I worked as a mainframe computer operator for the first 11 years of my post-educational work life. When I left the field in 1996, I was in a life expansion phase: I’d lost 25 pounds and was fitter than I’d been in years; I was feeling better emotionally and mentally than I’d felt in almost a decade; I was positively exploring my spiritual life; and I had definite and achievable goals for the work, personal, and educational aspects of my life.
Within a year, everything had started to gradually head south, and in the years since then, I’ve gained back all of the weight I’d lost (and a whole lot more), I’ve become a mental and emotional wreck, my personal life has been non-existent (generally through unconscious choice, as I turned myself into almost a shut-in), my work life has been highs and lows and a lot of unemployment, and I’ve almost completely lost track of the goals I’d had for myself because they take more energy, enthusiasm, and commitment than I can sustain.
The last year has been rough, with everything heavily colored by my mother’s illness and death and steady unemployment. You probably wouldn’t recognize it as depression unless you’ve experienced it before or known someone who has — most people think of depression as sadness, crying, moodiness, etc., but it frequently manifests itself in subtler ways. I’ve tried to convince myself that I’m not depressed. Some days it works, most days I lose the battle part way through the day.
But enough is enough.
I’ve been absent from my life for much of the last year — probably even longer — and my world (and my cat’s world) are the worse for it. Both of us now suffer from health issues that are most definitely à cause de moi. We both deserve better and I can only hope that I’m not coming to my senses too late for either of us. Depression or not, I have to get my shit together.
I aim for 2011 to be different — better — than 2010.
I start a new job in the new year, one that takes me back into the world of mainframe computer operations. And even though I’d always thought I’d never go back into ops, that it would be a step backwards if I ever did, it doesn’t feel like backsliding. Instead, it feels like I’m being given a do-over, like my life is being reset back to the last high point. It feels like I’m being set back on the right road after taking a lengthy detour.
So, this is the year for the mother of all resolutions — rebooting my entire life.
No, I’m not crazy. In fact, I may be more sane than I’ve been in a very long time.
(More details to come later, as I sort out what exactly “rebooting my entire life” encompasses.)