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A Dozen Years of Failure

I'm feeling extremely discouraged… about everything… right now.

I've been working on clearing off the top of my dresser this evening. You know, the one with the Sailor Moon alarm clock:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/puuikibeach/8564683518/

The clutter from the top of the dresser filled a cardboard apple box to the top!

But the volume of the clutter is not what has me discouraged. What has me discouraged is a little notebook I found amid the rubble. Some years ago, you see, I used to keep journals -- sporadically. I would write almost daily for weeks or months, then stop for a while, and then resume. The little purple notebook I just found was from one of those times when I was trying to resume writing. The entry is dated October 28, 2001 -- yes, October 28, exactly 12 years ago today! What are the odds that I would find this little book, flip it open, and see something I had written on this very exact day a dozen years ago?

Well, actually, I suppose the approximate odds of flipping open a journal and landing on today's date are 1/365, since there are 365 days in a year. Those odds would increase depending on the regularity of the entries. But, while unlikely, it's not miraculous or anything, I suppose. It's kinda like finding out somebody shares the same birthday as you -- really, it's not that big a deal, since the chances are 1/365, so if you know more than 300 people, you probably know somebody who shares your birthday.

But anyway, to me it seemed preternaturally strange that I should happen upon this little notebook and flip it open to something I wrote on this same calendar date twelve years ago.

Now for the discouraging part. I shall share exactly what I wrote on this date back in 2001:

-- October 28, 2001, Sunday. I have not written anything since going back to work a month ago. When I'm working I always feel too tired and as if there is not enough time. To an extent I suppose I could just change some of my priorities. That might help with the time, but not with the tiredness. I'm feeling like a tired, fat failure these days. And this stupid "war" the United States is waging in Afghanistan disturbs me -- it's pointless, and we seem to be losing! And creating enemies worldwide in the process. --

Good grief! I could have written the same thing today! Talk about a dire need to "reinvent yourself!" I think I passed the critical point of need in that regard a decade ago! I have not changed AT ALL in a dozen years! I still think the same, I still feel the same, I still whine about the same stuff! The only difference is that twelve years ago I was working for the post office as a letter carrier rather than as an elementary school teacher.

I HAVE WASTED A DOZEN YEARS!

There's another entry later, from 2005, that talks about "rearranging the box room" and setting "fiscal and physical fitness goals," including cutting back on soda pop and exercising more regularly.

The behavior pattern into which I have settled is apparently quite deeply entrenched.

The one good thing about finding this little notebook tonight: up until my Colorado trip at the beginning of October, I was actually making solid progress on the exercise / better eating / weight loss objective... for the first time EVER! Since I got back I have been letting quite a bit of sugary junk slip back into my diet, including some Coca Cola! The entry in this little book inspires me to clean up the diet and stick with the exercise, because the one thing different from a dozen years ago is that I'm making progress, slow but steady, toward making at least one positive change in my life.

But gosh, that was almost horrifically traumatic, reading words in my own handwriting from exactly twelve years ago to the day that sound exactly like the me of today.

I thought I'd have "done something" with my life by now.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
dblume
Oct. 29th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC)
I hope that the feelings of failure are mostly hyperbole. You shouldn't feel that way. You have set goals and acted upon them, and that's something to be proud of.
davidd
Oct. 30th, 2013 02:23 am (UTC)
Completely Unrelated...
Almost completely unrelated to the content of this post, other than the brief mention of Colorado -- a couple of weeks ago I attended the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, and I half expected to run into you there! I know you work in the world of high-end media servers, and there were a lot of high-end media server people there, as well as high-end people and gear from every other aspect of audio media delivery! It was wild... in a low-key, laid-back, hangin' with people (upper middle aged white guys) who can afford to drop thirty-five thousand dollars on a pair of stereo speakers and claim to hear the difference sort of way. Was your company there? Do you guys do "end user" events, or do you target distributors? Yeah, I learned a little bit about the different types of shows, like end-user shows vs industry-insider shows... and then there's CES in Vegas, which I guess is a little bit (or a lot) of everything. I kept being mistaken for a journalist (I think it was the hat I was wearing; the old white guys think reporters still wear fedoras, maybe), which ultimately resulted in free beer as well as learning a lot about digital audio compression. I would totally go to another one of these ultra-audio-snob get-togethers just for the this-is-kinda-fun-in-a-boring-weird-ultra-niche sort of way -- and it would be much more entertaining if I actually knew somebody there! Does the company ever send you out to be the point man at these swingin' shindigs?

Electrostatic speakers (the kind that cost as much as a car -- that as, as much as a Range Rover, not a Yugo) are freakin' awesome, by the way!

Edited at 2013-10-30 06:31 am (UTC)
dblume
Oct. 30th, 2013 03:12 am (UTC)
Re: Completely Unrelated...
Aw, I'd have loved to have gone to that, if only to see you, don a hat and pretend to be a journalist, too! No, my company doesn't see fit to let the public see the likes of me. Better to keep me sequestered away in the bowels of Engineering.
sjonsvenson
Oct. 29th, 2013 06:47 pm (UTC)
.... and get another notebook and start scribling in it ....
davidd
Oct. 30th, 2013 02:29 am (UTC)
I'm Debating...
I'm debating whether to pick up from where I left off (the last entry was from 2005) in that notebook, or to throw it on the next bonfire.

I was planning to start a Diet-and-Exercise journal when I began my fitness attempt back in June. I even set out a new, lined notebook for the purpose. I was so lethargic and depressed the first few weeks after giving up sugar, however, that I completely lacked the enthusiasm to write anything. In fact, it's only now, over four months after starting, that I'm beginning to feel something near the energy level I had before cutting out the sugar and starting the exercise. I think the people who claim to feel better almost immediately upon eliminating processed foods and added sugar from their diets either have significantly different metabolisms from me... or they exaggerate.
sjonsvenson
Oct. 30th, 2013 06:39 pm (UTC)
.... nah, they really feel better ... the first two days ....

I started to write down the recipes I cook up. .... maybe not that good an idea for you ... :P
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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