot of things are like that.
I often find that I get in the mood to clean and pick up my house at odd times; usually when I need to be doing something else. I keep telling myself there’s time for just one more thing–and the next thing I know, I’ve used up all the time I had on things that could have waited.
I recently read Steven Pressfield’s excellent book, The War of Art. It’s really a series of essays on breaking through your creative blocks, which Pressfield refers to collectively as Resistance. Towards the very beginning of the book, he points out that finding yourself compelled to do busywork instead of sitting down to your creative work is a form of Resistance.
But I don’t think we experience Resistance just about creative work; I think any movement we make that brings us closer to the person we were made to be is opposed by an Adversary, and that opposition is what Pressfield has labeled Resistance. (Pressfield himself alludes to as much in the book.)
Let me tell you, folks, the Adversary and Resistance kick my butt on a regular basis. I keep not making the changes I know that my better self wants to make. I keep coming back to the Romans 7 passage from last Sunday’s sermon: “I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.”
Right there with ya, Paul.
That said, at a certain point, you do have a responsibility for recognizing that you consistently choose things that preclude the things you say you value.
Having realized that, if you have the option of choosing differently, you should take it.