The sea doesn’t care about you


Today I feel anxious, maybe a bit frustrated. Also some variety of sadness. Part of it is summed up in a quote I got from an episode of I Should Be Writing: “the sea doesn’t care about you”. That’s a US Coast Guard saying, and basically it means that the world isn’t going to cut you a break just because you feel like it, or because you need it. The world doesn’t care if you’re down, or if you’re a nice guy, or if you have succeeded in everything you have done up to this point through hard work and effort. Today will bring exactly the same kinds of struggles, hurdles and attacks as yesterday, because nobody is keeping score like that. Nobody is trying to make life fair or easier for you. The sea doesn’t care about you. Today, to me, that is profoundly depressing. Today, to me, it means nobody is coming to take care of me. Nobody is going to be there to listen to my complaints or to take my needs into account, because my needs don’t matter. My wants don’t matter. My fears and terrors and anxieties don’t matter. Nobody is coming to save me, but I could really use that today.

Part of it is probably just tiredness. We are working hard to get our old house ready for renting, which is going to be very cool, but has taken so long that it’s wearing me out. I know this problem is never going away, not properly, because now we are going to have two houses to care for and maintain, two mortgages to pay, leases and legal agreements to manage including extra insurance, and then in December we are going to have a baby to take care of, too. And babies don’t care if you are well-rested and cared for. Babies don’t care about your sleep. The sea doesn’t care about you.

What I need today is rest, and for someone to tell me that it gets better. My experience, however, tells me that my complaints don’t just fall on deaf ears, but on actively hostile ears. You’re feeling anxious, tired, depressed and worn out? Suck it up, be a man, and get on with your job. Your concerns are nothing at all, and you need to get over them, quickly, because the storm is always getting worse. Whenever you get on top of a task, that’s when the next level of tasks comes up and you have to master that, on top of everything else. The sea. It doesn’t care about you or how hard you have to work to stay afloat.

So I’ve been keeping this bottled up. It seems like the better option. If I let it out, I’m just whining, and the sea doesn’t care if you whine. The sea is actively trying to kill you, whether you are a novice or an expert sailor.

The only thing I can see at the end of the tunnel is a loss of ambition. If I agree to plateau somewhere, then maybe I can actually learn to deal with that, and the only thing that will get harder is raising children that are growing older, plus struggling to maintain a job in an industry that puts pressure on older guys to move into higher, more demanding roles, and leave the detailed software development to the younger generation. So even if I stay still, the tide rises around me.

I don’t know where I go from here. I don’t have any answers. I can’t even seem to finish off this entry with a positive upswing. I’m still standing, though. I’m still here. I guess that’s a start.