Mid-Life Crisis!

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I don’t know what is wrong with me but lately, maybe months or over the last year I have slowly declined into an insurmountable sloth that has prevented me from doing the one thing that really made the slow grind of daily life even remotely bearable. That one thing is writing. The exercise of crafting fragments of words into some sort of stream that hopefully resembles a cohesive segment of thought and if I was lucky something that might strike a chord with anyone who might stumble upon it. But it just hasn’t been so. The problem is a lack of energy – a slump in motivation and too much time obsessing over things I have little to no control over.

The ironic thing is that I’ve often lambasted the object of my obsession and now I am fully within it’s grip. I don’t know why all of a sudden I have fallen prey to the idea that I just don’t have enough money. For all my ranting’s about the corruption that consumerism has bestowed upon the world I am now  gripped with an urgency to accumulate as much of the stuff that fuels consumption as I can and I often curse the crushingly slow path that leads to stacking the bundles of cash it takes to hoard. It’s gotta have something to do with age – a mid life crisis of sorts, although such crises are often symbolic of spending large sums on outrageous toys and going on some last adventure I find myself wanting to not really to spend but save. Although I do confess doing my fair share of superfluous and wanton wasteful spending does really mess up the plan to save. I just want to create a stack of wealth that might afford me a standard of living in the future. I know it’s crazy but I can’t help myself obsessing over this need. Yet implementing a serious strategy of frugality to achieve said goal is easier said than done.

I rack my brain with what I can do to get more money to hoard and all attempts to invent some method of getting a decent cash flow happening have amounted to naught. Then the dejected sense of doom arises from the pit of my stomach – it’s too late. I missed the boat and I am stuck in circling in the perpetual ebb and flow of paid slavery with the hopeless sense that there is no way out of the grind.

Perhaps I am best in changing my perspective rather than trying to beat myself out of the system. Lets face it – how many people actually escape the ripping jaws of working for money to create a life that is actually meaningful? Hardly any. The primary problem is that the conditioning of working for money has been firmly planted. The correct response or choice of wording is money working for you but that is not exactly what the system really wants of us. It wants and needs for us to work for money and that is what we pay with our lives for. Working for money while money gets handed over to the ones that knew that money worked for them.

Like the words from that song – “Money for nothin and your cheques for free!” – Dire Straits

Therein lies the secret to financial success. Get money working for you but bugger me if it doesn’t take a hell of a long time to get money in a position anywhere close to showing potential and fit for work. I guess it’s why leverage is the way of the world today. Money is debt and debt is money. Ingsoc’s 2004 amendment to 1984’s Freedom Is Slavery slogan. Cash is no longer King – debt is and you better be certain with your strategy lest your debtor performs a margin call.

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength! All hail Ingsoc! Where big banks are too big to fail and too big to save. Privatise profits and socialise debt – that is if you live on Wall St – Main street can go and get stuffed – just hand over what’s owing to the Taxman before you head out that door. No wonder why I feel so dejected and disillusioned. Big Brother made sure of it!

Category : Rants | Blog

Coming Home

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There’s something disenchanting about coming home from an overseas trip. You’ve traversed a time zone or two. You’ve travelled thousands of kilometres and seen amazing sights, to then have it all come to an end. Coming back home where things seem a tad more clouded or smeared, almost as if a faint brush of emptiness has re-touched the scenery with a greyness that you never noticed before or you’d abandoned once in the sphere of another reality far removed from the one we stand in, in our everyday lives. Perhaps it’s because of the closeness and familiarity that closeness imbues, once removed from that close and comfortable zone it so easily forgotten. Coming back to it affords a freshness and a type of amnesia of the menial everyday life we lead, yet it only seems moments pass when it all comes crashing back, just like you’d never left.. Prior to leaving you were acutely entangled within the mesh of everyday living and within its grasp you became blind and unaware that everyday life had all but ensnared you and held you hostage to a routine, which on the surface doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, however beneath the facade is the collateral damage of losing the ability to actually see and perceive the things around you. A comfortable and secure existence which is familiarity steals ones perception while trading it for a focal point that seems all consuming but is in fact merely just a distraction from the small things that make up the whole. Taking the time to stop and smell the flowers is not something which is often encountered in the hustle and bustle.

Upon returning from the ‘other side’, fresh eyes are still tuned to the perception that just on periphery there is so much more than just objects around you, so the once familiar is a little newer and a little fresher – one’s eyes are opened and moreover, receptive to the finer treasures that are everywhere but difficult to see when one’s blinkers are set to a narrow vision and focus. It’s unfortunate that fresh eyes soon tire and  fade back into the tunnel vision of routine. And how fast it returns is startling. It takes considerable effort to keep ones eyes open and not be consumed by all the things that you’d left behind to venture into the world afar but routine is an alluring seductress, she will invariably pull you close with her ruby lips, soft and sensual, whispering sweet little lies into your ears. The hot breath on your ear lobe telling you that you’re the only one for her, that all you need do is close your eyes and experience the here with the numbness and comfort it shrouds you in. To let yourself fall into those warm, endearing arms and be swept away with the ease and security that routine brings. Persistence wears away the memories from afar and your eyes are once again accustomed to the narrow tunnel before it, like the night vision we experience when we are thrust into darkness. As our pupils dilate to soak in what little light can be found in that darkness, the soft light at its end is all we soon see. A light that never seems to get nearer because the treadmill we are walking upon to get to that source of wonderment ahead – that light over yonder only perpetuates the illusion that we are travelling forward when in fact we are merely standing in the same spot while our legs are thrust in a motion that never gets us anywhere. A source we forever strive to reach yet perpetually fall short of, so it is – our beloved routine. Our mistress and comforter.

