Friday, May 30, 2008

"Saturday night, and you're still hanging around.
You're tired of living in your one horse town.
You'd like to find a little hole in the ground,
For a while."
-Captain Jack, by Billy Joel

Well, it's Friday night, not Saturday. I'm still hanging around. I went back to work today, well, a temp job actually. Four days, but it's better than nothing. It's good to get back on the horse, even if it's an exhausting horse.

I watched the first episode of the new season of The Venture Bros. tonight. Jen was kind and watched it with me, though I know it's not at all her cup of tea. It's the sort of thing that I wish I had a like-minded friend to watch with. The truth is, I'm lonely, and miss my close friends who are spread out across the country. I know it's confusing: I have the honor of being married to my best friend. Although we're the same type of people - which is why we love each other so much - we don't share a lot of interests. My son is good to see some movies with and spend time with, but he's still a kid, and of course, I have to be his father before being a pal.

I'm tired.

Perhaps I think too much about being happy - what would make me happy, what would make me a better person, what would make me thinner, a better writer, a better father, have more ambition, a better husband, be more successful, live somewhere nicer, blah blah blah. I used to be a night person. Now my days are fine, but I spend most of my nights staring at the ceiling in confusion. Maybe happiness is too overrated. Perhaps life just is, and I spend far too much time judging it and myself.

I find myself not caring anymore about things beyond my control. It's pretty liberating. I don't really give a crap about or feel like arguing politics, religion, who's the best Dr. Who (Tom Baker, of course, but if kids today can't see that, what's it to me?) Sometimes it seems like I'm not really here, I'm just watching everything from a vantage point. It's not always like that - spending time with my wife and kids is real, work is real. But otherwise, I just feel like the world is receding further and further. Was there something I missed?



Caroline said...

I know it may be a wrong thing to say, as its in your country's constitution, but I don't think happiness is something that can be pursued.

I've had a lot of pain this year (physical backache, etc. plus earlier on this year tons of insomnia) I don't mention it often as I'm not interested in sympathy (and this isn't for that either!) but I have found that even when in extreme pain, if I put the effort in to smile that can release something and make me start to feel happier. Truly, even when in pain. Even when I'm counting the minutes pass before dawn.

Its not easy at first, even after a few successful times its easy to slip out of it. I asked Jim to prompt me. He pulls this odd face which always makes me laugh or at least raise a smile. It really does help.

Of course he's not so keen on being woken up to do this so I have had to learn to smile on my own in the middle of the night ;-)

Knitting Painter Woman said...

When I feel the way you've described I'm verging on CLINICAL depression. Dissociated from myself, my wants, my feelings, my abilities. Shut down and stuck. Of course, it may only be fatigue, too. If nothing helps, do nothing. If something seems like it might help, try it, even if only for a little bit. And for many, what Caroline says works: do something for somebody else. Nothing like a little self-pride (or full blown self-righteousness) to lift the spirits! Glad you wrote.

Aravis said...

I agree with what's been said already. Depression is so alienating, isolating. But no matter how alone you feel, you're not really alone.

Happiness comes and goes. External things can make you happy, but being comfortable with yourself is more lasting, and will accomplish most of the things you listed, like being a better husband/father/person. Letting go of the crap that's beyond your control is a great move in the right direction. It is liberating.

String said...

Wow that's odd, I have been in a strange observational state for awhile now...I know exactly how you feel and I am not depressed, just bemused at my 'position'.

Tony Sarrecchia... said...

Tom Baker will always be MY doctor--but David Tennent is running a close second.

french toast girl said...

First off, I love you lots. And I do understand the married-my-best-friend-but-he-is-just-not-as-weird-as-I-am thing. That's when he says "You should share this with your brother." :)

I think that not working and having large portions of time to dwell on things excessively would wear anyone down. Not that you shouldn't explore ideas, or challenge yourself, but sometimes you just have to let stuff go. Writing it down might not be a bad idea either.

love, me

luci said...

This is a very thoughtful post. Yesterday I watched a documentary about a Donkey Kong player (Steve Wiebe) with my husband. Not my cup of tea, but it’s better than the NASA channel he loves to watch. I used to lament over our dissimilar taste in interesting things. But, as I get older (perhaps wiser) and have lesser free time, I don’t mind it so much anymore. Some times I go out with friends (rarely nowadays), but I honestly rather use the little time I have with my family.