Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Spoiled Brat Syndrome

***whiny brat post ahead – you may finish the post with the desire to smack me over the head***

Some days, you get smacked in the face with the “woe is me, wahhhh” bat.  Yesterday was one of those days.  Today isn’t looking better.  I whined a lot on twitter and I whined a lot to Zliten over IM and I whined a lot to myself.  Because my life is so terrible and horrible and everything is wrong and poor me *laughs*.  Let me elaborate below.

First of all, I’m trying to figure out what to do for my birthday coming up.  For some reason, it is a BIG DEAL this year to me.  I don’t want to just throw a party and have people come over.  I don’t want to just go out to a bar and get drunk.  I want to do something ridiculously cool.  I want to be that kind of person that pops off to another country for their birthday.  Or at least somewhere out of town.  At the very least, something cool and unique.

The everlovin’ problem is – money.  Whoever said that money is the root of all evil is a damn dirty liar – it’s definitely the LACK of money.  Zliten is (smartly) insisting that we save some and do some house renovations this year.  But I mean, seriously?  Who needs new countertops and windows and working central heat?  I’m only half kidding – a life without vacations to look forward to for me is seriously NOT happy.  I’m willing to work hard, but I also need to play hard.

I’ve already made sacrifices.  The honeymoon is moving from 2010 to 2011 due to work schedules.  I actually decided I was going to be very frugal about clothes shopping in 2010, since I’m not losing weight, to save money.  I *need* very few things.  I need to get back to my budgeting spreadsheets to get a handle on how all the funds come and go.  Instead of running the Long Beach Marathon in October and taking a happy fun vacation then, I’m running the San Antonio one in November.

My big bad mood issue is – I’m fully realizing that I’ve lost both aspects of importance about my job.  Back in San Diego, we were broke as shit but I was enveloped in this awesomely rewarding job experience and I didn’t mind.  The things that were important to me were my Zliten and my job, and that’s pretty much it.  Now, I have a little less passion about my job (which is, honestly, a good thing for my sanity).  I’m just a good employee wanting to make a good product.  I work my hours, do my job, and go home and don’t obsess over it.  I’m also the managerial ying to my previously creative yang.  So I no longer get that whole “I made this and it’s awesome” fulfillment.  It’s ok – it had to end eventually.  But I picked this end for the money.

Now, the money just isn’t adding up.  I no longer am able to say, “well, I like my job, but I’m not in love with it, but HEY, it affords me a comfortable life.”  When you take away my vacations and make me monitor the amount of THRIFT shopping I’m doing, I no longer feel as if I should suffer doing something I don’t completely love.  I might as well figure out what that is and go nuts and be COMPLETELY poor and at least have that creative fulfillment again.

This does not bode well for a mortgage payment that keeps getting higher (my neighborhood is like the ONE place in the world where property values continue to rise which means more taxes! wheee!!!!) and the 10k left on my car installment loan.  So here I sit, feeling trapped, pissed off, and grumpy.   I always mocked people like me-now.  I’d never  be them.  I’d rather have happiness than money.  If I was unhappy where I was I would leave and figure it out.  It’s just not that simple.  I used to be a shining star, now I’m just a burnt out and jaded middle manager.  I might as well be in a Dilbert cartoon.

The other problem?  I have no carrot, just sticks right now.   You know what I mean?  Maybe it’s a bad analogy, but… sticks being things I want that are a lot of work, carrots being things just to look forward to?  2004-2006 there was a lot of work “carrot” promising if I worked just a little harder and did just a little more of a job I would have practically done for free anyway, I might get the money/support/fame/fancy cars/bling bling.  2007 held the excitement of starting a weight loss endeavor, moving states, and buying a house. 2008 continued the scale going down down down, and I started running and it was novel and exciting and then I shipped a game and then we went on a cruise.  Hard year, filled with carrots and sticks, but very rewarding.  2009 was the year of GETTING MARRIED and RUNNING RACES.  Both sticks, but balanced with THREE out of town trips.

