Diagnosis: spent

I’ve figured out why I recently went from sixty to zero so quickly, and I think explaining this will serve to illustrate some relevant aspects of Aeolitalk.

I recently started working nights. It’s physical work, but only part-time all in all not too strenuous. However, I still have to adjust my sleep schedule, which means that I’m running at about 50-70 percent capacity at the best of times (and I suspect that even once I’m adapted to nocturnal life, this will never be above 80-90 percent).

Good sleep is absolutely essential for recharging willpower. This is why I recommend going to sleep immediately after work if at all possible. Unless you’re already running a surplus of energy, you can’t do anything proactive or productive right after spending all of that willpower at work. You’ll be stuck in a scarcity mindset, fit only for browsing YouTube and other reactive, dopamine-seeking behaviors.

The most productive thing you can aspire to in this state is to avoid further negative behaviors by meditating, taking a walk, or maybe just staring at a wall.

I was having a great time for the first week because my parents were out and I didn’t have to interact with anybody at work, which for introverts often requires spending willpower. So I’d wake up with 60 percent willpower, do my productive shit, and go to work with 10 percent energy and coast on autopilot. Then I’d get back home with maybe 5 percent still in the tank, having spend the difference on resisting the siren song of an aisle full of Pop-Tarts for eight hours.

But when my parents got back, frustrations mounted immediately. I will preface this by saying I love my parents. They are nice people and they love me as much as you can love a 28-year-old schizoid son who’s a chronically depressed virgin with 65K in student loans, no friends, and no immediate prospects. All that said, they are not reasonable people.

For instance, my dad is offended by the fact that I sleep during the day. You can point out to him that I work during the night- that he had, in fact, vehemently insisted that I do so- and he won’t be swayed. “That doesn’t mean he can’t get up at a reasonable time.” (Yes, actually, it does.) On weekends I’ll wake up to the sound of my mom stopping him coming into my room at 9 AM. “Nobody his age should still be asleep this late in the day,” he says, despite the fact that I’d gone to sleep just an hour earlier.

Like I said though, he’s a nice person. When I wake up around 5 PM, he will often ask me if I want a beer. I think he’s just reached an age where he can’t mentally adapt anymore. So it’s not my parents’ fault that they can’t be reasoned with, but that doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating to wake up to a stream of bizarre demands. Constant frustrations are like friction, hence why they produce the energy-conservation mode known as depression, and why the lack thereof is one of the five pillars of happiness.

So that’s why my momentum has dropped off a cliff recently. Doesn’t mean I can’t adapt and try something different (this magic brain has to be good for something). Just means it’s going to be harder and take longer, and require a little creativity, of which I have loads to spare.

About Aeoli Pera

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15 Responses to Diagnosis: spent

  1. You’re smart enough by far to get a software job. Do that!

    Then, save up some cash and come visit Sweden :)

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Thank you for the invite :-D.

      Actuary stuff is still plan A at the moment, immediate parental demands notwithstanding. Plan B is trucking, and plan C is programming.

      I think I might move to Sweden someday rather than visiting, America probably can’t be salvaged and I don’t think it should be anyhow.

      • Edenist whackjob says:

        You’re welcome :)

        That is bizarre to me. You know more maths than I do. I make $80 an hour at a very comfortable job. Come on, dude, just listen to cousin Whackjob on this :)

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          It’s just a practical thing. My parents are opposed to supporting me for two months of focused study for the exams, because they are very high time preference with the typical Baby Boomer preference for the *appearance* of work. Job hunt NAO, i.e. they are the sort of people who would push for more lines of code per hour. They would be happy if I spent twelve hours per day filling out applications for random jobs, because that would indicate that I “care”.

          I figure learning something in IT would take me six months (to build skill, a resume with buzzwords, and a small portfolio), which puts that possibility far beyond the pale for them. Anyway, the actuary exams would be faster and have a better payoff.

      • I’ll keep nagging you, in your own best interest :)

  2. Aeoli Pera says:

    I’ll keep that in mind but it’s a bit of a hike without a car. Suppose I could take a bus and live out of a duffel bag. Too costly at the moment though, I can probably adapt to the situation here with some forethought and creativity.

  3. Aeoli Pera says:

    I’ve considered this seriously in the past and actually did a couple of test runs. But my car only starts about half the time now, presuming warm weather, so I’d probably be out in the cold and on foot. Not impossible, just not worth it quite yet.

  4. podrag says:

    I totally agree with Lazer. Your situation sounds like a death spiral. Buy a big teepee with a wood burning stove and live on a campsite or something.

    The older generations are totally lazy and fucked. It’s probably not their fault but don’t let them cast you into the fire to maintain their delusional feels. You need to clean break from their crap, it’s poisonous.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      My situation is comparable to a blind person with negligent caretakers. Would it be better to have no caretakers at all? I haven’t quite decided, but in any case I don’t want to alienate my family unless the moral necessity is extreme, and it simply isn’t right now.

  5. podrag says:

    Basically your mental support structure is quite weak and collapses under weight easily. You need to retreat to the very basics to allow yourself space to be mindful and experiment. To allow yourself peace! You are where you are and that’s OK. It’s a perfectly workable situation.

    Your parents are basically parasitising all your spare energy which could be used for exploring and making new relationships. They are leaning on you to keep their own balance and making you feel worthless. This is not ‘good’ at all.

    I would recommend a job where you get to smile and say hello to people with quick, clean social interactions. Something that slowly builds up your confidence and sense of place as someone useful of some standing.

  6. bob k. mando says:

    Like I said though, he’s a nice person. When I wake up around 5 PM, he will often ask me if I want a beer. I think he’s just reached an age where he can’t mentally adapt anymore. So it’s not my parents’ fault that they can’t be reasoned with

    uh, yes it IS their fault that they can’t be reasoned with. unless your father is succumbing to Alzheimer’s or something, this “demand an action, then complain about obvious result of action” is a typical no-win situation being set up by a manipulative personality.

    only you can identify how much of this has been going on throughout your life though. it took me til i was north of 40 to figure out that my parents ( both of them ) had spent my entire life pulling the rug out from under me over and over again. they were just careful to do it in a really passive aggressive, deniable fashion.

    once i admitted to myself that they knew what they were doing, pretty much everything in my life that used to confuse me now makes sense.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Most likely he’s heading into the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Plus he’s a Baby Boomer to begin with, so he doesn’t have a mental category for making financial decisions without recourse to feelings.

  7. Aeoli Pera says:

    Sorry to disappoint, I’m well and truly a failure.

  8. an observer says:

    “I think he’s just reached an age where he can’t mentally adapt anymore. So it’s not my parents’ fault that they can’t be reasoned with”

    Some people reach that stage well before retirement. And yes, it is their fault if they aren’t reasonable people and make no effort to change that might reasonably accommodate direct family members.

    Passive aggressive people are mentally ill and cannot be reasoned with, a bit like sociopaths they see no problem with causing others grief. In their sick minds, they’re always right and other people are wrong. It’s a compete fail of empathy and imagination.

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