Balancing freedom and obligation

Some of you will be aware that over the weekend I decided to read a book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Half way in I decided to stop. The increasing feeling that I “should” finish it was part of my decision to do so. As a fifty three year old adult I decided that it was up to me how I spent my weekend and with so many other good books in the queue – I gave up.

But there is still that nagging feeling doubt. Maybe a real grown up would have hung in there? I had the same feeling, many years ago, when I left a performance of Madame Butterfly during the interval. The music was turgid, the language alien to me, and there wasn’t even much rushing around. I’d had enough. But the doubt lingered. Still does.

It is not as if I am a lightweight or philistine. I studied classical clarinet to a near professional level. My degree (just) was in English Language and Literature. I read constantly. I am no stranger to the need to introduce my kids to the idea of deferred gratification.

But there you are, I am trying to justify my decision to you. To convince myself that I am making a considered judgement as to how to pass my increasingly scarce time on the planet rather than running away from something I am finding arduous.

I may never escape this struggle between freedom and obligation.

One thought on “Balancing freedom and obligation

  1. I must admit I did the same thing when 100 Years of Solitude was recommended to my 10 years ago and am currently going through the same internal struggle with James Joyce’s Ulysses šŸ™‚

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