Be forewarned, this entire post will just be me bitching about being stressed. If whining and complaining doesn’t thrill you, you can just troll through the internet for April Fools jokes like this one. Otherwise, commence bitching.
So to start out, I have to say that this is 100% NOT a prank. All this shit is true. I stopped pranking people years ago, mostly because the escalation got to an insane level and I didn’t wanna take that next step. Anywho, I’ll start out with this. I’m fucking stressed. I know, so is everyone else, but for me right now it’s at an all time high. To start with, I’m miserable at work. My boss is terrible, he decided that this year our workload is going to double, but sorry Charlie, no raises for the effort. Every day I’m scrutinized for the small amount of mental health stuff I do during the day (read: slacking), since it’s apparently OK to go outside for 10 minute cigarette breaks every few hours, but taking a personal phone call for the same amount of time is apparently unacceptable. They switched us over to an open office design so they can look over our shoulders every chance they get, and report their findings to our bosses. Also, it’s loud and distracting all day long, which makes concentrating on our work a nightmare. They give me a “talking to” about communication, meanwhile they don’t communicate with me for shit. My boss micromanages, and takes any opposition to his ideas as a personal challenge, frat boy style. All this shit combines to make my work days a fucking nightmare. I actually really miss my shipping and receiving days. Sure, I had some crappy bosses back then too, but there was much less oversight, and I enjoyed my job more. Truth be told, IT was never high on my list of desired careers. I did it because it was the easiest way to make decent money. Now I know why. It’s because the industry is full of assholes like this, and IT people are frequently talked down to and abused. It’s as if most people think our shit is so easy that we can do whatever they ask right away because we’re “computer guys”. (no offense to all you computer girls out there, but that term is seldom used) I actually HAVE worked IT jobs that I enjoyed. The most notable was my last one, where I was a field engineer in NYC. If it wasn’t for the commute, I’d have stuck it out there and tried to move up. But, alas, I chose to have normal hours and see my kids more, which leads me to my next point.
It’s no shock that I’m plagued by guilt. Part of my non-belief in a higher power is a feeling that justice must be served. I don’t believe in being judged and paying the price in the afterlife, so I enforce it now. I judge my actions constantly, and punish accordingly. Most notably for this is for my hobbies. I’m in 2 bands, I’m learning to fight in the SCA, I have my arcade hobby, my side work, and my classic car. I come home for a little while after work, and most nights go right back out again. Sure, I’m doing what I love to do, but it’s taking its toll. Both the Nutty and the Wee Beast express their sadness when I say I’m leaving (again) pretty much every time it happens, and it rips me up. I feel like a selfish fuck, and to be perfectly honest, I am. I get to do what I want all the time, and now I have the audacity to be upset because I want to quit some of it to be there for them. It hasn’t happened yet, and I wonder how long it will take me to weigh how much the kids get upset over this against how much the members of the hobby and I would be upset if I were to quit. I feel sort of like the father from Cats in the Cradle, and it makes me physically sick.
Now, the bomb. We’re planning to move. Our current house can’t be what we need it to be, and there are many reasons why I don’t wanna stay. The school district is meh at best, the taxes are super high, and currently the Beast doesn’t have a fucking window in her bedroom. For us to revamp the house to accommodate our needs, it would cost us 125k or so for the work, and then a 3k bump in taxes each year. This doesn’t make any sense for us to do, especially when the High School in our district is like a demilitarized zone. Our only real choice left is to move. We’ve done this before, twice, and it never caused me as much anxiety as it does now. Our last two moves had something this move doesn’t: We bought a new place FIRST! Well, bought the first time, inherited the second time. Either way, we were able to move out and then show an empty house. Now, we have to pack up our house, store a ton of our shit somewhere, and run “lean and clean” until the house sells. If that wasn’t bad enough, I have to remodel 2 bathrooms, fix the roof, replace the front door AND steps, paint the house, new garage doors, fix siding…. The list is nuts. This is all stuff I put off because we could live with it the way it was, but nobody is gonna buy it that way. Then it comes to us worrying about house hunting, new neighbors (our current neighbors are fucking awesome!), and of course, the move itself. I, for one, am NOT looking forward to having to pull those arcade games out of the basement. I’ll probably hire movers or something for it.
All this shit piles on top of my regular stress and worry. Am I being a good father/husband/friend? Am I planning properly for the future for myself and my family? Am I seeing enough of the big picture to be making informed decisions? Am I progressing as a person? I don’t even like going into this shit with the Lish because when I’m home with her, all I want is comfort and to forget about my problems. Now, however, it’s getting to a point where it’s just wearing me down. I think I’m handling it ok, but my perspective on that isn’t the greatest. My friends and the Lish would know better. I’m not saying I can’t handle it, it’s just difficult is all. Then I think about people with REAL problems and horror in their lives, who have to deal with shit like barely livable wages, awful living conditions, worrying about whether they can feed their families this week, and/or dealing with loss of loved ones. Who the fuck am I to bitch about my life from my place of privilege?! I have much more than most, and I’m whining like a little bitch over being stressors that many people would kill to have in place of what they’ve got. What makes me deserving of sympathy or assistance? The answer to that last one, is nothing.