You know that feeling you get when someone cancels a plan and all of a sudden you have this unexpected clump of free time? It’s exciting. It’s a gift. You were looking forward to the thing, but once it’s cancelled through no fault of yours, you’re now looking forward to not going.
It’s a slippery slope from there to canceling something you planned for no reason except you don’t feel like it anymore. At first it felt like a not-nice thing to do, but I have my rules:
1) I consider whether anyone else will be hurt by my actions.
2) I never cancel at the last minute “just because.”
3) I only say I’m sick if I’m sick.
I’m too afraid of bad Karma to mess with that one.
The first few times I used the “just because” clause, I felt a tiny guilt pang, but that was replaced quickly by a giddy feeling. Most of the time it’s like playing hooky with no consequences. When it feels like somebody else is running my life (no one else is – I have only myself to blame for my schedule) all it takes to restore balance is to cancel one thing that’s coming up.
Still there’s that nagging feeling that a person ought to stick with what she committed to.
Which brings me to Netflix. One day I returned a Netflix rental WITHOUT WATCHING IT and when I tore off that skinny sticky strip on the return envelope, plopped the unwatched DVD inside and closed it up, I felt a surge of whatever that feel-good hormone is. It was a small extravagance, but a huge emotional victory.
Here’s the shoot-myself-in-the-foot part: More than once I’ve returned a selection, only to re-order the same title again later. Evidently even my small rebellions have a price.
Ó Anita Garner 2009