Better now

Sleep is often the best cure.  I went to bed last night at 7:30 and slept hard for 11 hours.  I finally felt somewhat refreshed.  It doesn’t help to have to push yourself so much that you lack sleep.  It keeps you from thinking clearly.  Soon I will leave my 8:30-5:30 job behind and time will do as I please.

I got over this incident fairly well thanks to the lessons I’ve learned in the past.  Remembering them is always the problem.  One of the primary lessons is to notice that your thoughts are in control.  Control your thoughts and you will be in control.  Sometimes you need to let it out though.  Repressing thoughts can only be done for so long before it builds up to explosive levels. Google Mindfulness.  It’s not an easy technique but it is very powerful.

If the problem is chronic like loneliness due to invisibility, thoughts are not the solution, only a band-aid.  However you have to use the tools you have on hand.

Fortunately I have things to look forward to like my new land purchase, retirement and house construction.  It helps a lot to have a purpose and goal.  I think my personal social life may best begin after I move to my small town destination.  People are friendlier in a small town and I feel confident that I will have time and motivation at that point to find someone to share some my life with.  Working full time really takes it out of you.  I don’t know how the regular people do it.

Big shout out to Phillip in the UK who wrote to me about being in the same boat.  Wish you were here, Phillip. (Or I was there.)  A boat full of people is not a lonely place. (Unless you count the last cruise I went on.  Bunch of ignorers.)  Hang in there.  Our time has to come eventually.  Right?  Surely.  A wise man one said, “Patience you must have.”  I certainly hope he was right.

Later today:

I’m feeling much better now.  Perhaps it was just being around people at work to help one not feel lonely.  I may be in trouble when I retire in this respect.  Fortunately there are other ways of being around others.  I will still get a part time job to help fill the lonely hours and there’s also volunteering at places.  I just have to make sure I don’t end up sitting at home alone with a gun in my mouth.  Nah. Never happen.  I’ll never own a gun.

 

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How American Masculinity Creates Lonely Men

I just heard something incredible on my trip home today. One of the podcasts I listen to in order to pass the time on the long commute is “Hidden Brain” from NPR.

It’s a podcast covering psychological issues in today’s world.  Today’s subject was Lonely Men.  Something I am all to familiar with.

Studies find that American men are shackled by masculinity rules that often result in loneliness.  I guarantee this is a thing.  Even children indicate that they are expected to act in certain ways that prevent the forming of friendly relationships.  This problem continues to become a stigma in which single middle-aged men even find themselves poorly judging others in the same situation.  Studies also find that lonely men have a shorter life expectancy.

Personally, I’m excited to see that it is not just me.  I thought there was something wrong with me when it is actually a sociological issue.

If you are a boy or man struggling with loneliness, you have to listen to this short podcast episode.  You are not alone. (No pun intended.)

Somehow the American way has become more socially isolated.  This is bad. Make it stop.  I need to find sources for more info.  The podcast just left me desperate for more.

Do not seek the help of others

I’ve spent the majority of my life desperately yearning for someone to help me.  50 years later, still nothing.

Don’t waste time wishing for the help of others.  They have nothing to offer and you’re just hurting yourself.  If you really look at it I’m pretty sure they withhold their help for you because they like to keep you down and in their control.  You’ll always be there for them when they need you and they like you that way.

The lesson here is that the only help you get will be the help you give yourself.  Don’t wait for others to come to you aid or you will be waiting a very long time.  Stand up and pull yourself up by the bootstraps.  Rise from the crevasse and climb that mountain by yourself because only you can do it.  Only you have the power to succeed no matter how much ill others wish upon you.  No.  They don’t care but you do and that’s all that matters.

Jump up and tell them to kiss your ass!  Fuck you and your hat!  I’m not  your bitch anymore.  The world is mine and I never needed you anyway. I win!!!

 

What?

 

External Validation

I’ve spent most of my life experiencing low self-esteem.  I blame it on the loss of my father when I was a boy and the subsequent loss of friends and family.  Yeah.  Sad story but who cares.

Even though my last job sucked, I at least had a good source of external validation.  This job lacks even that.  All I hear about is what I’ve done wrong.  There’s no appreciation for all the great things I do every day.  Perhaps because I’m not the kind of guy who toots his own horn.  I’ve always been a person who works in the background to make the world a better place for everyone else.  I don’t go out looking for appreciation.  If others are happy then I’m happy.

However… Sometimes it’s nice to be appreciated.  When you are lonely the chances of being appreciated are minimal.  The answer here is to realize that external validation, though nice, is not really necessary.  Confirming your sense of self-worth is best accomplished through inner appreciation.

I’ve done a pretty decent job of appreciating my own incredible accomplishments but I’m sure I could get to be better at it.  I’m going to make it a point to celebrate my awesomeness whenever it appears.  How, I’m not sure.  Maybe a verbal attaboy and pat on the back.  Food?  Better not.  Shopping?  Meh.  Better keep it psychological.  The point is to make something of it and make it memorable.  Maybe an achievement log.  That sounds like a good idea.  Something to refer to on those low days.

I’m not to the point of depression.  I successfully beat that a few years ago.  I think, overall, I’m handling things rather well.  I know that I am my best admirer and that’s all that counts.  Yes, it hurts when others don’t see it but you can’t force it upon them.  If they don’t get it then they are not worth it anyway.  Now I’m just rambling.  Time for bed.

