"For present joys are more to flesh and blood, Than a dull prospect of a distant good." John Dryden
Oh, yes. This sentiment explains much of human behavior. Right now, for example, instead of working on my writing, I am watching "Spirited Away" on TV, a movie I wasn't able to catch in the theaters when it was released (it won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2003). Unfortunately, I tuned in to it midway into the movie but hopefully the Cartoon Network will replay it and I can see the first half.
I'm not sure whether watching a film qualifies as a "joy" but it is a more pleasant alternative to endlessly going through my notes, trying to come with original perspectives on well-worn material. It is indeed part of a long process of attaining a "distant good" and I hope I will persevere because my slow progress on it has been discouraging.
The signs are not good that I will ever finish and yet, I can't give up trying. I've stopped and then returned to my writing many times...it's like a relationship where you keep breaking up and then getting back together with the same person without much movement forward in the relationship. I don't think I'm in any kind of denial...I think I know that I CAN do it and the little willpower I have won't let me give up.
The obstacles are real but I know in my heart that they are not insurmountable. I just can't let myself quit when I get discouraged (which I think is most people's first instinct) and carry on with the dull prospect that one day in the future, I might finish this project and close this chapter of my life.
But, hey, it's Friday night...so, I'll allow myself a present joy and return to work in the morning!