Moving through the world should be an almost effortless thing. There are so many people there to help, so many ‘things’ available to help remove obstacles. Why does it feel more difficult then it needs to be?
I find myself struggling lately. It all feels very much like that running through thigh high water kind of struggling. I just can’t seem to get any real traction on so many things, yet I know I’m moving forward, but with great difficulty, and I am getting wet so I must be accomplishing something more than just expending energy. I suppose that the sensation of ‘running in water’ is probably better than a skewed sense of sprinting across the salt flats towards a horizon you can never reach. Both sensations have an odd ‘running-with-scissors’ feel to them.
There is the complicating factor of a major car accident, and the need to ‘step up’ to get things done. We actually took delivery of a new vehicle last evening; exactly three weeks and 1 hour from the time and date of the collision that jolted me back into my own world.
I’ve had my 60th birthday, deliberately avoiding celebration of the milestone. This is one of the things that I’ve never truly learned how to do properly; celebrate. It comes from the lessons given to me as a child that one should not revel in one’s accomplishments in case it diminished the accomplishments of someone else. Basically a ‘don’t brag’ learning, but also one that was clearly a ‘stand out from the crowd’ but don’t be loud and proud about it.
Leading up the crash, and for a few days after, I’ve been struggling with a tight range of emotions. And they are the most disappointing ones in my psychological quiver. I tend to bounce around like a ball in a plinko game inexorably headed towards the bottom, ricocheting from despair, to disappointment, to self loathing, to anxiety, bouncing off a lack of motivation, an inability to execute on plans, to being so mired in the minutia that I pretty much couldn’t function. Where was the ‘hope’, the excitement, the drive that got me through the cancer, the cerebral hemorrhage, and the bad bosses that I’ve had in the past? My current boss and immediate supervisor have been doing a fabulous job of killing my motivation. I remained easily irritated, not unlike the way I felt in the months following the embolization of the hemorrhage. My sight is 90% better, although finding the right glasses to wear at any given time is a bit frustrating. And I have discovered that I just cannot do progressive lenses; the disorientation is too much. Now to be fair, the pair of progressives I have are Oakley sunglasses; the lenses are a bit smaller than my reading glasses, and definitely smaller than the prescription sunglasses I use as my ‘go-to’ driving glasses. I’ve got a nice pair of trifocals, a pair of bifocals with a new prescription, and I took my favoured red glasses in to the optometrist to have the badly scratched lenses replaced with trifocals.
Decision making had become constrained, and the gumption to initiate any significant projects or change in how we do stuff was pretty much non-existent, and there is still some reluctance there. Its almost like I need someone to lead me by the hand into whatever is to become my future, although the accident is certainly a bit of a kick-in-the-pants.
Okay, so part of the self loathing comes from the place where I’ve realized how inadequate my retirement strategy is, and how poorly funded our future may be. My job is at risk; I can’t afford to retire, and I may not have the necessary skill-set that would make the hiring of a 60 year old man appealing. So now I need a strategy. Actually I need three strategies;
- Clearing up outstanding debt that will be absolutely crippling if I were forced into retirement too soon, and funding the future
- Making myself attractive as a new hire which may or may not involve coursework and a new certification to add to the suite of competencies I have.
- Get back in the game to save my job!
Its pretty tough trying to work for someone who has announced that they fully intend to force a re-classification of your job, moving it down the ladder and with it, the pay goes down as well.
I feel like I am under attack.
Moving through the world doesn’t need to be this difficult.