Shopping Therapy

As part of my “New Me” attempt, I’ve started with some Shopping Therapy.  Having planned for the end of my current life I’ve pretty much stopped buying anything I didn’t absolutely need in order to simplify things.

I’ve gone on a bit of a spending spree recently.  To celebrate the end of the unbearable summer I bought myself a new bicycle.  I also ordered a bunch of small things over the internet.  I don’t even remember what I bought now.  That’s kind of good because when it arrives, I’m like, “WOW!  I shouldn’t have!”

Buying stuff like a good little consumer kind of makes me feel like a regular person.  Strangely enough, it’s nice.  It’s good therapy.

Memory – Exploding Roman Candle

Sometime back when I was around 5-7 years old I remember my father shooting fireworks with us.  He was about to light up a roman candle and hold it in his hand like many people do.

I warned him that the instructions said not to hold it.  I was insistent that he did not.  He listened to me and put it in a knothole in the picnic table.  He lit it up and the whole candle exploded like s stick of dynamite.  It is very likely that I saved his hand that day.

I would also like to take the opportunity to tell you how much better roman candles were back in the 70s.  They were powerful enough to shoot high up in the air.  Nowadays they spurt out a wimpy spark that lands just a few feet away from you.  Maybe there were other incidents where people’s hands got blown off so they made them less powerful.

 

Can letting go of your dreams be good?

It seems contrary to what you might expect.  We all struggle to reach our goals in life but is the dream we strive for really the right thing? Buddhism teaches us to be satisfied with things as they are.  Maybe there is something to that after all.

A few days ago I was really down at the bottom of my frustration well as I came to the realization that my dream is unattainable at this time.  If the goal I had worked for over the last 20 years suddenly became impossible then what was I to live for?  It’s a good thing I don’t own a gun.

If I really think about it, my dream is based on escape from myself.  Something that I don’t think I am capable of achieving in the manner I had planned.  I am also trying to escape from other things but myself is the main thing.  I wanted to move away from my home, work and family and start fresh hoping that a new beginning will bring me the change that I desperately need.  Maybe it would work but there is a better chance that it wouldn’t.  The old saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.” may be inescapable.

The actual act of planning my escape was causing more stress on me that the problem itself.  What if I try a different approach.  I can still move away from my personal hell but I could put it off for another ten years.  That looks like an eternity at this point.

My main reason for staying is to support my mom who is 82.  She is doing very well by herself but needs moral support and help with the manly work around the house.  I don’t mind this at all except for the fact that it is 102 degreesin San Antonio for 6 months out of the year.  The oppressive heat and humidity is my arch-enemy.  If summer highs were in the 80s and lows in the 50s then I could be 90% satisfied with my life as it is.  I can’t leave my mom at this point.  There’s just no way.  I must suffer it out because she is all I have and she needs me.  If my father hadn’t died of a heart attack in 1977 my world would be completely different.

Maybe I don’t have to suffer as much as I make myself endure.  By waiting another 10-15 years I will have a much better retirement savings anyway.  Unfortunately I will be 55-57 years old.  That is not much of an early retirement.  I’ll be probably too old to do the things I want to do which are physical labor based.  57 is not super-old though.  Maybe I can manage.

If I am to make it another 15 years in my current life, changes are going to have to be made.  I can’t spend another decade and a half wallowing in self-pity.  Somehow I need to meet people and do things.  I need to step up the value of my life.  I’m not sure how to do this but I’m going to have to figure it out and try harder.

For the last five years I’ve been winding down in preparation for my move.  Saving as much money as possible, cleaning out my extraneous junk, not making any plans or starting any big projects and avoiding any relationships.  All these things would hold me back.  Now that my move is pretty much cancelled, I’m going to have to re-learn how to live. (Not that I was very good at it in the first place).

I’m going to need moral support.  I hope I can find some.  I may seriously plan on seeing a psychologist.  I think I need professional help to get my life kick-started.  It is obvious that I can’t do it on my own.

I don’t know if this plan is real or it is just the 5-htp working.  I’m going to go with this mental attitude for a while and see where it takes me.  Maybe I’ve hit the proverbial rock-bottom and am ready to climb out of my pit.  Cross your fingers for me.

 

Maybe I am not ugly?

