Is it a bad thing when you can literally feel yourself slipping into a pit of depression?
Between the seemingly never-ending mountain of work, a whopper of a property tax bill, the complete disappointment and contempt I have for the man I voted into the White House, and a continuing feeling of exhaustion, I just want to grab a blankie, curl up under my desk and hide from the world for a few weeks. The rest of me wants to throw my computer (and a few people) out a fourth-story window and enjoy the destruction.
I wound up playing hooky yesterday, because I just could not stand the idea of going to work. I was getting physically ill from the thought of it. I spent most of the morning asleep on the sofa while Kat watched movies and news. She finally forced me to get up and eat something for lunch, than we went out shopping. I was asleep on my feet most of the time, and would have loved nothing better than to huddle under the comforters at any moment. We were going to hit the gym in the early evening, but we didn't get home until after 6:00, and didn't eat dinner until 7:00. I was watching TV through half-closed eyes last night, and was fully intending on going to bed right at 10:00. So much for that idea.
I'm back at work today, and I still can't concentrate on the task at hand. My monkey-mind is jumping from one thought to another (even this entry is an unwelcome distraction, but there you go). I've got more work piling up than I honestly think it's possible for me to do by my deadline. There's a difference between the stress of pushing toward a deadline that is challenging but realistic, and the overwhelming feeling of drowning in work with no realistic hope of finishing it all. The former tends to keep you focused on your job, giving it your all and knowing you're making a dent. The latter just instills a feeling futility, that no matter how hard you work or how many evenings and weekends you put in, you're going to fall short of the mark, so why bother trying at all.
I've been at work now for about an hour and a half, and have probably only spent 30 or 40 minutes doing actual work-related tasks.
I don't want to listen to the news. I just don't care anymore. I know these are American missiles and soldiers, and as a citizen of the world and a compassionate human being, I should be aware of what is going on, but I really don't give a shit. I'm afraid to turn on the radio for fear of hearing yet another "expert" analyze the war. I used to love to listen to BBC World Service or watch the BBC World News in the evening, but now I avoid it. I don't want to hear about George Bush, and how he is ruining this country's economy, alienating our allies, and getting us involved in foreign affairs which are none of our concern. In Iraq and Afghanistan, we are trying to fight a diplomatic war, presenting a strong front while at the same time pussy-footing around to avoid "unnecessary" property damage and civilian casualties. It's going to be a long, drawn-out affair, and just the thought of it turns my stomach. I have no faith in our leaders, and as someone who supported Bush in the 2000 elections, I'm ashamed to have him as my president.
I want a vacation. I NEED a vacation. I want to go somewhere, and have fun, and not have to worry about my responsibilities, and just feel good again. I haven't felt that way for a long time. Everything has to be planned, and on a schedule, and I've got to please my family, and take care of obligations. I just want to wander around, go where I please, and not have to worry about seeing EVERYTHING, or wasting time when I should be doing something else.
Kat and I went for a drive last weekend, and it was probably the most relaxing time I've had in months. It was a nice day, we didn't have any particular timetable, and without any maps, we just followed out instincts and drove down certain roads becuase we had never been there before. We didn't have to worry about reaching a particular destination, since we didn't have any real destination other than going home at some point. There was no anxiety (other than wanting to get the fuck out of Kentucky), no arguments, no soul-searching discussions, and we could just be ourselves. Kat fell asleep for part of the drive, and I really enjoyed the silence, just me, the road, and some nice scenery. It was fun for fun's sake.
Unfortunately, reality comes crashing back. I've got a whopper of a tax bill, and most of our income tax refund will go toward paying that. The rest goes to catching up on monthly bills, paying medical bills, paying off credit cards, buying stuff for the house, and sustaining us while Kat finds a job (Let me make something very clear; I do not resent Kat for taking time off. God knows I wish I could do that. She knows her financial responsibilities, and she will be getting another job eventually. Right now, the best thing for her is to take a break, catch up on things around the house as she wishes, and figure out what she wants to do. We'll adjust our lives accordingly, and we're learning that simpler is better. I thinks he said it best, "I'd rather be poor and happy than rich and miserable").
We were going to take a mini-vacation to Washington DC, but with the war and the sudden shock of the tax bill, we're canceling it. Maybe we'll take a day trip somewhere. Maybe not. Maybe I'll buy myself a new pair of jeans, maybe not. I hate spending money on myself. I'll spend it on others in a heartbeat. If Kat casually mentions that she likes a particular item, there's a better than average chance I'll buy it for her and surprise her. That's part of the reason I've got so much credit card debt. I never learned to say "no" to her. Whenever she looks at something and mentions how nice it would look in or around the house, and I can't afford it, I feel terrible. I want to get her everything she wants, but I can't, and it makes me feel bad. I can't tell her to stop looking and dreaming. I know the problem is with me, not her.
I don't hate my job. Sometimes I don't like it, and sometimes I resent having to work in relative anonymity, but it pays the bills (more or less). I better get back to work.