LIFE

LIFE UPDATE.

Let’s start with running. Running is pretty good. April was the first month of 2014 that I missed no runs due to injury. I missed one due to the deadly pollution cloud but apart from that it was 4 days a week every week. I’m pleased with that. I am still having ankle and foot troubles but the actual problem seems to move around weekly so while it’s proving difficult to treat, it’s also obviously not doing any persistent damage anywhere. Grand total mileage for April was 48 miles, which is following a gradual weekly increase. May should be about 70ish I think, if all continues going to plan. Also, I noticed in the mirror yesterday that I no longer look like a malnutritioned ghost, which means I have been going outside more than normal. I am referring to a slight tan rather than some form of strange reaction to a vitamin D overdose. So that’s probably good. Until I get skin cancer.

Yesterday was a holiday here, so I did a full body workout in the morning then did absolutely nothing in the afternoon evening because I really had no energy at all. And felt a bit bored because of it. Physically tired but not mentally. So I played some Counter-Strike, and got a new crate which I sold immediately for £3.00. Now I have £4.59 in my Steam wallet and I feel like a millionaire, i.e I have no immediate use for the money so I’m now trying to figure out if I can invest it somehow so that I can have more money I don’t know what to do with (you can’t extract it from Steam). I think the answer is no.

Work: For the last 18 months I have been working on a project. My role now has evolved to being partly a programmer and partly a manager. I don’t really like the management side of things, and of course, I am not being paid any more for it. The thing with people management is you don’t feel like you are actually doing anything. When I am coding I can look at a 150 line diff and think “I did this today”, but the management side mostly consists of clicking buttons and talking to people on Skype to tell them to do that thing that I’ve already asked them to do 14 times, which takes up a lot of time and energy but doesn’t have any obvious or satisfying outcome.

The funding of the project has just run out but my employer wants to continue with it and possibly try to secure more funding in a few months’ time. The future is uncertain. I kind of like the project because it’s R&D and involves more interesting things than the average commercial web project, but on the other hand that makes it prone to other people’s intellectual wanking which can be a bit of a drudge. If I get moved off it onto a commercial project I’ll probably start looking for another job. I tried drafting an updated CV a few weeks ago and the number of different things I can put on it now seems impressive. Choosing the right time to capitalise on that is an optimisation problem I don’t know how to solve.

Future: As you get to a certain age you start to realise that the future does actually happen. When you are 16 or 21, or even 24 it seems like the future is some abstract concept. But later on you realise that these birthdays you never thought would really happen do in fact keep coming, and we can apply inductive logic to suppose that maybe this situation will continue. I think working doesn’t help with this; working in an office, the main skill you are training is your ability to let time pass without resistance.

1. This is a bit crap, because from my perspective the future appears underwhelming. I think this is probably a shared sentiment for everyone in my age group in the UK. I want financial security but wages are low and property prices high. I did everything right; there is no decision I could have made myself to have reliably put myself in a significantly better financial position than I am now in. We can micro-optimise here and there, but most factors are beyond my control. For people who are just at university age now, who have all the same problems that I have but are also now gifted £30-40k worth of student debt, the situation moves from disenchanting to verging on ridiculous. So I have that going for me, I suppose. “It could be worse”.

2. Relationships. So, I am not very good at relationships and I have a limited drive to pursue them. But this is frustrating because once every so often my body reminds me that I am evolutionarily programmed to pass on my genes and the way it wants me to do this involves forming a relationship. The evolutionary urge is so strong that every single person in my ancestral tree managed to do it. I am the combined product of a vast number of living creatures who all share only one thing in common: that they managed to pass on their genes before they got eaten by wild bears.

But it seems hard. For everyone. Not just me. In my office there are 4 other people under the age of 30, and they are all single. If we expand the range to 35 we include one married person and two single people. So out of 8 under 35s, 7 are single. That’s not an inspiring ratio. The worst thing is that if you go up to 45-50 suddenly everyone has adult or teenage children:

0-35: Single, no children
36-45: ???
46+: Adult children

which suggests some form of special relativity kicks in at 36, possibly due to the velocity of rapidly expanding waistlines.

In theory that means there are lots of single people in the right age group, but the flipside is that there is a reason there are lots of single people and it’s not because forming relationships is easy. Japan supposedly has a more advanced version of this problem; articles always frame it as being something sensational like “not being interested in sex”, but unless they are putting drugs in the water supply then a “lack of interest” seems unlikely; it’s more likely that culture and society presents barriers which people don’t feel comfortable breaking through.

I have flaws in myself but more problematically I also have flaws in who and what I want. The main one is that I am shallow and average looks don’t grab my attention. That is a flaw in me, not in other people. I am happy with flaws in others, but I want to be particular about what those flaws are. I suppose that’s one of those stupid general statements that could mean anything depending on whether I’m including things like “being utterly mental” as a flaw I should be accepting of. I’m not. There are very few people I find particularly attractive, but the few I do, I find intensely so, enough to remind me that these are the feelings I could have if the statistics were more favourable. Which is depressing. Likewise I am put off by the thought of ending up settling for someone who is not ideal for me, which is fair enough I suppose, but it makes people seem like a minefield. Then there is internet dating. I have never tried this but I have been on the internet before, and the internet trains you to click ‘next’ when you get bored of something, because there’s a huge amount of stuff out there and if one thing isn’t entertaining you, why not explore the others? Just like nobody got to the end of this post. Also, the internet disproportionately attracts people who are utterly mental. It sounds dreadful.

It is May after all…

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