All through my childhood I was sure that I was ugly.  When I looked in the mirror, the little ogre-boy looking back at me was all the confirmation I needed.

Now that I am a middle-aged ogre, I look at pictures of myself back then and I look like a normal little boy.  I even looked cute!  What a wasted childhood.  I could have passed for a normal person.

I wonder if when I am 70 I will look back at pictures of myself now and think that I looked normal and maybe even handsome?  Wouldn’t that be sad?  I wonder why a person cannot look upon himself and see what he really looks like.

I don’t know how to be bad

I was a good kid.  I felt that it was always the right thing to do.  I think, perhaps, it began as I attended sunday school for my weekly brainwashing.  The bible teaches us to be good… Or else.

So I was good.  I had no problem with being good.  It is right to be good.  Why would you not be good?  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is good no matter what religion you are.

Since I was good, that means no drinking, no smoking, no bad stuff.  Since I don’t drink, I missed out on being a proper teenager.  I didn’t learn the social skills.  I didn’t make the contacts. I became more isolated.

It’s both funny and a shame that human life is centered around alcohol.  I’m 44 now and I have no interest in alcohol.  Having not acquired a taste for it in my formative years I find it disgusting and stupid.

When I was a kid, I did as I was told.  I didn’t do bad things because they are bad.  I just realized the other day, as I drove by a convenience store, that I am old enough to buy Playboy.   Of course why buy that when you get better stuff on the internet for free but the idea is striking.   I’m 44 and still feel like a good little boy.

Being good doesn’t fit in well on this planet.  Bad is preferred here.  Women like bad boys.  Bad boys have more fun.

I wasted my life being good thinking that it would get me ahead but instead it left me behind.

I’m not sure what to think about this.  What does it say for human society?  What do we teach our children in order that they not be good so they will fit into society?

Where are we heading on this path of baddness?  I’m not sure I want to go on this ride.

 

Officially in a Mid-Life Crisis

Well, I think it is official.  Even though I’ve felt I’m in a mid-life crisis for at least 10 years now, I think it is real now.  I found a list of symptoms and I have the majority of them.

I’m not sure if knowing what is going on is good or bad.  Knowing that it is a “thing” that many people have to deal with could be helpful since I don’t have to think that I am the only screwed up person on the planet.  A lot of what I’ve read so far seems pretty cliché considering the severity of my situation.

I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it.  Mid-Life Crisis is obviously not a joke.

I do feel better knowing what is happening to me.  I hope that can be a starting point.

Can anyone help?

Could I have a family?

While having some lunch at a nearby restaurant, I noticed a number of families come in to eat.  As usual, it made me think…

I’m 44 years old now.  As I child I never looked to have a family.  My goal was always to retire early and girlfriends, wives and children make such a thing impossible for the common man.  It was always logical that since I don’t want to work my life away, there was no way I could afford a family.  Therefore I have none.

Yes, the loneliness is crushing even though I am on the verge of my early retirement goal.  Did I chose poorly?  I think, perhaps, yes.

Who am I to deny the human nature of making children?  It is what we are programmed to do.  I’ve always thought to myself that if everyone is doing it then it is too common.  I’ve always thought I was the smart one for avoiding the pain and suffering of relationships and family strife.

There is much to be said for living the family life.  To have a house full of people who love you no matter how poor your are might be the secret of life itself.

Still, it sounds so crass.  To struggle financially against unnecessary odds to raise an unnecessary family.  Gross!  Why would anybody want that voluntarily?

In the end my life will be relaxed and work-free but at what cost?   My fate is to die alone in a little one bedroom house to be eaten by my cat.  Maybe I lose after all.  Life is what you make of it and I think I made it wrong.

In another universe I can see myself with a family.  It is a strange vision, indeed.  My other self is happy and that makes me sad.

I don’t think I can change the outcome of this life though.  My thinking is far too engraved to modify.  I can’t see myself in love with anyone.  I can’t see myself having a family.  Not here.  Not now.  Not ever.

If I worked at it hard enough I might make it happen but it would be far easier to kill myself and get it over with quickly.  If I had to work that hard to do it how real could it be?  So many marriages end in divorce that I can’t afford the time to even give it a chance.  If I lost half my savings in a divorce then my life’s work is ruined.

I don’t know.  I’m leaning towards just giving up on caring about it.  That’s hard too.  Death looks better all the time.