New Tricks


Here’s what I do: I stay with things too long hoping circumstances will improve.

Is it optimism or stupidity, to hope that if I keep banging my head against the wall long enough, that it will stop hurting? To do to the same things over and over, and expect the outcome to become different at some point?

I did this with my first marriage. I thought leaving the city would help. It didn’t. Then, having a child. Nope. Buying a home? No? Having another child? No, the essential issues were still there, and didn’t change. When I finally ended it, it was a vast relief to both of us. Friends said to me it was like a weight had been lifted from me, and in ways, it had. A close friend said “I’m so glad you finally let that go. He never was right for you.” This was a friend who had been at our wedding 12 years earlier. “Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” I asked. “Would we still be friends if I had?” she asked. She was of course, right.

The same pattern of behaviour followed me in my next relationship too, only this time I was waiting for a commitment of some kind. Maybe this year? Maybe in five years? Maybe when my kids are old enough to leave home? Could we live together, or even in the same city? It took me eleven years to figure out that I had been duped, in a cruel and drawn-out way.

Now, anyone who knows the parties involved will tell you “they’re nice guys”. Sure. They actually are both very nice guys, and I’m not here to dispute that, or to explain to you what the issues were. That’s unfair to them and I’m not going to go into that here. The point is, though, that it was not working, I knew it wasn’t working, and I tried to make it work for way too long. People don’t change, no matter how much we’d like them to.

I’m at that stage with work right now. I feel like it’s a bit of a golden cage, really. I’m not into it anymore. I’m burnt out from years of dealing with anxious people. But I make a good wage, I have health benefits and a pension, so – does it matter that I’m bored? Lots of people would love my job.

When I was looking into the possibility of getting a dog a while ago, I thought I wanted a really smart dog, maybe a standard poodle or a border collie. The more research I did, though, the more I found out that smart dogs get bored. Smart dogs need constant stimulation, or they become destructive.

I’ve just about chewed through the leg of my desk, I think. Arf.


One response »

  1. oh sweetie, to say I feel your pain is a massive understatement. Interestingly, though, since meeting you, I’ve often wondered whether or not you felt fulfilment from your job–even though we’ve never talked about it and all I see is what you put on the blog. It has always seemed to me (in the incredibly long year–ahem–I’ve known you) that you were “beyond” what you did. Of course, what you do is valuable and a service to the community, so there is some sort of fulfilment there . . . but you’re not too old to spread your wings!

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