Bad Review

I went back and forth with myself on whether to write about this but I need to tell someone. It’s not good to keep things totally bottled up inside. Even if I don’t have anyone to talk to, it helps to blog it and let it out.

I had my three-year review today at work.  I didn’t expect it to be good due to the recent bad-blood between my boss and I.  We clashed a bit over the last few months as I was feeling overwhelmed and he just kept piling it on.  We had a little chat last week and have pretty much ironed it out.  It was too late for my review though.  He had already submitted it last month.

I expected him to be somewhat vindictive and I wasn’t disappointed.  He nitpicked everything and blew it all out of proportion.  I did still get a raise due to the calculative manner of the review procedure.  It was 2.5% which is not all that bad.  I don’t really care about the money.  Had I got no raise it would not have mattered much.  I don’t need more money. What DID matter was the bruising of my ego and damage to my self-esteem.

I work my ass off every day.  I go from one thing to the next and don’t even take a break.  I feel guilty about going to lunch. At the end of the day, I’m completely worn out mentally and physically.  It was painful to see that it was mostly in vain.

What hurts most is that I take pride in my work.  I work efficiently.  I work with the user’s needs in mind.  When I am told that I’m not doing a good job it really bothers me because I know that I AM doing a good job.  A better job than most people would do in my position.  Being constantly overwhelmed makes doing the perfect job virtually impossible.  I am doing the best anyone can do in this environment.  It’s kind of the feeling you get when your dad is disappointed with you even though you’ve done the very best you can and thought  you had succeeded.  He only sees the failure.

The boss did indicate that he was sorry about what he had written and it was too late to make any changes.  I understood and don’t hold it completely against him.  It’s human nature.  Still, there’s mental damage deep down.  I’m sure I can overcome it with time.  Time heals all wounds as they say.  Such has been proven time and time again in my experience.  Sleep can do wonders as well.  I took a little ZZZQuil to help me drift off tonight.  We’ll see how much better I feel in the morning.  Each day is Groundhog Day anyway.  I put my review at the bottom of a stack of papers in my computer room.

Self-Esteem has always been a problem issue with me.  I should be used to it.  A regular person might cry or go into deep depression or perhaps rage.  Other than an annoying buzz of sadness, I don’t feel any outrageous reaction.  I’m an adult now, technically, anyway.

So what am I to do next?  I only have 10 months left before I semi-retire so switching jobs seems overkill.  It’s not all that bad I guess.  As always, it could be worse.  I think I’ll just do my best to shrug it off and put on a happy face.

Like I said, I don’t hold it against my boss.  I’m open to the fresh start we are already experiencing.  I might work a little less hard and cut out the unnecessary duties.  Take a break each day and reduce the stress a bit.  I think a good plan would be to “Work smarter, not harder.”  I’m not a Machiavellian planner.  That takes too much energy and thought.  I just want to do a good job and lean toward feeling positive about going to work each day.  There’s not a lot of mental reward where I work.  I’ve done my best to hand out compliments to those who deserve them.  It’s better to give than receive anyway.

Boy I’m full of proverbs today.  Strangely enough, they are apt.

I feel better.  Thank you for letting me tell you about my petty, first-world problems.  It really does help to let them out.

 

I’m Right Here!

rghthrEvery once in a while, when I’m feeling particularly lonely, I make a simple post on Facebook.

“I’m right here!!!”

I’m saying, “Here I am.  I’m here.  I’m right here.  I’m available.  I’m right under your nose. This is me.  Right here!! Look!  Here I am.”

What do I get back?

Person 1: Are you sure? I’m right here and i don’t see you.

Person 2: I’m never here or there. Always stuck in between.

Person 3: Wherever you go.

Person 4: I don’t see you!!!

Really?  My mind boggles a bit.  Are they not understanding the metaphorical statement?  Are they trying to be funny?  Well, it’s not funny.
I’m right here and nobody cares.  Does that make any sense?  Yes, I am being a bit vague on my request for friendship but I also don’t want responses from the wrong people.  I keep thinking that the right person would understand the gist because they are also “right there.”  Maybe it’s just that the right people are out of transmission range.  Maybe I’m too advanced for the regular people.  I wouldn’t want a regular person anyway.

Slow Down!!

I usually find myself doing everything frantically. I rush through it and often do a just good enough job.

I guess we all do it because there so much to do and so little time.  We get in the habit of rushing everything to try and make it fit into the tiny little slice of life we have left to spare in a day.

We sometimes make it a competition to get something done quickly which only makes matters worse.  Who are we competing against?  Ourselves.  Not good.  I catch myself rushing everything and not even remembering that I did it.  It’s also bad for your blood pressure.

All we need to do is slow down.  Live your life deliberately and appreciate the moment.  Do a quality job that takes as much time as it takes.  It’s better for your health and whatever you are doing will be done so much better.  Enjoy the task or just appreciate a little time for relaxation.  It’s difficult but if you take the time to learn then it will totally be worth it.

You’ll experience life as it should be as everyone else in the world spins wildly around like children’s toy tops until they fall over in exhaustion.  Don’t let it happen to you.  Don’t let it happen to me.