Tennyson says “…tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”
Extrapolating …can I say that it’s better to have tried and failed than never to have tried?
… in most cases, yes … as long as the attempt was in the pursuit of something desired …
Can I say that it’s better to have attainment short-term in the hope of attainment long-term, even when the long-term doesn’t eventuate?
… in most cases, yes …
What happens when the short-term, intended to be short-term reality, exposes the hope of long-term reality … until then un-admitted …
And what happens when the short-term reality has provided a point from which the distance to the long-term ideal can be measured – and is breathtakingly far ….
… aye – there’s the rub …
Gretchen Rubin talks about ‘abstainers’ or ‘moderators’ … those that ‘don’t … at all’ as opposed to those who ‘do … a little bit’ …
I’ve tried to categorise myself as an abstainer. Proffering ‘food’ as an easy example : “I Quit Sugar” was easier when I embraced fully the notion of ‘quit’.
Over time, I forget how sweet sugar is … how delicious … how smile-inducing … how much fun it is to say ‘yes’ to a piece of cake and eat it rather than say ‘yes’ and play around its edges until plates are cleared.
Over time, I forget the fun.
Abstaining, quitting, evading completely … it means that I avoid the need to make a decision (the only available choice being ‘no’). It also means that I avoid the craving that will come with absence.
Yes I forget the fun. But I’m offered ‘easy/ comfortable’ instead of ‘difficult/uncomfortable/scary’.
Is it better to forget the fun completely – than have a little bit and be reminded that you want more?
But – the ‘wanting more’ – isn’t that a true indicator of a desired ‘long-term’ real?
It’s from the ‘hard stuff’ that, in avoiding – abstaining – evading – quitting, I protect myself.
I never have a short-term reality against which I can compare the long-term ideal. The distance to the long-term ideal is, therefore, unimaginable.
Is it better to accept a portion of a desired something, or is it better to refuse – a portion serving only to remind of the desire for the whole?