Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Intruder Alert, Intruder Alert

Danger, danger: my mind is all over the place this morning. Consider yeself forewarned.

If I can be as gracious as John Gale when I grow up, I'll be a very, very happy monkey. That was an absolutely sick way to have a WSOP bracelet yanked from your wrist, and he was nothing but kind and generous. People can apologize all they want for the Ariehs and Dan Druffs of the world, citing pressure of the moment, competitive fire, biased slanting done for tv purposes, blah blah blah, but there's much truth in the old saw that true character comes out during moments of crises, not during moments of calm. And you, John Gale, displayed much true positive character. Kudos.

Been scuffling along for a few days, poker-wise. I just can't get anything going, seem to get myself stuck early, and spend the rest of the session clawing my way back. Down a bit for the week, but nothing too substantial.

[pep talk]

Feeling kind of malaisey in general, for all the wrong reasons. I keep starting posts about the subject, then getting upset with myself as I type, deleting them, etc. It's a very dumb sort of malaise, especially when New Orleans is under water and other much more serious ills and misfortunes stalk the earth.

Lacking a better term, I seem to be suffering from the malaise of semi-success. Or semi-malaise, I suppose. With our first wedding anniversary rapidly approaching, it's pretty easy to do the now and then comparison. And, in every measurable way, this has been one hell of a year. Wedding-wise, money-wise, poker-wise, everything. If you'd told me the last year would bring all the things it has, I'd have called you crazy.

So where's the damn malaise, you ask? Good question. Show me the malaise!

The only problem with all that "success", especially on the financial side, is that it keeps bringing out, in sharp contrast, just how unsatisying my day job is. And yeah, I've been playing that tired riff for as long as I've had this blog thing going, as far as the job goes, so that's old news. Despite all the negatives, it's the easiest job in the world, pays relatively well, allows me to telecommute two days a week, and provides funds to hopefully one day fuel the rocket ship that will allow me to escape.

What's gnawing at me lately, though, is that I keep studiously avoiding the rocket ship sitting on the launch pad, fueled and ready to go. For many practical reasons, all of them enumerated, pondered, and weighed. I sit here, ticking off all the potential dangers of space, and listing instead all of the cozy advantages of working in a sweat shop (guaranteed monthly wages, warm working conditions, comraderie of fellow monkeys).

The ironic thing is that for someone who spends so much time "gambling", I absolutely hate to gamble and take risks, especially with serious life things. I've always had a plan, always done the smart thing, always been practical, yada yada yada. And I'm good at that, and can continue to be good at that indefinitely, working thirty more years at unsatisfying jobs, saving money every month, investing wisely, and retiring at 60 with a very, very nice nest egg, house, and RV.

But man, to devolve into grunt monkey speak, where's the fucking fun in that?

It's not that I don't have fun, in the current comfortable state, as I do. It's just that I'm a bit maxed out, as far as juggling work, more work, gambling-related work, and fun. And without making a herculean effort or removing one of the "works" from that equation, I'm not sure I can budge the needle much further. Not that the needle is in a bad place, just one that only provides enough success to continue to stay on that path, and not quite enough to pursue new paths.

(I should note, for the record, that I'm absolutely not, in any way, pondering playing poker full-time. This isn't one of those sorts of posts. All I'm really attempting here is to find a way to pot-commit myself to getting out this rut, as far as semi-successfully straddling assorted jobs and pastimes.)

Long story short, it's time to get serious. No more dicking around and making excuses and dragging my feet and not seizing every opportunity that I know is out there. While the status quo is nice, it's not going to get me to where I want to be. Busting my ass for a year or two won't exactly be fun, but the ends definitely justify the means, especially if it involves escaping the slow creeping death of the current day job.

[/pep talk]

So, umm, yeah. Just ignore all the pep talk stuff. John Gale rocks. Yep.


Anonymous said...


If you've got something specific in mind, take your shot now before you add other obligations (like kids) that will give you even more reasons to not do it. Better to do it now, on your timetable, when you're ready and the table is set for you, than 10 yrs from now when you *have* to and those conditions no longer exist.

You're young enough that, even if you fail, there is literally nothing short of long-term incarceration that you won't be able to come back from.

BSN <=== Voice of Experience

Joe Speaker said...

Kill the Humanoid
--obligatory Berserk response

Sounds to me like you pretty well know the choice--Safety v. Satisfaction--and have given it your complete analysis.

All that's left is the decision and you probably already know what's best. So trust it.

Good luck, man.

WillWonka said...

(Eye of the Tiger music in background)....
Go For It...

Unknown said...

I take reality breaks every once in a while (bar poker last night as an example).

Granted if you're wanting to make a total shift in your life it going to take more then a night of 32 oz. beers next to Bubba while watching Wednesday Night Baseball on ESPN.

I suggest taking a long look at what you want from life 5,10,20 years down the road and see if you're comfortable remaining in your cube of comfort.

I'm a happy cube monkey because I'm ok with the grind, some people aren't.