Do It Anyway

I’ve hinted that I struggled with moodiness on last week’s trip to NYC. It doesn’t often hit, which makes the “Go away and leave me alone!” reaction that much stronger when it does.

There was a point on Sunday afternoon at which I was regretting having made arrangements to meet an old New York friend for dinner; I didn’t want to have to be social. But I wouldn’t let myself make an excuse to ditch – and I had a great time. I even came away excited for the next few months (albeit with a new time-consuming project).

Also, it so happened that the last day of my stay was my birthday. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal – in fact, on the day, it took me several hours to remember what day it was – but other people were making a fuss about it, hoping that I had big plans, and insisting that I go out and do something to mark the occasion. I was tired and slightly grumpy and just wanted to curl up in my room. But all the fuss had put me in a situation where I would feel deprived and slightly guilty if I didn’t go out. So I made myself put on a nice dress and push through the annoyance of getting lost in a new part of the city – and in the end, had a fascinating, if brief, glimpse into the Gatsby-esque lives of my middle-aged neighbors at dinner that I wouldn’t have traded for anything (well, at least not a night spent watching TV in a hotel room).

“Going out” is hardly a moral imperative, but each of these times, I felt I should. I didn’t want to, and I did it anyway, and in each case, the action was its own reward.

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