It’s a short lived experience, travelling the globe on holiday and all too easy to become reacquainted with normalcy upon returning home. Besides the fact that I am a new convert to the idea that going overseas is not a bad way to spend a few weeks it would be a entirely different ball game to up and leave and extend the travel experience by living and immersing yourself in another land, far away from home or to become a seasoned traveller who does overseas trips regularly. I have the impression that seasoned ‘travellers’ are a more adventurous lot and probably more interested and comfortable in the people of a place, where as a novice like me, prefers to avoid the people and focus on the actual place. I’m not one that likes to get in amongst the masses of the world meeting new people. I’m not good at it! Partly because I’m far too uninteresting to make any sort of impact but more so because not that many people really impact me and besides, I detest the little game we need to play with the trivialities and nuances of small talk. I understand the necessity of it,  treading carefully around the edges, sussing the other out before revealing too much of ourselves, but lets face it, it is a tedious process and unless one possesses the ‘gift of the gab’ to drive small talk in a direction of greatest interest it will ultimately fall into the two most uninteresting topics of conversation ever imagined.

I definitely do not in possess said gift, I find small talk just falls flat with me.  I’m a difficult nut to crack because my interests are small and narrow and not as eclectic to fit the tastes of most people. I suppose I’m sort of getting better at it as time progresses but I still find the uncomfortableness and anxiety and dead end that it usually ends in with me as just not worth the effort when so much of humanity is just not that interesting, who mostly subscribe to a default position of sport and weather. Occasionally little gems are presented but for the most part the rabble is just that – rabble.  Perhaps I’m far to arrogant and haughty to have what it takes to ‘fit in’ with such a default position. But I am who I am. Perhaps you may find my previous post entitled ISTP revealing. It may reveal why I am such a difficult personality to crack or then it may not.

What my travel to Finland and short visit to England taught me, actually reaffirmed in me, is that I prefer and enjoy nature to the hustle and bustle of city life. City life is such an artificial environment and I’d forgotten what it was like to sit in an environment that wasn’t just concrete and scores of human beings wandering around in a self deluded daze. In fact I had a semi epiphany when at the local Westfield’s the other week, observing the trickle of shoppers who were lazily strolling with what looked like a glazed look. I couldn’t help but wonder, what the exact nature is of this meaningless activity we indulge our precious time with -  shopping for things we have absolutely no need for but somehow are compelled to buy? It comes back to the routine we are entwined with. We invest a large portion of our lives at our places of work, complete with a tunnel vision that our routine sees with, while time withers away, dying at the hands of routine and what better activity is there to complement the numbness than with other shoppers who are desperately in need of something other than that which they are doing but no longer know what it is! I know I do it and even though I often find myself in a semi existential crisis, wondering why on earth am I wandering around with the same glazed look as my fellow shoppers. It is because it has become a routine and because we are a herd creature, the shopping mall is the obvious place to be when not working. After all it isn’t for nothing that we spend 40, 50, 60 or 70 hours a week working for is it. We want to spend the money we earn and seeing as most of our time is spent earning and so few is spent in leisure, it is a place of worship for many of us. We can buy those objects of yearning that will show to our fellows that we are above the ordinary and indeed better than the you. But time is little so we flock to the local Westfield’s where everything is nicely compartmentalised and convenient so we need not spend too much of what is most precious – time, wasting it in search for our little piece of nirvana.

It’s pretty sad that more of us don’t actually see the madness and do something else like get together with family and friends and head out in the fresh air but the madness is such that we feel compelled to visit the church of capitalism, to hand out the alms of our faith and pay homage to the god we serve. It’s funny but the cash god we pay our lives for, is intrinsically valueless. Those bills we hold in our hands so dear has probably less value than the actual paper its printed on.

What can I say. Time for another holiday to forget all this nonsense we work for.

Category : Journal | Blog

Extroverted people….Grrr!

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Monday is over and done with and the countdown to weeks end has begun. Four more days to contend with before we are given the sweet taste of freedom once again. I’m in desperate need of time off, yet I continue with the grind that seems to achieve nothing but weariness and resentment. We truly are a strange creature and unless I am completely mistaken I’m surely not the only one in the universe who finds work to be truly uninspiring, repetitive and plainly put, repulsive? Maybe I am. A woman at work is always so happy to be there and I am sincerely perturbed at my total incomprehension at how anyone could be so ecstatic to be at work. It’s down right demoralising and so totally not right that I’m sure all could agree that such “happy” people have no place in the workforce. Surely it should be mandated under the Mental Heath Act as just cause to be scheduled into one of our fine Psychiatric facilities for re-education?

