Thursday, 23 May 2013

Birthday Inventory and Resolutions

I turned fifty-nine a few days ago. When I was a know-nothing sixteen year-old, a fifty-nine year old was irrelevant. Old. Married. Compromised. Soft. Out of date. Ticking off the days until final-salary retirement. Not so now. I'm still learning and I'm pushing as much weight as I used to. I'm ahead of a lot of the kids around me and it's starting to dawn on me that I always will be. Girls half my age tell me that I am not "harmless". 

I own my house. My pensions are a joke. I will need to work until I'm at least seventy, and I am going to die in the harness. That smell coming from next door? That will be me, two weeks after I die.

The office I work in is enervating. The air conditioning doesn't work and from midday until about two-thirty it smells of food. The colours are drab, the carpet is dirty, the desks too small, and we have to put our laptops and papers away in a perspex box and put the box in a locker. Like infant school. The IT is a joke: we're using XP and IE 7. I can't send attachments externally, and half the websites I want to look at for ideas and even actual business use are either blocked or don't work properly - I mean The Guardian's site crashes the browser. I can't focus, can't get into a groove and the days last a long, long time. Even though I'm in at 08:00 and out prompt at 16:00.I can work in a bureaucracy that size, but I can't take it seriously and I'm not good at the corporate games. But heck, I figure they will employ me for as long as I want to work, unless I get re-organised out.

The weather has been grey, cold and dispiriting for maybe four years straight. I don't want to go out at the weekend, or work on my garden. I haven't been watching any DVD's or going to the movies much. Or reading a lot. Or taking photographs. Or doing much of anything, outside work, gym, Tuesday meeting and basic household maintenance. I feel as if I am just curling into a little ball. I am not alone in feeling like this, but not many people will talk about it or admit the weather is affecting them. 

Going to bed even at 22:00 and waking up at 05:45 is un-natural. The alternative is commuting on a train I may not get a seat on, and I don't want that. What other disabling beliefs am I giving myself?

Age, age, age. 
All big companies suck and only big companies employ analysts.
I have no energy left at the end of the day and certainly none on Saturday morning.
I will put on dangerous amounts of weight without fair vigilance.
I should weigh about 82 kilos - so I'm overweight now. Fat, fat, fat. (I'm not, but, you know, I'm a fuck-up).
There are no attractive women in London - that I stand a chance with.
If I take a job somewhere else, they might cut me after two years if I move and then I'll be fnerked
I can only really enjoy being alive in sunshine.
I don't enjoy going-away holidays, and I certainly don't enjoy coming back home afterwards.
I'm getting poorer every year

Some of this stuff is real (logistics) and needs a work-around. Some of it is about a contrast with what I think I "should" be doing (culture consumption). Some of it is a mixture of attitude and physiology (sunshine, energy levels), and some of it is a mixture of fact and attitude (women and jobs). I am not a couch potato, I am not taking drugs with names ending in "statin" and "formin". I am not rotting my brain watching television. 

A lot of this is pretty darn environmental. I have found that I feel perkier after taking some L-glutamine, and I may go back to doing that every day. I might also give the magnesium a rest, because I know it alters my mood for the mellower, and I'm not very good with mellow. I may switch weekend gym day to Saturday, because if I don't get out of the house early Saturday, the whole darn day goes to pieces. I used to go for walks on Sundays, but the way I react to all the pollen now, it's walking through Chemical Warfare by Nature. I'll be sound asleep after half-an-hour and not in a good way.

I can spend a lot of a weekend waiting for the sun to shine and so not doing anything useful. Maybe until the sun shines, I draw the curtains and play the box-sets. Why not? Or write the next opus. What should I do when the sun don't shine and the rain falls down? Not sit noodling on the Interwebz as if any moment now the sun will shine. Watching the box-sets would be more constructive. 

Then there's the whole get-another-job and find-a-female-companion thing. Which is another post entirely.

1 comment:

  1. I hear ya, man. I am 56 and going to Thailand to teach English.