The False Promise of the Next Right Thing

Escaping the Hypnotic Pull of Doing What’s Expected

Keri Mangis
The Dissident

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Photo by Nikolett Emmert on Unsplash

My husband and I sat at the dining room table with a remodeling contractor one Friday afternoon in January 2012, finalizing designs for an updated bathroom.

I sighed, envisioning sinking into the healing, hot bubbles of my new whirlpool tub.

Granted, the project began only because our rusty shower needed to be replaced. But once the shower was broken down, well, why not upgrade the tub and flooring? And heck, why not pick out new cabinets while we’re at it? Of course, we will need new accessories — pulls, knobs, mirrors. And a fresh coat of paint to top it all off. The project that started with “replace shower” morphed into “bathroom gut and redo.”

We knew we would never recoup whatever money we sunk into the bathroom remodel. The housing market in our suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota had dipped and flattened due to the 2008 financial crisis. But it was okay. We were doing the right thing. I knew that, because anyone we told about our project approved. “Yep, yep,” they nodded. “Gotta do it!” they clucked. They would be doing the same thing in our position, they assured us. This wasn’t a complicated life decision, merely the Next Right Thing on a list of Right Things that had begun after we’d done the First Right…

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Keri Mangis
The Dissident

I am author and speaker, dedicated to getting out (and staying out) of Plato’s Cave of shadows and deception. Hope to bring a few people with me.