So here it is, Thursday. One would think that I would be more excited - after all, we've entered the downhill side of the week, we made it through Wednesday, and there are only two workdays left (in a four day work week, no less) until the weekend.
One would think.
Part of this is simply due to the time at work - it's my cycle to work late, so I'm spending 10.5 hours a day work plus the commute time so it easily becomes 12 hours a day, so by the time I get home, have dinner with An Teaglach, put Na Clann to bed, my energy is low. Things I would like to finish or even do seem inevitably to fall off my list.
Another thing that I think is impacting me is the follow-on that always seems to come after I sit down for a goal setting/life improvement thinking session. I walk away from those with great energy and great thoughts, only to get slammed by the reality of my life (and in this case, an extra heaping of work). It seems that every time I do this, I crawl home that evening almost in tears, painfully aware of the huge gap between anything that I would like to accomplish and the reality of my life as it is. The mental discussion with myself then slides one of two ways: either I am foolish to perform those kind of activities based on the realities of life (24 hours in a day, work at least 8, need to sleep at least 7) or I am a failure because I can't do those things so therefore I must lack the will to do them. This will again somehow end in tears and frustration at my life.
The sort of surprising thing that happened yesterday was the thought "Let's just leave it all. Just pick up and go."
A surprising and not altogether happy thought - but it brings into vivid belief for myself the "Mid-Life crisis", that time culturally speaking for American males that they see to go off the deep end, seeking a lifestyle of youth or even something extremely risky or different. Why?
If they are in a version of the same situation as I (and I suspect many of them are), they simply feel trapped by the lives they are in. They've reached the beginning of what are typically the prime earning years, usually are well ensconced in their marital and child rearing relationships, and have many of the accouterments of having worked for years - but come to the screeching realization that the life they have is probably now the life they will ever have, and the thought of another 20 years of living in the same mold is suddenly revealed for the long tunnel it really is.
And so the urge to find something completely new and different, live differently, live without responsibilities at time when they seem oppressively bearing down on the soul of the youth inside of them who was a poet or a writer or an explorer, a desire to taste again (for some length of time) the excitement of discovery or living extemparenously or doing what one wants to do -instead of the rigid schedule, unchanging responsibilities, and drab realities of life.
In their heart of hearts, maybe they grasp that the promise is not there, that shucking large portions of a life they've built for 20 years is neither as simple or as rewarding as it appears and that the damage done by living for themselves is brutal to those around them and probably does not deliver what they are hoping for.
But sitting in the car, commuting in the dark for the umpteenth time to a career of shuffling papers without impact, feeling trapped by the life one is in without the hope that writing a series of "100 things to do before I die" will make difference doesn't really seem to be a viable option either.