They say writing helps, right?
Saturday morning I spilled wine on the keyboard of my "travel machine"—a Lenovo netbook. After careful disassembly, cleaning and hours of drying, I've ascertained that the netbook is largely unscathed but the keyboard is completely hosed (from maybe a tablespoon of wine – that's consumer-grade quality for you).Apparently not even Lenovo keeps keyboards in stock for that particular model. I ordered a keyboard for its "sister model" from someone on ebay, but it probably won't get here in time. I had planned on using that netbook to work on my book and upcoming conference talks while on the plane to and from Oregon. I'm leaving Wednesday morning.
I could run out and buy a new netbook; but a) you can't just buy a netbook with 8 hours of battery life off the shelf at Best Buy; b) configuring it with linux etc. would lose me any time saved by being able to use something on the plane; and c) that's expensive.
Anyway, I've realized that the sense of general misery that ensued from this event is about more than my travel PC being temporarily disabled at an inopportune time.
The problem is that I'm on a knife edge ALL the damn time. I have so little leeway in terms of money or time. Any little thing—an unplanned expense, an illness—can totally fuck with my plans. Can force me to have sleepless nights as I try to make up for the loss.
Some people thrive on being busy. I don't. I HATE it. I HATE that I have to make budget every month. I HATE that I can't just say "screw this—let's go to the park".
And I HATE that it seems so effortless for everyone else. That my friends and peers complain about being BORED for God's sake. Bored. I don't even know WTF "bored" means anymore. How can you POSSIBLY have nothing to do?
Where the FUCK do all you people come up with free time?
You know what pisses me off? I'm living the MOTHERFUCKING AMERICAN DREAM. I'm building a business and I'm making a name for myself. And I look around and APPARENTLY it's a lot easier and more relaxing to just be a wage slave.
I think I'm starting to get where the whole Rand-ian mindset comes from. When you do creative work and make good money for it but somehow the people around you work less, make less, and still manage to relax and have fucking vacations and full weekends and play video games and whatnot; when they drive newer cars than you do and go to the movies on weekends, you start to think "just what the hell am I doing wrong?".
And I don't know. Is it just that they have two incomes and/or fewer kids? Is that it? I wonder. Or is it that they live on a combination of credit and gov't assistance? Is it that they have cheap union-negotiated health plans like those folks demonstrating out in Wisconsin, so they don't have to come up with another $2000/mo just to keep up with the medical bills?
And then some people are like "hmmm, having a hard time finding a job, think I'll go back to school". How does THAT work? Does school pay YOU now? Is there a GODDAMN MONEY TREE I'm missing out on?
It's not like we spend money everywhere. We're fucking frugal. We have six people in a three-bedroom house. We emphatically do not have nice things. Stacey cooks most of our meals at home, from scratch.
Yeah, it's partly my ambition. I don't WANT to live like this all my life. I don't want to be one paycheck away from disaster. So I'm trying to make MORE than just my budget, while also trying to develop side income streams. While also trying to build my reputation so that I'm damn sure I never have to worry about unemployment. So yeah, I could maybe be more relaxed if I weren't trying to do all that at once.
Except I WOULDN'T be more relaxed because I'd be living paycheck-to-paycheck with five other people depending on those paychecks never ever missing a beat.
But you wanna know what REALLY pisses me off? Statements like these:
"Take some 'you' time!"
"Spend more time with the family!"
"Make sure you're getting enough sleep!"
I don't have fucking TIME to relax.
You know that hard-ass workaholic dad in the old books and movies? The stereotype? The one who built a family business but was a big stupid jerk because he never spent enough time with his kids and then he had a heart attack at 65?
Yeah, well, he's ME, and I'm here to tell you he didn't ENJOY being a hardass, he just liked the idea of his family not being secure even LESS. And he had the sense to keep his mouth shut instead of blathering his frustrations onto a blog like I am.
I'd drink my frustrations away but I have this weird genetic defect that makes me lose interest in alcohol when I'm upset.
TLDR; bitch moan whine I'm really stressed out.