Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fixing it

So Mrs Zen says to me, the car has a problem, it needs to go to the workshop.
And I am saying, yes, I know, you told me last week, and I told you that I couldn't spare the money until I have another project.
Yes, but there was some smoke, she says.
And I am saying, so fucking fix it.

Because I don't understand why an adult, my partner, needs to come to me like I'm her daddy and ask for money to fix the car. I say, so often that I get sick of hearing myself say it, that she can work out for herself how much money we have. I do not keep our finances secret. I have spreadsheets because I had to get organised when I became a freelance, but they are not complicated or difficult to understand. She is a bookkeeper too, so she should be able to understand the household budget.

Do not ask me why when Mrs Zen is a professional bookkeeper, I look after our money.

I am sick of it. This morning, Mrs Zen says to me you'll have to give Zenella tuck again (tuck means buy her lunch from the school foodery), there's nothing in the house. But there's nothing in the house because Mrs Zen will not go the supermarket and buy stuff. I do the groceries once a week and that's it. I have no idea that stuff has run out and she does, but will not make up for it. No, that's also my responsibility. On Tuesday, she spent half the day mooching around a shopping mall. The twins were in daycare. But did she buy food for Zenella's lunch? Nope.

I do not have a great relationship with my boss at the place that gives me most of my work. I used to have a fantastic one with her predecessor. She never let you feel on the outer. If I asked her for more work, she would say yes or no, but would not leave me hanging. She would find me stuff if it had been thin. The current woman simply doesn't answer the email. She just ignores it.

That makes it very tough with money. If I have another project upcoming, I have tons of money; if I don't, I have to be cautious. Mrs Zen always thinks there is something wrong with the car. But the car's a piece of shit. It has never run well. I don't think there's anything wrong with it besides that. Yeah, bits and pieces, the irritating sort of stuff that won't stop it running but should be fixed some time. But nothing major enough that a person who has to watch the pennies a bit really has to deal with.

And I had been trying to tell Mrs Zen how disappointed I had been with my results at poker. Because I am hoping that I will become good enough to earn a modest living at poker, but it hasn't been going well enough for me to be confident that I can make that goal. She doesn't want to know. I know it's boring to listen to, but it's what I think about. I want to change my life. I've been trying. But it's not working out.

So she's like fuck that boring stuff, here's my big deal about the car. And I'm thinking, yes, but just deal with it, why don't you? I am so sick of worrying about money that I no longer have the tolerance for discussing the ins and outs of it with a woman whose only interest in it is how much she can have to spend on herself.

So I lost my temper, and it would have been better if she had just left me alone. But she doesn't. She keeps banging away about what an arsehole I am for losing my temper.

Trust me, if you are faced with someone you have upset, telling them they're an arsehole for being upset with you is probably not going to be oil on troubled waters.

I have not been coping very well with this shit because I am overwhelmed by melancholy. I feel so sad all the time that I cannot adjust myself emotionally, mentally to everyday bullshit. It seems so trivial and stupid that it really upsets me to have to cope with it.

I realise that this is not a good state to be in. Excuse me, I can't deal with your bullshit because I am on the verge of tears all the time is not what people who want you to take responsibility for their lives want to hear.

Sigh. What I want is so small, I sometimes feel I should just say to Mrs Zen, to everyone that uses me just as a means to their own ends, I should say, but what I want is so small, why is it so impossible to have? But the smaller you cut what you want, the less people think you value having it.


At 5:41 pm, Anonymous $Zero said...

Zen: I want to change my life. I've been trying. But it's not working out.

in your other post, i left a comment giving you a great lead to making more money, and it's doing something you LOVE, besides.

and you don't have to compromise your beliefs or values either.

AND, you'll be helping to make our ridiculous world just a little bit better at the same time.

so why you choose to continue to whine instead is anybody's guess.

At 6:02 pm, Anonymous Kev said...

Most of us would like to change our lives but reality kicks in and we start to deal with the daily shit. We have to because we want to eat, we want a roof over our heads and even if we can't do the bigger things we want like changing our lives at least we would like to do the smaller things like a meal out or a day at the beach.

Is becoming a professional poker player really the right carreer move for someone who is worried about money and professes that he isn't good enough to be confident of making even a modest living from it ????


At 7:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots sez:

The game's rigged, friend. Everyday life as society would have you live it is engineered for the benefit of others, you're a resource to be used for what can be extracted from you; from your view it is every bit as trivial and stupid as you perceive it to be, and more.

If you were playing poker and you consistently didn't quite break even, would you continue to play? Even I am not that stupid. Usually. You have more options than you allow yourself. It took me over 50 years to figure that out, you're brighter than me so maybe you can figure it out sooner. I've tried to explain it to you but clearly that didn't work.

Perhaps a few clues. What is most important to you (not to others, they'll be around after you've worked this out)? What is actually required (not expected, fuck the expected) of you?

Easy answers are not adequate, correct and accurate answers are required. If you convince yourself that responsibility is most important to you, but what is actually most important to you is your golf game (whatever), you'll be forever fucked. If what is required of you is that you follow the laws of nature, following the rules of society will fuck you.

Think hard, think fast, know you're right, move forward. Work from the known, the given, the most important, and the details will follow.

Or continue to muddle along doing what you're told to do, and eventually life will shove itself so far up your ass that the choices will make themselves and none of it will be your "fault".

At 12:27 am, Blogger Arleen said...

What is most important to you (not to others, they'll be around after you've worked this out)? What is actually required (not expected, fuck the expected) of you?

