Life: A Series of Problems

Sometimes when I’m in a pessimistic mood (like I currently am) I think life can be summed up simply: life is just a series of bad shit that happens where you have to take care of the bad shit as quickly as possible before new bad shit happens. Life’s just a constant fight against bad shit.

Of course a bunch of bad shit has been happening. Not real bad shit like losing a job or a death in the family, just small shit, lots of small things piling up if you show one iota of procrastination. Nothing on its own that’s a big deal, just everything together. And after a while all of those little paper cuts of stress do add up. Can I just get a break? For a week? Is that too much to ask?

Firstly, my computer froze. Who knows what happened with it, it’d boot to Windows and then just sit there. Ctrl+Alt+Delete, the go-to fix for nearly everything like this, didn’t do anything. Troubleshooting was long and arduous and I couldn’t sit down long enough to make progress until I became discouraged. I’d solve the issue later when my mood was better.

The brakes went out on our Civic. Raw metal-on-metal grinding because the pads were non-existent. Easy fix really, but a pain.

The brakes went out on the van. Raw metal-on-metal grinding because the pads were non-existent. Easy fix really, but a pain.

Then I noticed the electric car had a shimmy to it. No big deal – it still drove – but upon looking at the tire I noticed metal mesh sticking out! The tire was shot, dangerous to drive on, and could’ve blown out at any time. $150 dollars and five days later that problem was fixed.

Then the electric car started throwing codes that would shut the car down, leaving you unable to drive. Worst of all, it would only happen at the most inopportune time: at a busy intersection, in a turn lane, in the middle of the parking lot so everyone thinks you’re purposefully being a jackass by sitting in the way. And I still haven’t solved that issue yet…

Gas prices are stupidly high (and rising) so not having my super cheap electric car to drive adds insult to injury; this is the prime scenario where an EV would shine. The electric costs about $0.03 per mile to drive compared to the civic at $0.11 per mile; its three times as expensive!

Last weekend I lost my temper trying to fix my computer. As much as I don’t want to be like my mom I apparently inherited her temper. I keep it on lockdown most of the time but when I lose it I lose it violently. I usually regret it too. My first five phones I broke due to my temper, one of them being tossed out a second story window into Broadway because the alarm went off. Old cars have gotten the crowbar to the bumper treatment and guitars have been smashed. And my computer wasn’t spared my fury.

Just one punch to the keyboard, a legit punch, and the thing doesn’t move past the Lenovo screen. Nothing at all. Black screen, Lenovo, and that’s it. Regret instantly set in; can I not take my anger out and make things worse for myself?

So I’m writing this on my phone and as awful as that is I don’t have any other option. Insert clichéd saying right here: you don’t miss something until it’s gone. I miss my computer. I miss staring at my screen being grumpy about my writer’s block. At least I had a blank screen to stare at and that’s something to be appreciative for even if you don’t realize it.

So another problem: do I build a gaming PC? Or buy a laptop? Or ask around and see if I can buy a used one? I don’t know. I’m not ready to solve this problem yet.

Building a gaming PC is probably a no go. I don’t need to play anymore video games. The antique PS4 is good enough currently. And money is kinda tight right now. UPS supervisor insurance sucks and I owe the dentist $800 and the doctor $600. What the hell, maybe my life choices are terrible and I’m paying the price. More shit to deal with, as always.

A year ago I was raking in money on stocks. Not so much this year; I’m down roughly $10,000. Whatever, I don’t need the money, but it was nice to think about dipping into it when it was more than I started with. Dipping into the stock fund now would mean committing to a loss. Stocks will go up and I don’t want to lose money by selling at the bottom.

One of our three supervisors was walked out two weeks ago. She’s back but watching the rift between her and our boss, both considered my friends, has been rough. It’s made the job unpleasant. Sometimes the tension between them causes me to hide elsewhere. The other supervisor was off last week with COVID. More stress, more work, more responsibilities to cover, and so on. My mood has not been supportive of these challenges either.

It all adds up. My mood has been shit. Not being able to write sucks. Driving our old Dodge Caravan to work sucks. Not having AC or Bluetooth to/from work sucks. Work itself sucks. My friends are cranky and there’s no one to talk to. My mood is so bad I don’t want to apply myself at work. That snowballs into feeling worthless, like I’m a terrible supervisor, that I made the wrong choice, that by taking the promotion I solved a problem with the wrong solution. And so on.

The friend who got fired likes to call these first-world problems, and they are, but that doesn’t make me feel better about it. How entitled I sound when I’m whining about my laptop and my electric car being broken when people are starving in the world. When people are literally being murdered in a war. With so much suffering going on is my life really that bad because my computer is broken? In my defense all I know is my own life; do people starving discount my anger and inability to write? Does it make my frustration any less valid? Maybe, maybe not. It reminds me of a happy person talking to someone with depression. Just because you’re not experiencing their struggles does not mean they’re not struggling. So maybe I am struggling but in a totally first-world manner.

Another friend also agreed that life is just a series of struggles. They broadened it to everything though, just not shit breaking as is my situation. Hair grows, you cut it. Nails grow, you cut them. Mow the yard because the grass keeps growing. Eat food because you die without energy. Stay hydrated. And when you sit down to write you remember that you need to pee and should’ve done it before you sat down. Exercise to keep your body from deteriorating. And the fact that it’ll happen anyway with time. Fill the car up with gas, pay the bills, eat the food, go to work, repair the plumbing, break/replace stuff and repeat, always repeat, because that’s the essence of life.

“Is that all life is? Just a constant fight against entropy?” I asked.

“Yes. It sure seems that way.”

It’s hard to be Zen about things with this outlook of the world.






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