This year, it all just feels like STICK right now.  Two races, which are awesome but also WORK.  I might get a promotion next January, but it’s gonna be a hell of a year to get there.  I would love to have something written by the end of the year, and I’d really like to pursue actually possibly someday getting paid for writing, but again, it sounds like so much WORK.  Everything that used to sound exciting sounds like so much EFFORT.  Putting money into the house sounds horrible to my inner baby brat right now because it’s a) taking money away from fun and it’s b) effort and messy and more fucking WORK.

The running does help though.  I rocked my sprints HARD last night even though I went into the gym pissed and sad and feeling glum and slightly nauseous from the cake I self-medicated myself with earlier (bleh – note to self – NEVER eat a full piece of cake again, half is enough – gave me a headache).  I reminded myself that running was something that was fully under my control, and the sprint workout that was supposed to be my killer actually came pretty easy.

Also helping,  the impending beautiful weather and longer days.   Bike rides and long walks and hiking is pretty much free, and I’m looking forward to taking FULL advantage of these next few beautiful months before it gets too hot.

I’m just trying to figure out some compromise with myself.  Sure, I might not be quite as far along here at 30 as I wished I’d be – but I’m not doing so badly.  Sure, I might not be able to hit Costa Rica for my birthday, or even get out of town, but I’m not going to sit at home and eat ramen and drink Natty Ice and cry.  Sure, we might not have made progress on renovating our house and increasing the value, but we have a house.  We’re not in foreclosure. We’ve made money on it in the 2.5 years we’ve owned it.  I may not have my dream job and might feel like a fucking glorified secretary sometimes, but I make *decent* money and have *some* clout around here.

But since I’m a brat this week, none of this is cheering me up.  People are homeless and Haiti is in ruins and most of the world is wondering where their next meal will come from and I am bitching about vacations.  And I wish that made me have some happy fuzzy realization, or think altruisticly, or made me feel better.  I have whiny baby syndrome BAD and I know I’m being ridiculous.  But, as it happens every once in a while, I fall into one of these little foxholes and it takes me a few days to crawl out.  I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now.  And it’s just not fair that I can’t have it.  Perhaps the lottery ticket Zliten bought tonight will solve everything, cross your fingers for me.

So, what is your biggest wahhhh-mbulence type gripe lately?  Something that’s cheesing you off, and you know is ridiculous, but is still getting your goat anyway?  Spill it in the comments and it will make you feel at least 58% better, I swear!


Mariska Hargitay


Go Elsewhere, For I Am Boring


  1. Ha! I had a similar realization myself today! Must be bratty blogger day all around;)

    All the same, I do hope you have the wonderfulfest birthday party!!

  2. MizFit

    **rips herself away from mulling how flipping old she is**

    Im with charlotte (waves) and you.
    it was one of those days yesterday and Im hoping that we both wake up with our creative brains on (How to find that FABFAB birthday even with little or no money) and for me a cheeeery attitude.

    I always find fun stuff on craigslist 🙂

  3. cat

    I can appreciate where you are coming from on the job front. I’m more of the “good worker” now than they 14 hour a day wide eyed sound designer I was 6 years ago. Time does that. Even if you switch the type of work you’re doing, a job generally becomes a job, unless you are working for yourself.

    You should look into becoming a trainer if any spare time is available. 🙂 It’s something you’re passionate about, it could help add some funds to the vacation quest, and you’re incredibly motivational.

    Maybe that’s a horrible idea, I dunno. But I bet you’d be great at it. 🙂

  4. Man, there must be something in the air, or the stars, or in our drinking water or whatever, ’cause I’ve got it too.

    And like you said, knowing how bad it is for people with REAL problems doesn’t make the little trivial stuff any less bothersome.

    Hope you have a great birthday, whatever the celebration turns out to be.

  5. Thanks everyone. My birthday is not ’til March, I’m just proactively trying to figure out something cool, because I always wait, it’s 2 weeks away, and then I just go – eh, let’s just go out and drink.

    I’m not really feeling any less bratty today, but there is a weekend impending, and I’m hoping a nice hard long run and some happy fun relax time will help. 2 more days!

    Y’know, I’ve had inklings of thoughts of being a trainer, I don’t know how good I’d be at it, but for some reason it never hit me that I could just do it part time while keeping my job. Which I totally could…hmmm… 😉

    Until then, I’m just giving the universe a raspberry (thpththththtptht) and trying to get through my day.

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