Shall we play "Let's fix Zenny's life for him?" ;-)

Let us assume, based on his many writings, that his children are most important to him. (That may not be true. It's a noble thing for one's children to be most important, and we may desire for them to be the most important, but they really may not be, yet we'd feel guilty admitting it, we'd hate to look uncaring when we're really not uncaring and they really are important, but somehow, they're not THE MOST important thing in our lives. Can you tell I have issues? The way I look at it, though, is that if I can satisfy what is important to me, I will then be the best mother to my children that I can be, as well, so we both benefit.)

Anyway, if it is assumed that the children are most important, what is required of him at that point? He clearly sees his options as limited because he does not want to be a parenthetical in their lives, he wants to be enmeshed with them, a father in every good sense of the word. How can he accomplish this faced with the other challenges he is faced with, financially, emotionally, and supportively (or unsupportively, as the case may be)?

This is where he could use some help with some creative solutions that haven't occurred to him. I'm afraid I have none. It's hard enough for me to figure out my own creative solutions.

Zero is wondering why he won't take his suggestion, but whatever is suggested has to click with something within Zen that would be intrigued/interested in the suggestion. I've been given, and thought of, many suggestions for my own life that are practical, but if that suggestion doesn't play that right chord that rings true for me, it doesn't matter how practical or useful the suggestion is. I'll face the bill collector phone calls before I'll do something that I truly hate doing. That's very impractical of me, but, oh, well. I've done lots of things I hate doing in my life, and my current philosophy is that this is the only life I have, and I'll be damned if I contribute to any further misery by hating what I choose to do with it.

I think that to many of us who read about Zen's poker trials and accomplishments, we may wonder, what the heck are you doing? That's just foolish. Poker? Come on. But it's something that draws him, holds his interest, and if he can become good at it, why not? There are people who do make a living that way.

My point I have a point? Probably not. These are just some thoughts that go through my mind when I read what he writes and I read responses. I hate/love these posts of his. I hate them because of how low he is feeling and how dim his circumstances are, and I love them because of his honesty and openness. I think most of us who read him would love to see some more positive things happening in his life, and we're all so eager to say (or think), "If you'd only do this, or that..." or "Why don't you try this, or that..."

Which is okay, I think, as long as we remember that our suggestions will only be useful if they fit with Zen's desires. I think boots has it right in that respect. We have to figure out what is most important to each of us, and then discover what is required to make it work. What would you do faced with Zen's circumstances, keeping in mind that you think like Zen and not like you?

Golly, I haven't written a preachy piece of work like this in ages.

At 3:21 pm, Blogger Miz UV said...

Z wants to be loved; he's said so many times. Why is Mrs Z not acting loving? Can that be changed? Is it because she no longer feels loved? Can that be changed? Etc.

At 9:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots sez:

Arlene, having had small children, it seems to me that Zen's love for his children is not nearly so unusual as his ability to describe it in words.

If his children were truely The Most Important thing to him, he'd be so consumed by them that he'd never think to complain about the things that bother him so.

He's struggling to find something, and there's little any of us can do to help him. Though we may be dumb enough to try.

At 10:56 pm, Blogger Arleen said...

If his children were truely The Most Important thing to him, he'd be so consumed by them that he'd never think to complain about the things that bother him so.

I don't think that's true. I'm not speaking of Zen in particular. You may be right, I don't know, but personally, that logic doesn't hold true. There are things that are important to me, very, very important to me, that I am not consumed by in any way other than with the longing to have them BE important simply because my circumstances, my fears, my whatever, hold me trapped, keeping me from risking what might be involved to allow myself to be as consumed as I'd like to be.

It's great that you seem to have reached a point of enlightenment, motivation, desperation, whatever in your life that allowed you to shed your own trap, but what brings us to such a moment? What does it take? Some of us never, ever get there.

At 12:45 am, Anonymous $Zero said...

arleen, <-- note correct spelling

Zen knows perfectly well that everyone is gonna pounce on the fresh honest meat he provides here.

because that's how most of us are.

we don't reward honesty, we punish it.

we take advantage of it.

that's why, to be honest, you have to be pretty tough and reasonably secure with yourself.

At 1:48 am, Anonymous high-in-the-sky said...

Jeez, you lot, let the poor fellow whine. He's a married man, after all, what else is there for him?

At 1:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 2:51 am, Blogger Arleen said...

Zero: correct spelling noted and appreciated. :-) ...and I agree with everything you said.

At 2:52 am, Blogger Arleen said...

Oh! and Zero?

Happy belated birthday!

At 10:05 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

arleen, I think you'll find that boots is very quick with the criticisms and slow with the suggestions.

At 7:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots sez:

Arleen, apologies for my lousy spelling. I think "desperation" is your best guess.

$Zero, you're right that fresh honest meat always makes itself available to be pounced upon. It's the ability to open oneself to that pouncing that is valuable.

Zen, it is the criticisms you cry out for and the suggestions you ignore. You want suggestions? I'll offer you some fucking suggestions, and you'll find excuses to reject each one:

1. Quit pissing your time away on poker. If you want to learn to gamble trade commodity futures, the leverage is massively higher and intelligence replaces the need to mindread other visible players. If you don't want to gamble, get a job at McDonald's or learn to budget more effectively.

2. Start living your life instead of having it lived for you. Tell Mrs Zen that if she doesn't like the way things are she can fucking fix them. Have the balls to back it up.

It's easy to make suggestions. Suggestions mean dick-all. You have to make your fucking own suggestions, Zen. Nobody can back them up for you and suffer the blame, so nobody should make the decisions except you.

Be all you can be, join the fucking army if that's what it takes.


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