Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Burying 2009

"Trudge: The slow, steady tread of one who has no choice but to continue." --Barbara Ninde Byfield, "The Glass Harmonica"

There was some good stuff. I spent 37 hours boating, more than the previous 25 years combined (second year in a row for that; I'll do it again this year; 2011 will be a stretch), about a third of it rowing, about half of THAT by choice. I lost 20 pounds (actually, I lost 35, then went on vacation, and then got sick, and ended up with a net loss of only 20). I had some very good conversations along the way; I played in a few poker tournaments, I played a handful of board games. I continue to have a solid marriage that ALMOST pays the freight on everything else.

I spent most of the year worrying about money. Household cash flow has been negative since September of 2007, and the knot in my stomach has grown appropriately (though a recent analysis has shown that we are still retiring old debt faster than we are acquiring new debt, which is comforting, but doesn't really help with the cash flow issue).

My dissatisfaction with my job continues to grow; I have now been in more or less the same position for nearly 11 years. I was a computer hobbyist for more than 25 years, and then I went into IT full time, and now, 13 years later, computers are just appliances. Like toasters and washing machines, I can work on them if I have to, but I would really rather just farm it out.

In February, I signed up for Holly Lisle's "How to Think Sideways" creative writing seminar. It's a good course, and I freely recommend it to anyone interested in making a living as a novelist. Quality of production notwithstanding, the course has been heartbreaking for me; it has finally forced me to look in the mirror and realize that I just don't have what it takes. I have a significant talent for expression, but it is a largely joyless talent, and I lack the essential creativity that the job requires. For most of my adult life I have described myself as "a failed writer striving to lose the adjective", and I have lost that. I am just a guy who has very occasionally and quite accidentally produced a decent story or poem. They are collateral coalescenses of serendipity, and not really part of who I am. This knowledge hurts. It hurts a lot.

I found myself spending more and more time practicing depression avoidance behaviors. This makes me feel cowardly, and a failure as a human being, and leaves other people with the impression that I am shallow and heartless. THAT makes me even more unhappy and depressed; lather, rinse, repeat. I follow the most probable path of survival; don't ask me to tell you the odds.

Uncle Hyena
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