I don't want to be a brick in a wall. All bricks look the same and they are cemented into place, kept in rigid order. And walls divide. And life is like banging your head...

Money's too tight to mention

Story of my life. Broke - again. It doesn't seem to matter what job I'm doing, how much I earn, I always end up broke. The answer has always been to sell up and start again. The housing market has been our saviour several times. A pattern emerges: sell, buy cheaper, spend...

I think this kind of treadmill is the most depressing. We never get anywhere, and the stuff we buy is worthless within a few months. I feel like Agent Smith, infected by this reality. Consumerism has started to repulse me. "Doing jobs we hate to buy things we don't want" seems to sum everything up nicely. In some ways though this is too extreme to be really brutally depressing. Much worse is the mundaneness of, "doing jobs we don't mind to buy things we could do without." It's like that car ad. that tells us the most used word is "OK". I really can't stand the idea of being average any more.

We've had a great family weekend. Bike rides, board games, meals together. Deb commented that today has seemed really long. Days do seem really long when you take time to enjoy moments. The adage that time flies when you're having fun is bollocks. Time flies when you are stressed out by an over-demanding schedule. We get to the end of the day and say, "I don't know where the day's gone" on days when we've busted a gut trying to do ten jobs at the same time from the moment we wearily step foot on the carpet (or floorboards in our case - we ran out of money before carpets came to the top of the to do list), to the moment we hit the pillow. I was a teacher for 5 years. Boy did time fly then. Yeah, I had fun sometimes, but most of the time it was manic. Teaching is an extreme sport.

Another adage that is wrong is, "practice makes perfect." Practice makes better, but if you are looking for perfection then you are condemned to failure. We should strive to be as good as we can, but if you are going to be disappointed by anything less than perfection then I'm afraid you are going to spend the whole of your life being disappointed. Unfortunately, I feel like I am striving to be average. If modern life is a rat race then we are all striving to be some kind of athlete. I've joined the athletics club, but they've put me in the wrong event. At school, I was put into a hurdles race for sports day. A big private school sports day, well supported by parents and the whole school had to attend. There was quite probably 2 thousand people watching me line up for the hurdles for my house. I had been shown how to hurdle, once, and I couldn't do it then. I was 4 foot nothing. I was officially the second shortest student in the entire school of a thousand students that year. We had a school photo taken in the same summer term. We had to line up by height. Only Andy Hall was shorter than me. The hurdles came up to my shoulders. They should have given me a pole to run with. I would have briefly held the world record for a fledgling discipline - the 110m pole vault. I would have been like the kid who picked up the football and invented rugby. That's what I should have done. That kid thought to himself, "Fuck it. I can't kick a ball to save my life. Let's change the rules."

I came last in the hurdles. I didn't use a pole. I got over the obstacles somehow. It wasn't pretty, and by the time I crossed the line, most people were off watching big kids throw heavy stuff, thin kids run along way, tall kids jump high. Even my mother was lost for words. She couldn't even muster a, "Well done for trying." She actually said, "I can't understand why they put you in that race."

I've felt like that ever since.

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