EJFox.com

Always Have Two Reasons for Something

In which the author discloses a peculiar and dysfunctional part of his mind.

I will never go to the grocery store because I simply need milk. I will wait until I need milk and bread.

If I am traveling a long distance, I will always try and stack up as many reasons as possible to make the journey.

I think partially I am optimizing my time. But part of it is a fervently-held unquestioned belief that having only one reason to do a thing is not enough. If something is meant to happen the universe will align to make it easier. It will poke and nudge you again in a thousand tiny imperceptible ways.

Part of waiting for two reasons for something is a more sensitive observation of the flow of the things around us. It is easier to flow in the direction that synchronicity pushes you if you are attuned to the small fluctuations and signals that can help you divine one action over another (or no action at all).

I live in Brooklyn, and I don’t think I will ever go to Manhattan just to visit one store, or see one friend. I will always stack up another thing– a task that has been patiently waiting for another Manhattan-related task to come along –and combine them, ravenously, delighting in my efficiency. It feels so good to do two things at once!

Imagine the amount of time I’ve saved instead of doing these things one by one! Some order-oriented demon inside me groans in pleasure.

I realize this is not the worldview of a healthy “be here now”-oriented person living truly “in the moment”. I am inspired by all of you impulse-driven free spirits who surf radically on the vibes of the moment and go wherever that takes you, minute by minute.

Instead I live by mechanisms I designed long ago to make sure my time isn’t wasted. Over the years these mechanisms have been honed down into rituals that I repeat for reasons I have forgotten. My own inexplicable personal religion.

Late at night, after a party, a friend is walking home. “Where do you live?” I ask, fortuitously. She answers with a neighborhood far from my own, but that lines up with a previous impulse, bottled up by the two-reason rule. “Oh, cool, I’ve been meaning to check out a store over there. I’ll walk with you.” and in this, the two-reason gods have not only been satisfied, but have steered me towards a better path. One that I may not have taken otherwise. Something mystical and imperceptible aligned in that moment, and it is on me to notice them and seize them. (That is the key to life, no?)

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