Then I took to wondering why I was getting, if not totally stressed out, feeling a lot more hassled in work. It isn’t as if I work more, still leave at the same early evening time. But that compounds it, as it happens. As mentioned in my past few posts, the colour has drained from life. Doing less schemes and plans and adventures and noodlings outside work. Which is somewhat of an understatement, nothing is done outside of work. I did take up golf last Septemeber, and there is that, but it takes organisation and way more time and money and my previous lo-fi hackery and tinkerings. And as ever, I was bought the clubs, it wasn’t something I actively got for myself.

So I guess work has tried to filled that colourless void, seeping in to the gaps. After now thirty years of toil and not centering my life around that toil, what does happen when the toil is all there is? Thin, odourless, tasteless gruel of an existence. Thinking about work in hours that used to be allocated totinkering. And remember, all my tinkerings were constrained: I could never afford the latest computer, or the expensive lenses, or equipment to do all the things others did. I made do. Secondhand cobbled bits and bobs from charity shops, ebay for electronics from China, basics to build upon.

On the plus side, being constrained in that way meant you had to think about the problem and project, and work around it. Innovating, being tricksy, stupid, clever, pleased, frustrated. Making do and finding ways as an art. It did impress some, but mostly it was an embarrassment I kept to myself: I couldn’t afford otherwise. When you duck out of things for that reason, it isn’t quite a shame, but you don’t admit it. And it seeps in to everything else. ‘Oh, are you going to get [new gadget X]?’ Nope.

Everyone knows I have no ‘smart’ equipment, partly due to I don’t trust any of it, as I wouldn’t really ‘own’ any of it. A subscription for an item I bought? No, just no. Like the piece I read a while back about how heated seats are an optional extra in a new BMW. But not as they aren’t fitted, they are, you just need a subscription to that. Money will always find a way. Returning to first lines, I don’t have that smart gear for a secondary reason as it is all expensive distrations from living. Ring doorbell or paying some bills, mine or others’. Those are the decisions, glibly restarted, I’ve had for the past thirty years.

Which all means I don’t quite work harder, although I always work hard. Which all means I don’t quite pay more attention to work outside times, although it is heading that way. I m, however, good at what I do. It is just I can no longer really describe what that is, what is the actual point of me. This isn’t some imposter syndrome thing, it isn’t the fact I don’t ever code professionally any more, despite what I might think.

Presumably this is a middle-age malaise setting in, and maybe I should read those kind of novels to understand the condition. But I am not entirely convinced. Covid, empty nest, concious unwinding, receding prospects of the parts of life everyone else had that I missed out on, a bland anonymous invisibile engine running on fumes. A cocktail for dull unravelling.

I just wonder what actually happens when I don’t care anymore at all, when I can’t cope with it anymore at all, when there is nothing anymore at all.

Previous Posts

  1. You got to grow the beard, find the doubt, maybe you'll work something out

    It is strange, you shouldn’t compare yourself to your peers. But it is difficult. Or was….

    Wednesday 04 Jan
    1 comments so far

  2. The World Is Quiet Here

    Everyone found the (ongoing, still) pandemic hard. I am not going to deny, or belittle that….

    Friday 18 Mar
    0 comments so far

  3. Brief Lives

    Everyone else wanted a dog. I didn’t. Never grew up with them. Never even considered one….

    Saturday 06 Apr
    3 comments so far

  4. I'm big and ugly enough but...

    This has sat in draft for over a month, but whatever, publish and be damned, and…

    Friday 13 Apr
    0 comments so far

  5. Cortex The Killer

    Once upon a time, when I was an aspiring young astrophysicist, I took a course on…

    Sunday 19 Mar
    0 comments so far

  6. If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.

    I thought I’d written about this already, but I think I’ve just given presentations on it….

    Wednesday 14 Sep
    0 comments so far

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