Anyway it is not her, it’s me. I just can’t fathom the idea that work could be an enjoyable experience but then again this woman is the antithesis of me. She is so extroverted and is constantly jabbering away and I’m genuinely surprised she gets any work done with her mouth working overtime the way it does. I have to confess that sometimes I just wish she’d just shut her fucking mouth for five minutes. It can get a little grating to have someone yapping so incessantly, asking questions all the time, after all there is a F1 function key that pulls up a help menu. Maybe more people could make use of it. They might even learn something without having to ask questions to break the silence and hear the sound of your own voice.

Well I can thank the merciful technology for creating noise isolating headphones. All I’m saying is that sometimes its good to drown out the background noise of extroverted individuals who need constant attention to enliven themselves.

Luckily today was a day free from too much extroversion and if nothing else, I at least have something to be grateful for. Although Monday’s are the worst day of the week, tomorrow the said woman will be back with her ingratiating cheerfulness and who knows maybe it will be contagious and the meme may even spread to a sour puss like me. Yeah I know, and pigs may fly. 

Category : Journal | Blog

If nothing changes…well nothing….

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I’ve already come to the conclusion that this year will be much the same as last and it could be argued that the world is more or less in the same boat. There isn’t going to be dramatic changes across the globe , the same old same old, the repetitive forecast of doom and gloom, the economy collapsing and more of the ultra-violence that has become our staple diet of media entertainment, but for the time being it is not in the forefront of my mind. My mind is drawn into a more localised world view and that can be a not so good thing when the world shrinks into a tight little ball which constitutes entirely of my inner imaginings.

Invariably my imaginings begin to paint with crooked strokes the bleak picture of how accursed my state of affairs seem to be. It was today when I was battling another afternoon lull in wakefulness when I pondered the futility of what I was doing, staring at bridge pier levels and thinking that this task, a seemingly endless journey, unbearable in its repetitiveness is just another day’s work that has been around before and will repeat in another moment of space. It’s a tedious and monotonous task, checking and calculating a series of reduced levels that really have no importance to me other than the money it deposits into my bank account every fortnight. But having that pay cheque still doesn’t seem to take away the dreariness of doing something that I’ve done so many times before and that’ll come back again.

It seems trivial and it is but when it becomes a recurring nightmare the “joy” of working and being productive and a part of something begins to dissipate into the ether of wondering how much better it would be if…. There’s no gratitude when everyday seems like a prison sentence and the thought of just dying and never having to face the same eternity seems like paradise. But of course it is called work not because we are filling in our leisure time with something to do, but because it is a chore that we must do to get that money to pay off our debts and provide the little amusements to help us forget that if it wasn’t for our yearning and conditioning to have the latest consumer product, to buy our social status from X brand, then we probably wouldn’t have to spend the better of our lives doing the thing we so often despise and complain about and dread.

I’ve often wondered if I just stopped the charade, dropped out and became a bum, what difference would it make to my life? Would I be better or worse off by not having to abide by the enslavement of money and could I get by with a more simple lifestyle? Could I create an alternative life other than the one I find myself in? Perhaps these are just the musings of the disenchanted, the bitter words of defeat maybe.

Category : Rants | Blog

Lets try again.

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The second day of the new year…well day 2 of the new working year and it comes as no surprise that an old cumbersome woe is beginning to rise. The chains of serfdom have entangled my ankles and are slowly wrapping their links up around my calves. Welcome once again to the nightmare! The taste of freedom….the flight of time that is one’s own slowly drowning in the bitter after-taste of reality.  Yesterday, as reality slapped frigid on my cheeks, my eyes drooped, heavy with a burden of eternity. The new year is supposed to symbolise rebirth yet for me it resembles another cycle of decay. Another year shackled to sameness, an unrelenting ground hog repetition, enslaved to time that seems controlled by a master who remains hidden and faceless. Try as I might, even attempting to deceive truth by pretending that the sunshine shines brightest at dawn, I still cannot escape the wrath of the absurd. The only thing arriving early to the glaring menace of a long day provides is a tremendous weariness that no amount of coffee can shake.

Meh! A positive outlook…the right frame of mind…all good. But! I still have to work! Working for the machine….and I don’t know why. Freedom awaits the brave, courageous soul who can let go of possessions. Who can abandon the material realm and walk to and fro without knee bent, head down low, bowing unto the great overlord, the machine.

Perhaps I should join a monastery, become a spiritual slave. Nah! Fancy being a slave to nothing and waking up at half four in the night to pay homage to it. No escape! There must be a way to go back to sleep and enjoy the dreaminess of illusion without having to be slapped awake by the absurd.

Maybe the problem is expectation. The expectation of freedom. Is a human being even able to be free?  Maybe freedom is just another word for choice and isn’t this Western-Americanised system ideal in delivering the shot of choice into the mainline of throbbing, hungry freedom ventricles pouting like a whores lips eager to devour the engorged McHappy meal of “our” ideals and desires?

Well…like a good slave I can ponder it in the morn as the sun begins to shine and my alarm clock shocks me into 10057. Top of the morning to ya. Have a good day.

Category : Rants | Blog