Thursday, February 28, 2013


There are times that I find myself frustrated with myself.  Some them--many of them, rather--are recognitions that I have been stupid in some way or another.  Perhaps I said something I ought not to have said; I often let fly some quip or biting piece of invective before I think about doing so, reacting with a well-trained reflex to a situation that calls for another response than the one I give.  Perhaps I did not say something that I ought to have said; for example, I am not always good at recognizing the good that is granted me, and so I do not offer my thanks for it.  Perhaps I did something that I ought not to have done, such as eating dairy when I have not had a pill for it.  Or perhaps I neglected to do something I should have done, such as bring back home the containers in which my lunch traveled to work.

Sometimes, however, it is not through an actual stupidity that I frustrate myself.  Sometimes, such as now, I am at work on something that does need doing--laundry, for example, and keeping up with correspondences--but I had meant to be at work on something else--say, a paper for a conference, an abstract for another conference, or revision of a piece of writing for publication.  I cannot fault myself for doing what I am doing; it does need to be done, after all, whether for social reasons or because I have obliged myself to attend to it.  Promises are promises, regardless of those to whom they are made.  Yet I am ill at ease for not doing the other things that I know need doing.

Today, I am particularly concerned with my writing.  I have been putting words on pages--physical and web--throughout the day, today, so that I have been taking care of several tasks to which I had obligated myself.  But there are many other writing projects to which I need to devote attention than those to which I have already attended this day; of note are the many scholarly projects that are bouncing around in my head at any given time. I need to do more work on my own research, not just because I have one paper to present and want to give another one later on in the year, not just because I want to rework my dissertation into a scholarly monograph, but because a number of the ideas I have are not going to leave me alone until I get them onto the page and out of my head.  Too, I want to model for my students the behavior I want to see from them--which means I need to develop examples of the kind of work that I want to see them do, and I likely should compile materials for them to use to do that work.

Yet I find myself instead attending to my personal writing, the kind of things that I show only in limited circumstances if at all.  As I have noted, I am active in gaming communities, and I have said to members of them that I would do certain things.  They are obligations I am happy to discharge, and they do bring me pleasure in addition to that which I derive from completing any task.  Too, I have long promised myself that I would maintain a journal at a certain rate of textual production, and I have worked towards that end today.  And even this blog, which I do not update often or extensively enough, is such a thing, even if it is more widely displayed than my gaming writing and my journal writing.  So while I am doing what I ought to be doing, I am not quite exactly doing what I ought to be doing, and that is frustrating.

And now I have to wonder if I am, in fact, being stupid.

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