Sometimes a small rebellion is enough.

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

2 thoughts on “Sometimes a small rebellion is enough.”

  1. The best guy friend I have in my life is a man I haven’t seen in years but we still keep in touch and ours is a very special relationship for a simple reason: the ultimate and total freedom we’ve allowed each other.

    When we were both single years ago we’d make plans to get together and one of us would fail to show up. No sweat. Next time I’d see him the excuse was simply, “I got hung up.” We didn’t usually mention it again.

    One time we were out for an evening of cocktails with a group of people. I got tired and bored with the conversation so I just split. Left. Didn’t explain, just went home. He was fine with that even though I had driven and he had no wheels!

    The same thing happened another time with a different consequence. I got tired and went home only I didn’t have any transportation. I just walked a couple of miles rather than bother him to take me. He would have, of course.

    I suppose we’re both extremely unusual in all of this. It’s a wonder either of us have other friends at all. But it is special. To say nothing of suspenseful.

  2. I don’t know if it’s in the same ball park, but I’ve had the same giddies when managing to get away with sneaking that 11th or 12th item passed the 10 items or less checker at my local Raley’s. However as Karma would have it, payback eventually comes due when I find myself in a mad jam to get home, but end-up bumper to bumper (aka cart to cart) behind some shopper with a wheeled basket containing about 65 items over the posted “10 Item of Less” limit.

    Meanwhile, scanning the front end left and right … I take a quick count and see that check-stands 1 through 8 are seven to ten carts deep in 5:00 0’clock traffic tryin’ to … “Get Outta Dodge” and back home to residential Elk Grove before Judge Judy is over at 6:00.

    It ain’t pretty.

    Fortunately for those who’s life tends to lean a tad toward the empty side there’s still a positive payoff: If they manage to make it home by 6:01 … a new King of Queens re-run and a fresh Dr. Phil are just getting underway. The negative is … they probably forgot to buy that bottle of Excedrin.

    Next week: The importance of making a list!

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