Jobs, Making a Living and Deep Thinking

29 Jun

I suppose that everyone has a picture of what their life will look like in 5, 10 or 20 years. I wonder how many people make a hard plan, committing it to paper, with goals and mile stones neatly outlined and bullet-ed? I am not one of those people and it has been a constant source of conflict with M and I.

As a teen, my only goal was to escape my parent’s house and live life on my own terms. I knew that I needed a job that would pay good money and that that job would not be found in the small town I grew up in. To that end, I needed to get some post-high school education, but there was no money for college, nor, in my mind, was there time for 4 years of study. I wanted out and I wanted out NOW. I attended a one-year trade school program in another state (the farther away, the better, I thought) to give me the basic skills to survive in a large city at a job that paid more than minimum wage.

My vision of my future looked perfect: I would be an office worker (maybe an executive one day!) wearing a skirt suit to a lovely office suite where I would design fabulous things and be admired by my peers. I would have an apartment where I lived alone and could do as I pleased. I would have a cat, a Siamese cat with huge blue eyes, and would eat only foods that I loved and spend my free time amusing no one but myself. There would be no man to cater to, no children to take care of, no responsibilities but what I chose to take on. I would read books and go to movies with a large group of friends who were focused on their careers and had no other ties. We would amuse ourselves, have fun and make a ton of money.

My reality never shaped up the way I wanted it to. I did eventually get a job that sort of resembled my dream job, but only after marrying a nightmare and bearing him the son he said he wanted above all things. Then divorce. Another marriage to another nightmare. Yet another divorce. And now here I am, living in a medium-sized tourist town, my old, faithful Siamese dead these two years, working two minimum wage jobs, treading water to keep afloat, miserable and incredulous that my life plan has gone so far astray.

M claims to have his life mapped out for the next 20 years, with goals set every year, five years and ten years. He claims to think about this plan every day. He claims that he spends all his time thinking about this plan and other “important” things while he goes about his day, answering philosophical questions for himself, evaluating everything he sees or reads as he goes about his day. He claims that every “educated and enlightened” person does this all the time and that I am a caveman for not engaging my mind as he does.

I’ve tried to explain to him that sometimes a person is just too damned busy getting through the day to think Deep Thoughts or constantly edit their Life Plan. Sometimes just making it to bedtime is the best you can hope for and it’s been my experience that there just isn’t time for all the detailed planning and thinking that he feels is essential to life. And besides, I really don’t care. Constantly re-hashing my past and trying to figure out how it applies to my present and how it will impact my future looks like a hamster running on a wheel to nowhere to me, an exercise in futility that I have no desire to start.

Really, how would that internal conversation go?

“Let’s see. My father molested me. Ergo, I don’t trust or like men and all of my relationships have totally sucked. How does that affect me today? Well, I am suspicious of men who claim to have my best interests at heart. What should I do about that? Ensure that I have the financial means to escape because going to jail for murder really isn’t in my Life Plan for this decade…” and so on. It would be like ripping a bandage off a fresh wound every day for the rest of my life. Some things don’t bear close examination, IMHO – I know those of you who have had therapy will disagree…

Or how about this exercise? One day M was trying to make his point about all this Deep Thinking. He asked me, “what would you do if you had to leave this house? Say, you were told this morning that you had to be gone within 24 hours and could not come back. What would you do?”

At my surprised look, he said, “it wasn’t me who said you had to go, but something has happened and you have no choice. 24 hours. What would you do?”

“Simple,” I said. “I would load what I could into my car and drive away.” I mean, really, what else could I do? “I suppose if I had time I could rent a truck and put my stuff into storage or something, but what possible situation would have me abandoning this house in 24 hours?”

“What about me?” he asked.

“You? You said that I had to leave, like you weren’t here or something. There was no ‘you’ in your scenario.”

“Wrong! You didn’t even think about me. You were just going to leave and let me get by however I could? Are we a couple or not? Do you ever even think of anyone besides yourself? I don’t think you do! What about all of your stuff? Would you leave it for me to deal with?” and off he went into a lecture about how selfish I am and what he would do if he had to leave in 24 hours. I couldn’t get a word in and tuned out for the duration. The upshot is that he has made “valuable connections” in the community and has friends he can rely upon to help him in a time of need because he has been thinking Deep Thoughts about possible life scenarios and coming up with solutions. He called me irresponsible for leaving possessions behind for someone else to deal with. He called me selfish for thinking only of myself. He called me short-sighted for not having somewhere to go, some person to rely upon in my time of need.

Here’s my take on his little exercise: I have never encountered a situation where I had to vacate my living quarters within 24 hours. I suppose it could happen in some sort of emergency, but it’s highly unlikely. I have  had to leave my possessions behind on one occasion. You know what? Everything was sold by the person I entrusted to keep my things safe for a few weeks. Things are only things and if I have to make a hasty exit I really don’t give a damn what happens to my possessions, nor do I feel a bit of guilt that someone else has to deal with them. I’m being evicted without ceremony, right? Why should I care?

And at that point I can’t even continue because the scenario is just too ridiculous and I have vacuuming to do.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a Life Plan? If so, what does it look like? Have you acted out possible scenarios in your mind and worked out solutions to life’s little emergencies? Or are you, like me, just trying to get through the day without murdering anyone?



Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Deceptions, Emotional Abuse, Gaslighting


Tags: , , ,

15 responses to “Jobs, Making a Living and Deep Thinking

  1. Paula

    June 29, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I would LOVE to be given a 24-hour notice and purge my life of shit I have accumulated that is worthless to me. I’d run a hose over any vital papers I have no time to shred and pack up what I need: clothes, laptop, some books. My husband and son would be at the top of my list but as far as my things, I could leave them in a blink of an eye. Your husband is a true prick. Deep thoughts? I dated a little prick like him during college. Didn’t need anyone until he needed them. Selfish bastard. And he’s calling you selfish? He totally set you up with his scenario exercise. I wouldn’t engage him further. I’d turn the question back on him instead of answering it. His answer was completely formed based on your answer. He had to beat you and you took his bait. We’re all guilty of taking the bait. But we’re not aware that it’s bait at the moment we take it. 🙂

  2. iwonttakeit

    June 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    It does sound appealing, doesn’t it? I would take my dog and leave the man behind 🙂

    This conversation actually took place some months ago. I no longer “take the bait” (nice way to describe it!) and I no longer engage in stupid What If discussions.

    I have asked him why he is so concerned about imaginary events and if all that thinking about possible disasters is exhausting, and that shuts him right up.

    I’ve pointed out that he’s just making himself miserable over something that will likely never happen and that I prefer to deal with the here and now and worry about disaster when it happens. So far that philosophy has worked out just fine for me and I suspect that it will continue to work out just fine.

    • Paula

      June 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      Next time, point him in the direction of families losing their homes in Colorado due to the recent forest fires. They didn’t even get 5-hours notice, probably. It’s a he’ll of a way to live thinking of how you MIGHT respond to situations. I think we all learned very young that we could think of every scenario except the one we actually end up experiencing. It’s also called diminishing your expectations. Your husband is just setting himself up for failure, just like poor Finn in Great Expectations. Hehe!

      • iwonttakeit

        June 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm

        In the case of the Colorado residents, they are aware that there are forest fires in the area, and always are at this time of year, right? So it’s reasonable to have a plan in place. What he was doing was testing me so he could start an argument. Reality had no bearing on the conversation. I like what you say about diminishing expectations – that is exactly right. I would much rather sleep well at night than constantly worry about things that are not likely to happen 🙂

      • Paula

        June 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm

        Last night, we suffered minor damage to our yard and trees due to severe thunderstorms. Once the storm began, we lost power almost instantly. Because our house is anchored by very tally, mature trees (an oak, a sycamore, and a few evergreens), I carried my son to the basement away from all windows. We couldn’t go outside; we were trapped inside with no power or understanding of how severe the storm was. It wasn’t until this morning that we could see how lucky we were. The oak had broken off mid base and landed on our neighbor’s car and driveway just feet from our own driveway. One of the pines was completely uprooted and landed in another neighbor’s yard. That neighbor’s tree land on the roof above their garage, and several other neighbors lost cars, roofing, and parts of their homes! No one has power still, and is been 20 hours almost. A 91-year-old woman in a town nearby died after a tree crashed through her home and landed on her as she slept. Just driving through the neighborhood and seeing how random the tree falls seem to be is enough to make anyone NOT want to think about if their is a rhyme or reason to the seemingly chaotic event. I was prepared mentally as it began to know what I should do and how I should protect my child. But who is truly prepared for such craziness?!?! I thought about your post and realized it’s really a waste of time to dwell on the what ifs. You know what to do instinctively when things start falling apart around you. I think this blog is a part of your reaction and solution. 🙂

      • iwonttakeit

        July 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm

        I’m so sorry you and your son had to go through that! None of us can fully prepare for a natural disaster. I do believe that most of us know instinctively what to do if our lives are threatened, and if we let the other bullshit go, we’d all be much happier.

  3. Awana Black

    July 1, 2012 at 6:02 am

    I never knew I could envision my own life, so it makes me sadder for you.I try now to just have as many experiences as possible and not think too far ahead. However, I never thought I would be so bored and alone, yet surrounded by stifling idiots who make me weep in frustration. It is amazing how hard men and their female appendages and society work to destroy smart women.1)Yes, I do have one friend who likes to play “what if we could do anything we wanted” , 2)emergencies just require money and traveling light, and 3) Yes.

    • iwonttakeit

      July 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      You’re so right – money will solve just about every problem we might reasonably encounter. Learning how to travel light is something we can all aspire to…

  4. talkingtoguy

    July 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    The only time I make plans are when my life has gone all to pieces and I need to escape. The closest thing I have to a “life plan” is getting my fictional works published. There is no how, when, what or where. That and the ‘in case the world ends and a zombie apocolypse starts’ but I suspect that might be a thing people my age do.

    The problem with creating life plans is that life never goes according to plan! Spending all that time sitting around, trying to come up with escape scenarios or plotting out my life is a waste of my life. I’d rather spend that time writing or having an adventure in the real world.

    • iwonttakeit

      July 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Exactly! Who wants to make themselves crazy with constant agonizing over what might happen. Life is too short! And nothing ever goes according to plan, you’re right about that!

  5. El Guapo

    January 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Grab the wife, the car keys, the guitars.
    Get the important papers, and all the stuff that’s iportant to my girl.
    Finish with the cds.

    (For the record, my girl knows I’m going for the guitars right after her.)
    (We have an understanding.) 🙂

  6. Anne

    March 11, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    I live in today. I can make plans but I cannot predict the future so a “life plan” is a lot of expended energy that could be used to make today better!

    And, El Guapo, I love that you and ‘your girl’ have an understanding. That kind of relationship definitely is a goal of mine 😊


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