The great thing about having a blog is the way you can record things as they come to you, react to your life as it hits you. Move with the spirit as it moves within you.
The great thing about being flat broke, is that it tautens the senses. Makes you sharp. Makes you see with a clarity of vision that is close to seeing into the bones of the world, or at least of your own life. Brings you close to the state of survival. Forces you to re-evaluate your priorities. At least that is what it is doing for me now, at midnight. As I sit thinking about my life, weighing things up with this new clarity of perspective.
I am 36. In one week I will turn 37. The last eighteen months have been fucking catastrophic. They have. It has been worse than dead time. It has been wasted, and lost time. It has been destructive. It has pushed my life backward. I’m only managing to come face to face with the reality of what I am facing now that I have some clarity. It has put me back some. But it has also made me determined to accelerate now. But in order to accelerate I am also going to have to stop. That sounds a little zen doesn’t it. But, that is what I am going to do. I am going to hole up for a month. Go to ground. Become a quiet man. Stop performing. Hide out. I think it will be the only way to get my life on track. I don’t necessarily believe that the mistakes I have made this last year and a half are my fault, but I do feel guilty. And perhaps the only way not to feel that guilt anymore is to use every effort to get life back on the rails. So, for the next month, until the 31st October I will be cutting all expense, except for absolute necessities. I will not feel bad about this, or like I have to keep up a pretence of normality. I am not just talking about the expense of money, though this is a large part of it. But also the expense of feeling that I owe people something. That sense that you have to keep working and working so that people like you. I do it all of the time. I’m sure you do too.
For instance there is a woman at work at the moment. She has been in trouble for being off sick. It is unjust. I have put the point across that is is unjust to her arse-twitcher of a manager, who is a moral cadaver. He is a wet-lipped cretin. He really is. So, I have done what I can for this lady, who is justly aggrieved. But she has been at my desk every day this week asking if there is any development on her case. I tell her no. Management have ten days to respond to her complaint and it hasn’t yet been ten days. I told her every time that I had a meeting with senior management this coming Tuesday, and if she hadn’t heard anything by then, I would raise it up to the top level of managers in our office to get things done. Every time she has stood a few seconds too long at my desk, as if the answer isn’t good enough. She has looked into my eyes with a stiff face, and stared. Now, if I were a different person, there is no way she would feel that she could do this. I think I give off a vibe of being immediately accessible, and available. The problem being that it is not humanly possible to be immediately available all the time. I noticed the last few times a look in her eyes. It was a kind of -what the fuck use are you, look.
My point here is that this is emotional expenditure. The fact that I am writing about this on a Friday night proves that a) I need to get a life. b)that I need to change how much of myself I give away. Because the expectation is that I give everything.
I have to ask you to take my word for it that Trade Union reps risk their jobs on a regular basis, and I push things further than I should on almost a daily basis. I volunteer as a rep even though it is a largely thankless task, because no matter how hard you work, you know the consensus is, what does the Union ever do that changes anything?
I had somebody call me selfish this week. This was surprising. Apparently I did something to offend a couple of months back. Again, I wasn’t immediately available. (I was also in the middle of being bats crazy.)
I had one friend who was only interested in telling me about my own life without thinking I might have an opinion on my own life. I had one friend lecture me on the way I work as if she were a manager. (Both said friends are off the ‘people to converse with’ for a month as realised they are pretty draining).
The best piece of advice I had this week was from a very wise colleague who said, a bad dog is only bad when it is being bad. It is no good to continue to tell a dog it is bad, when it is no longer being bad. In other words she meant- you make mistakes, you feel guilty, but if you’re not a bad dog anymore, being told you are will only continue to make you feel like a bad dog…And I suppose that is how I feel at the moment. Like a bad dog. But I’m doing my best. Things might be hard for a while, but I’m doing my best.
Anyway, that was all a little vague. Perhaps I’m tired.
So, an action list:
1- Get enough sleep. I have been keeping bad sleep habits lately.
2- Use my gym subscription. It will be a shame not to go to the boxing, and kungfu, and BJJ, but it will only be until I am financially in the black again.
3. Stop pretending that everything is okay. I have been ill for eighteen months. I am in recovery. This isn’t instantaneous.
4. Keep my head down.
5. Meditate, and write everyday.
6. Don’t feel guilty if these rules go out of the window.
If you managed to follow this post this far down, I apologise for the shoddy writing tonight. I have tinnitus from an ear infection, and it has made my head feel wonky.
Good night…and to any readers from the other hemisphere…good morning.