Here is a snapshot of my life, on February 23 2013. I am fifty years old and I am not happy. Life is not what I imagined it would be for me back when I was a younger man. Of course, things could be worse. I hear that all the time whenever I complain about life, but just because I could be unhappier does not bring me any joy.
If I am depressed, it is because I should be. I prefer to call my condition “DeStression”, which is a more of an angry and frustrated type of depression rather than the tragic kind. I never sit around crying and feeling sorry for myself. Instead, I clinch my fists and wish that I knew how to solve all of my problems just by beating the crap out them. Sadly, that is not the answer. What are the causes of my unhappiness? My failed marriage and my work schedule make my life miserable, and the solution to both of these problems is to stop and change but it is not that simple. I do plan to stop and change but not for another five years or so. Until then, I will grind it out.
I would leave and divorce my wife this afternoon, and she would be fine with it, but I will never abandon my son. I promised him that I would always be here for him. He was an infant at the time and did not understand my promise, but that is not what is important. I know that I made the promise and I intend to keep it. Have I failed as a father? I hope not. I have not given up on trying to raise my son and I sometimes think that maybe he loves me. Today he is sixteen years old, with just over two more years of high school left. Once he finishes school, the burden of his tuition will be gone. If I leave today, neither one of us can afford to pay our rent and his private school tuition. I suppose I could pay for both if I really had to, but I would have no money left over to enjoy a social life. The only thing my wife and I agree on is that we want a good future for our son. As far as his going to college, he will have to find a way to pay for that on his own.
Quitting my job now would be a bad idea, even as much as I am tempted to do so. I have too many years invested into my “Career” and the goal of a pension is within sight now. In another five years, I will be old enough and will have worked there long enough so that they will pay me to leave. The pension will not be enough to live off of, but I can use it to supplement a lower paying job that I will not hate working. The job that I perform is not my complaint. It is my work schedule. I work the night shift, 10pm to 6:30am and I work on the weekends. It is a brutal schedule and there is no doubt that it is unhealthy for me both mentally and physically. How many years off of my life do I lose for each year of working the night shift? I try not to think about it.
My typical week begins with work on Wednesday night. After work, I come home and watch television. I relax by watching people hurt each other, Mixed Martial Arts and boxing. I also record the late night talk shows, just in case there is a good band playing. I do not actually watch the shows. I watch very little television other than sports. I repeat this routine of work and boredom for the next four nights. My weekend starts on Monday morning, but if there is a social scene happening anywhere at that time I still have not found it after almost a decade of searching. Thankfully, New York City provides entertaining things for me to do on Monday and Tuesday nights. On one of these two nights and some weeks on both of them, I will be watching live music being played in a club. Live music is pretty much the only thing that I leave my house to see.
There are never enough free hours in my day for me to pursue all of the hobbies or interests that I have. I enjoy reading, listening to music, playing video games and chess. And, I am a writer. I should do more writing. Writing other things besides my boring life story.