I am not filled with Christmas cheer, and if you’d rather not read about it, please don’t…


Christmas is over, so I feel I can burst the bubble of joy that everyone has been lapping up for the past couple of days. Of course, *I* can only burst your bubble if you allow me to. And I’m not trying to burst *your* bubble. You’ve already stopped reading my blog if you thought that a downer post from me might thrust negativity upon your day.

Enough with the preface.

I’m 37-years-old. There’s no youth left there. There’s no pretending. Age is just a number except when it’s clearly beyond the upper limit of a milestone time in your life that you were desperate to get some small part of right and never did. I’m regurgitating thoughts I’ve had thousands of times, if only occasionally expressed in here. Every chunk of time in my life has been a failure. I could possibly get over these failures if I could get something right in the next chunk. I never can. The pile I must dig myself out of gets impossibly deeper with the passage of time. I could continue with simple metaphors about being buried and overwhelmed and stuck. You either got the point a long time ago, or you’re never going to get the point.

So, I have the second of my horrible PKD kidneys out finally. I should be feeling better. And yet there’s nothing. Physically, I’m doing fine. I have no surgery-related pain that requires complaining. It’s the lack of joy that is unbearable. One doesn’t need to celebrate Christmas to know how pathetic it is to spend Christmas alone. Being alone on a holiday or on any day is a function of choices and circumstances and personal deficits that have amalgamated into this impenetrable blob that keeps me in my own empty sphere and away from Life.

In other words, there’s nothing I could have done today or yesterday or last week. The cards have been laid out for years. And I’m unable to do anything to alter my destiny.

Change will only happen through radical action. I’ve been trying to find some sliver of evidence that taking on this degree would be a good idea*. Every thought of my current job and 15-year-old career disgusts me.

*I’m referring to that online masters degree that I have briefly referred to in here a couple of times. I can still enter the program. I can still do it in a manner that students loan lenders consider “full-time”. I’ve got the financial awards just sitting there online ready to click on and accept. Even “full-time” students do the program part-time and work concurrently. But one could just go all-in and try to finish the degree in lightning speed and forgo conveniences like earning a decent salary. I could dive into ridiculous amounts of debt and focus all of my energies on this degree. Or I could dive into ridiculous amounts of debts and try to focus a lot of energies on the degree and the rest of my energies on my job.

I’d be so ready to do this cliff-diving if only I knew that the degree would land me a decent job…but I don’t have any faith here. I think my deficits in existing skills and job experience would still hurt me even if I earned a masters.

No one understands when I say that my IT career has been a joke, that I lack sufficient IT skills after 15 years to do anything else other than what I’ve been doing. I’ve been seeking guidance for years, and I’m in such a predicament that no one has quite known what to say.

And now I’m 37-years-old. Too late for anything…

Except it’s still younger than 38 or 39 or 40.

I’d been looking forward to seeing Les Miserables on Christmas Day. I’ve see the musical…1…2…3…4…5…at least 5 times and the spectacle of seeing it on the big screen with elaborate sets and larger-than-life action and bombast on the scale of a blockbuster movie has had me looking forward to this all year. But I didn’t firm up plans with anyone.

That left the prospect of going alone. I thought my level of pain would be tolerable for a short drive and three hours in the theater. If it weren’t going to be tolerable, it would still be worth it. So I drove out to Wynnsong for a 6:40 show. I got to the parking lot at 6:15, and then I sat in the parking lot, contemplating whether I really wanted to do this. Normally, seeing a movie by myself is an excruciating undertaking for myself. But especially on Christmas, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It is too pathetic for me to be a loner among people who are going to the movies on Christmas to be with friends and family. Maybe I’ll do this on New Year’s Eve since its doubtful I’ll have plans. But I couldn’t do it tonight.

So I decided I’d back out at 6:30. I literally turned on the ignition so I could back out of my space. And the car didn’t start. Apparently, the car battery must have drained while it sat idle in my driveway for ten days.

It’s Christmas Day. I should take advantage of a Good Samaritan for a job. But no, I couldn’t. I couldn’t bear any interaction with people. I just let time pass, alternately trying to start the car and pacing around my car with the hood up in case someone wanted to initiate contact. There was no one I would’ve called to help me out in this situation. I eventually just called Honda Care. They’d send roadside assistance. Then, ten minutes later, I tried to start the car, and it did start. Without any further interaction with a human being, I was able to cancel my request through a series of phone prompts.

I grabbed some very mediocre food from Shanghai and went home. (The food really is quite mediocre at Shanghai. It has been the last dozen or so times I’ve eaten from them. I go out of convenience and historical reputation; it’s not worth it).

I tried to watch Hugo via Netflix. Fell asleep and missed several key plot points. Don’t care. Read the summary on Wikipedia so I don’t have to concern myself with never having seen all of Hugo. I’ll live. Is this indicative of just how joyless I am, that I don’t even care to ever watch the brilliant film Hugo from start to finish?

No, I think this post speaks for itself as far as how joyless I am.

Eh, I can rattle off a few temporary antidotes to joylessness. The pets, of course. Herman was so excited when I came home last Thursday. He is so loving. I cannot overstate what a good soul he is. Zellouisa has moments where she is clearly in love with me, when she crawls on top of my chest or makes sure to lie a few inches from me. She is beaten down by old age and shows a good deal of crankiness, but she is reassured by my presence, and I’m heartened to mean so much to her. And then there’s Mr. Featherbottom, who is gradually turning into a big, sweet lug. He doesn’t seek out affection, but, with each passing day, I notice he will sleep closer and closer to me. He is starting to see me as a necessary part of his life, and this makes me happy.

So the pets make me happy. Endless reruns of Family Guy make me happy. A lot of people find them insufferably crude and offensive. I find them to be hilarious.

You’ve got family and warmth and Christmas trees and cookies and rainbows and unicorns. I’ve go pets and Family Guys. Otherwise, I’m a wreck.

This is just me being honest.


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