I’m coming unraveled.
And I’m angry.
At myself. At my ex-wife. At my life.
But mostly, it’s just me.
Own your shit.
I make bad decisions. And when you make more bad decisions than good decisions, the net sum is a shitty life.
And make no mistake, my life is shitty. And it’s my fault.
And I have two library books sitting on my passenger seat right now which represent just how ill-equipped to be an adult I really am.
The two books are Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, and Your Money Ratios by Charles Farrell.
I borrowed them from my local library several months ago and never returned them. They’re books designed to help me make better choices about my life.
I haven’t read either.
I got a bill a while ago charging me for the books. Replacement charges and stuff.
I haven’t paid it yet.
I see the books every day. And I just leave them there. Like a masochist.
I get phone calls from unknown numbers on my phone. Maybe a collection agency wanting me to pay the $50 for the books. I have the money. I should pay them.
But I don’t. And I don’t return them either. The library is nine blocks from my house. I drive by it at least twice a day.
A Bit of a Mess
That’s what I am. I’ve admitted to it here and there—talking about how I now let dishes pile up in the kitchen. How I let my laundry pile up in my bedroom.
But it’s really worse than I let on.
I haven’t vacuumed up the pine needles from putting up my Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. I haven’t organized my son’s room from the chaos that ensued after his mother moved out on April 1.
I haven’t completed a project for one of my very best friends. It should have been done six months ago.
I left the office a half-hour early on Friday and drove straight home. I didn’t leave my house—literally—until this morning to come back to work. A job and a life with which I’m growing increasingly dissatisfied.
Because this can’t be what life is supposed to be.
The Daily Grind
I wake up every day at 6:30 a.m., sleeping in because I don’t work out.
I take a shower. I stand in there a little too long. Maybe I shave. Maybe I don’t. I don’t really care.
I get dressed. Many times, I have to go down two flights of stairs to my basement laundry room to get a new shirt because I don’t always put my laundry away once I’ve hung them up in my laundry room. It’s not uncommon that I have to re-run the dryer for several minutes to eliminate wrinkles from my shirts I left in there overnight and refuse to iron.
Business casual. Always, business casual.
Half the time, my son is home. I suck at getting us both ready in time to leave at 7:50 a.m. which gets us where we need to be stress-free, even if there are weather or traffic issues.
I clock in like a chimp between 8:15-8:30 a.m., writing copy that sells stuff for other people.
I don’t eat lunch because I don’t have time to pack, and I want to write here, so I don’t go out for food, which is good, because then I’d really waste a lot of money.
I’m generally a little lightheaded when I leave around 5 p.m. every day, because I haven’t eaten since 7:30 a.m. and because I stare at two computer monitors all day—three, if you count my phone.
Then I drive home, half the time picking up my son, and the other half coming home to the quiet, empty, disorganized house.
I sometimes make food. Sometimes, I get takeout.
I take care of the chores I can’t ignore—all the ones related to “owning” my house. And then I go to bed and start it all over the next day.
What the Hell am I Doing?
I need someone to explain to me the merits of what I’m doing here.
Because I make more than 150 percent of the median household income in my town, and I, quite literally, can’t afford to do anything besides pay my bills and eat food and drive to work.
I do this shitty, depressing routine every day. The only reward is my paycheck. And I spend my entire paycheck on all of the stuff I “need” to maintain this lifestyle I don’t even like.
A house. A car. A mobile phone. Daycare for my son. Food. Gas. College debt.
I spend 40-plus hours per week in a cubicle so I can do this same shitty routine every day for the next 30 years, when I might be able to retire and maybe just have enough money to maintain this standard of living for as long as my tired old bones stay together—assuming the market doesn’t crash and wipe out my life savings.
There’s got to be more to life than this.
There’s got to be better choices I can make.
There’s got to be a better way.
The Daily Practice
I’m rereading James Altucher’s Choose Yourself.
He’s the only person I know of that has felt worthless and horrible and couldn’t get off the floor, and then found a way to pick himself up, and then tells the story so other people can try to follow suit.
He employs something he calls The Daily Practice.
And I’m thinking it’s time to start baby-stepping my way there. It’s too big of a bite to chew all at once. But I have to take some kind of action.
Otherwise, I’m just going to die sad and alone with no friends and a son who can’t respect his father.
The Daily Practice is hard. Really hard. I’m highly unlikely to be able to do it all in one day once, let alone every day. But if I can knock out 75 percent of it, I have to believe my life will be infinitely better than it is now.
It’s going to start today.
I’m driving to the library as soon as I leave the office. I’m going to walk in and explain what a bad person I am and apologize. Hand them their books. Maybe I’ll get lucky. Most likely, I’ll have to pay them about $50. I probably own them now.
I could buy Rich Dad, Poor Dad today for $6.83, and Your Money Ratios for $11.39 from Amazon, which would have saved me more than $30.
If I don’t make a change, I’m going to die. Or I’m going to want to, which is basically the same.
I’m wasting my life.
It’s time to stop.