Losing Before The Fight

This image has just the right mood… with the right title.
(Original source: “Quitting Time”, by PixelLine; CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The problem is not now. The problem is when I begin things. I praise Reason above all else simply because men always covet what they lack. All I do is out of sheer enthusiasm — Bacchean enthusiasm proper, as if I were naked at the top of a mountain, participating in an orgy of blood, sex and wine, shouting at the gods, clamoring for power, vision, life, death. I disguise blind emotion through cold reasoning, and I lie — to myself, to family and friends, to you.

Sun Tzu said that every battle is won or lost before it’s ever fought. He couldn’t be more right. I set myself for defeat the moment I decide on a battle. It would be laughable if it wasn’t sad, and shameful.

I decided on this “procrustean” project that I would write 500-word posts a day for a year. The objective was multi-fold: I wanted to learn philosophy and history, so I would read and write about it; I wanted to think my life through and write whatever lessons or thoughts I could extract from it; I wanted to nurture a habit of writing — Who knows one day I could become a writer?; I wanted to imprison myself in a beautiful project, one that my very character was at stake, so that I knew I wouldn’t quit; I wanted to improve my character in doing so; I wanted to make the first steps along a path that would one day turn me into the father my daughter deserves.

Yet I can’t go on.

I take around five hours on average to write a post. That includes reading a book chapter, highlighting the important parts, gluing these parts and/or devising comments, adding footnotes when necessary, finding an adequate image, writing the captions, making the appropriate links to images, licenses, and others, translating to either Portuguese or English (depending on which language I originally wrote the post with), adding tags, revising and proofreading both versions.

Who has five hours a day to spend in a project like that? I managed to squeeze such a time during the first month of the year, but it is simply unattainable for the rest of it, with my life getting ever more complex. I read “January 2019 (31)” in the “Archives” widget on my pages, and that fills me with pride and sorrow.

What do I do now?

To accept I can’t keep up is to quit. To provide reasons for quitting is like saying “I am sorry” after erring the same error for the nth time. To change and adapt the project is to accept defeat but disguise it with cheap euphemism.

It’s not even enough to accept a weak character. The truth is I cannot make rational decisions about my life anymore. I cannot reason anymore!

How to live not trusting your own decisions? How to ask others to trust you when you yourself can’t? It’s like I am playing Poker with myself, bluffing all the time, and losing.

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