About Ready to Give Up

Posted 2009.09.17 9.27 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

There are times when you work hard and even though things are tough you know that you’ll get through it and past it and everything will work out at the end. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel and the clouds have a silver lining and if you just stay positive and work hard and persevere, it will all be ok.

Then you realize that the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a freight train coming your way, the silver lining on the clouds is actually acid rain, and you realize that if you work hard and persevere, all that awaits you is more hard work and more difficult times.

When life reaches the point where it consists of waking, going to work, working, going home, having dinner, going to bed, lather, rinse, repeat. And you realize that wow, if I do this for the next 20 or 30 years, maybe I’ll be able to afford to continue to do this for the next 20 or 30 years. What’s the point? I work so that I continue to have a job so that I can continue to work?

Ok, so in addition to working so that I can keep working, it also pays the mortgage and puts food on the table. That’s important, so that I have somewhere to sleep so that I can keep working, and ensures I don’t starve to death, so that I can keep working. And keeps my cats and snails and fish happy.

Cats and snails and fish. Those are my dependents. They’re who greet me when I come home from work, and when I wake up in the morning. Well the cats do, more or less. The snails and fish aren’t so much into the hugs and stuff, but they are amusing to watch and they all give me something to do when I’m not working. One thing about cats and snails and fish, is that they appreciate what they get. The snails and fish don’t show it so much, but the cats do. And although they usually want more, if there isn’t any more they don’t get angry. Maybe they get a bit dissapointed, but they are at least happy for what they got.

And that’s really what’s crushing me at the moment. I work and I try my best to do my best, I make sacrifices and accept that when times are tough you have to tough it out and struggle a bit more. But you work and work and try and help people and give what you can, then when there’s nothing left to give and you’re tapped out and can’t do it any more, there’s no appreciation for what you’ve done, just anger that you’ve nothing left to give.

And then it comes back again. This is it? This is the reward for the hard work and struggle? This is the light at the end of the tunnel? Then what’s the point? Why bother? Why keep doing it, if the outcome is just more of the same?

My friend Lezley recently asked, can people change? I think we’d like to believe that they can, it’s the hopeful, optomistic answer. Though lately I am wondering if maybe a more realistic answer is that, people can certainly pretend to change. Behind the illusion, however, they are really still the same as always.

And so here I am (at work, of course) wondering why the fuck I bother, why put up with the struggle and the hardship, why make the sacrifices, if the only reward is more of the same, an unending spiral, till I finally work myself to death and people can stand around and bitch that if only I took the time to take better care of myself, then I could have worked for a few more years.

(Do people still worry about acid rain? Is acid rain still a thing? Or has it gone away because it’s old news and there are new buzzwordy things to worry about?)


  1. malmal says:

    I am envious of people who have jobs they love [orchestra conductors and the like ]. They usually die at a ripe old age.
    For me it is working to afford food and shelter to enable me to work.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I know what you mean. I think folks who love their work are some of the luckiest around. Sometimes I do enjoy work, too – there are aspects that I enjoy, but what I like most (programming, problem solving, the creative stuff) is rare now. Mostly it’s accounting, admin, and tech support. Bleagh.

  3. ((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))

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