33 Doom

We haven’t gone out to see live music much lately. We’ve both been fatigued and I’ve been feeling rather old with various boring middle-aged health complaints. Nothing serious.

Not to mention it’s late June in the Sonoran and sweaty apathy sets in pretty easily out here.

Not as much goes on but I feel guilty about missing out on bands, but at the end of the day or the week, you just want to get behind fortress walls.  If we enjoyed the experience of live music for networking or drinking, it would be easier, but although the friendships are rewarding, we have a SWAT team approach to music venues.  Get in, get out with as little bloodshed as possible. So, when it comes down to brass tacks (whatever that saying really means), our primary purpose is seeing the band and if anything about that experience is detrimental (crappy venue, for instance) the motivation goes right out the window. I had plenty of times in my 20s after I moved to Tempe where I crapped out on a night out in favor of the safety (see: lack of social interaction) of home but in my 30s, with no children and no real outside hobbies, it leaves me feeling a bit disappointed in myself. But you see, there are dishes to be done, laundry to attend to, the lizard pooped, lunches need to be made, there is some disgusting mess left that I must clean up. (Keep in mind here that there are NO CHILDREN in this scenario).

When I do imagine children in this scenario, my head just about explodes. Don’t get me wrong.  I do a lot of sitting around. I watch television in the evenings, often while Googling cures to embarrassing medical issues. But, as I told my mother when she came out recently, children aren’t out of the question, but I just get so damned overwhelmed already and I don’t have some screaming little drunk person to care for. I’ve always been easily overwhelmed.  It may be part of why I have never accomplished much outside of what was necessary.

With blessings come concessions; before blessings there are decisions and consequences. The overused and overwrought phrase, “having it all” or alternatively, “you can’t have it all,” rattles around in my head. You hear about this in the news, in morning show fluff pieces and Internet opinion pieces. I have never thought much about it, or the phrase.  However, as I sit enjoying some vice or hobby (whichever you may consider it), I am thinking of the concessions I have made to have the blessings I have now. Not one regret on the large scale decisions made.

“Blessings” is such a cliche word. Some implication of religious gift, although not always untrue, it’s often times not the word I am really looking for  I’m “lucky” to have had good fortune to be born into a good family, to have been given the opportunity to make good choices based on my socioeconomic status (privilege-based concepts for sure).  My point I think is to try and find a word that fits better than blessings to explain that I feel like I am at this very strange and “blessed” part of my life. The part where you are constantly reconciling what you know to be amazing good luck, blessings or whatever word fits (the dictionary is no help in this matter: boon, advantage, profit or bounty), to the everyday drudgery–the everyday nightmares of middle age in a middle class life.  No complaints allowed, from a societal standpoint, I say.  Boon City, USA. Bounty everywhere you turn. (Not quite, I am too cheap to buy Bounty…I get the generic brand.)

I guess what it comes down to is the unshakeable feeling that no matter who you are, what amazing luck you may have had, what riches you may own, what blessings surround you, there will always be your doubt; there will always be the everyday nightmares of some sort. These inconveniences, that we let get to us….the distractions we let placate us…the complaints we hold in out of good taste and the ones we let out like the howling nag; those are the everyday nightmares.  The thoughts that we could have been better, accomplished more, had more drive, asked for more, tried a bit harder.

I have been asking myself these questions, flogging myself for answers my whole life. Each year that went by, I’d promise or think, “This year, I will be better.” Just like everyone else does. I can only blame myself, as I am, to the naked eye at least, a poster child for privilege (no real argument from me there). The reasons for my consistent failure fall into two categories: 1) It’s an unreasonable expectation that I have no hope in a bazillion years of having the resources or skills to pull it off, 2) laziness, complacency, running around with the ankle weights of the everyday nightmares.

So…what’s this all about?  It’s about seeing and feeling that I am ridiculously fortunate to have a good job, a good partner, a pleasant place to live and some degree of financial comfort. And also feeling like a ridiculous failure whose dreams (outside of the middle-class American Dream that everyone hopes for) were out of my reach due to my own lack of fortitude, skill or pluck. It’s about facing those everyday nightmares when you wake until they wear you down and they feel as dangerous to your life as any of the real nightmares you face.

Actually, I  could sum all of this up in song I think. Maybe that’s why songs are so good at times like these.

So. To recap. I am a whiny 30 something with questionable life skills, who still holds on to some hope somewhere that it will all get easier.  “Stay away sweet misery, you’re not welcome anymore.” I have mundane tasks to attend to.

So, what I’ve got here is a case of 33 Doom. I’m still holding on to some hope that I may do something worthwhile with my life outside of my 8-5 job but it slips away amongst the everyday nightmares, amongst the aches and pains of gradual aging, amongst worries of biological clocks and my own pure laziness. It was not that long ago that it all seemed possible, less than 10 years ago. Now, it comes back to concessions. What concessions are you willing to make? Based on my previous performance, I will let the plans and poorly thought out self improvement goals slip away. I will complain about feeling old. I’ll jealously look at the creative, incredible, resilient people around me who are artists, writers, musicians, cooks, handy-folks, working mothers, working fathers and wonder how they do it.

The next rock show makes it feel better for a second, when you finally get up the gumption to go out. It’s a reminder that life is still fun, even if you’re not particularly good at it.



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