11 March, 2016

gold star for adulting

my midlife crisis has been manifesting lately as a sort of extended anti-adulthood hissy fit. i look at the influx of paperwork that overwhelms us, at the insurance bills, the taxes, the forms, the agents, the whole fucking bullshit machine of living in today's society and i get so mad i just wanna stomp my little feet, and wave my little fists until i'm sent to my room without supper. i look back at the middle ages and think that there is a lot there we could have kept. sure, i'm not stupid, i don't think that the medieval times were exactly awesome, what with the appalling hygiene, terrible fashion choices and the plague, but i wonder if we could have worked on getting better sanitation without also coming up with lawyers and insurance agents and banks.

why couldn't we have flushing toilets and hot water but also live in a barter society where 3 cows are good for 17 chickens or a small house? when did we decide to give our lives away to the highest bidder? when did cubicles start to seem like a really good idea? why do we have to sign and sign and initial and sign each and every time we want to enact a small change in our lives? why can't one get married under the moon without it having fucking tax implications? why does the birth of a child necessitate an immediate start of a lifelong paper trail? why can't we enjoy refrigeration and modern medicine without being saddled with the overwork-and-consumption machine? 

sure, you say, you can step off the merry-go-round. but you can't. you can choose to live a smaller life. you can choose to work less, play more, sit and stare at trees for hours at a time, but you cannot get away entirely unless you become a hermit or one of those crazy colorado survivalists, though even then i'm sure there'd be forms to fill out and waivers to sign. sure, you can reduce the shit impact, but you can't entirely get away from it. and the worst part is, there's no incentive for us to adult. oh sure, getting shitfaced on a saturday night in order to forget is definitely on the menu, but within a couple years (or decades) you realise it's not really making anything better but a few things, like your liver, actively worse. kids get marks, gold stars, ribbons, stickers, and funny-shaped erasers. what do adults get? a plump tax return if we're lucky. 

i would hereby like to lodge a complaint about the lack of incentivization* in adult life. why don't we get badges to honour on-time tax completion? why don't we amass brownie points for staying sober at a spouse's christmas party? why doesn't someone get me a freaking pony because, despite many many moments of deep temptation, i have not upped my meds once!!!??? i think that deserves a fucking medal along with the pony! a stamp card for all those times we ordered the salad instead of the fries! a sticker for filling in the time sheet at work! blue ribbon for deciding to cook instead of eating out! a big thumbs up on social media for folding the laundry... i could go on.

a small child who's just been punished for misbehaviour will turn to mom who very often is the very person that just meted out said punishment. who do grown-ups have to run to? we have nobody to kiss our damn booboos and tell us everything will be better, because we know it won't.   we know that the moment one bill is paid, another is on the way. we know that the superawesomegreat purchase will become far less superawesomegreat when the credit card bill comes along. we know on friday that monday cometh with the inevitability of eventual blindness, decrepitude, and death. so if it's alright with you, i'd like to at least have a motherfucking gold star.

*heinous corporate speak.


Zhoen said...

It's ok, it's ok. Everything is going to be alright. You are doing very well.

Every time and every age has it's joys and frustrations.

Maybe I can remember my childhood better than most, because I was delighted to escape it, at any cost. I'll take charting over homework any day. And I can buy my own damn gold stars, with chocolate inside. Or flowers, or beer, or whatever I want.

polish chick said...

thing is, i don't want to be a kid again, though i enjoyed my childhood fine. and i don't really truly need gold stars. i just wish things were a little simpler. i'm fine, i'm happy, i'm satisfied, but between watching the election idiocy and the switching-countries-of-residence idiocy, i sometimes think there must be a better way to live.

so yes, just a wee whine on a very public forum.

Tom said...

A mid-life crisis? I would never have guessed! Here was I thinking that one of the prophets of old had been reincarnated in modern mode. I have to say that you are much more readable than they.....Life according to the "Book of Agnieszka." A no-miss experience, and I kid you not. (I almost wish your crisis would go on forever, but that would be unconscionably selfish.)

polish chick said...

now, now, tom, i think you're making fun of me!

Lucy said...

Thinking back on changing countries and all the hassle that went with it, along with the mountain of other heavy work we took on and then, briefly, a hideous teaching assistant job for me, no way I'd want to do any of it again, I can't quite believe we did. On the other hand, when I feel any twinge of guilt about life being too lazy or easy now I can look back and tell myself that it was indeed bloody hard going and perhaps we really have earned a little ease and comfort now. Though of course there are always onerous and crap things, many of which, perhaps happily, we cannot foresee, coming up.

Perhaps what I'm saying is it might get a bit easier. And making other people, and perhaps also yourself, laugh with it can't do any harm!

polish chick said...

i think this article: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/1dbc8ec4-e583-11e5-a09b-1f8b0d268c39.html
does a good job of explaining the frantic state of mind i'm living in. perhaps it is just me...

lucy - thanks for understanding. and it will get easier. hell, it's not even all that hard most days, but once in a while my resentment piles up and spills over and you get to read aaaalll about it!