In Generation Doom I talked about the darkest days of my upbringing when every adult I knew was miserable and hated their lives.
A commenter asked, was this in the FSU back when it first got its ‘F’? Because things were pretty bad then.
I had to reply no, this was in suburban Australia where recession meant lining up for the dole or losing the house, not starvation and horrific levels of crime.
Eventually I stumbled upon my first girlfriend. Imagine my surprise when I found that her family were fairly cheerful. Imagine my further shock when I found out that both her parents had been orphaned by the time they were eighteen. Here they were, middle-aged with teenage children and they seemed to be dealing with life more stoically than other adults who had enjoyed better fortune.
Being an inexperienced and dull-witted lad, it took quite some thinking in order to figure out the difference. It is not just a resilient acceptance of the vagaries of life. It is also a willingness to solve one’s problems.
Some people, I have realized, wallow in the misery of their lives. They delight in the bullying of their boss, the thankless drudgery of their work, the dullness of their weekends, the loneliness of their hearts and their several non-terminal medical conditions like lower back pain or warts. Dostoevsky writes best about this.
Happier people delight in finding they face one of those rarest things – a problem with a potential solution. Not in incurable illness. Not the sudden death of a close friend. Not an unstoppable bushfire. Just an ordinary, garden-variety problem that might prove escapable.
Hereafter I rant about some of the most common problems people moan about instead of solving:
“Boo hoo, I hate my job.”
GET A NEW ONE.
Don’t point out to me all the reasons why this is difficult. Make a plan. It could be a two-year plan or even a five-year plan. Figure out how to save up, retrain, get out. The interim will be much more tolerable once you can see the finish line.
One of the groups who seemed particularly miserable were my teachers, because they had to teach little shits like us. On particularly bad days I wondered, why do they do it? Is there really nothing else they could do, or any better school they could get into? Do they need the money that badly? For reasons I will not go into, I am now aware of excellent alternatives they could have tried.
“Boo hoo, I need more money.”
GET MORE. OR NEED LESS.
People with this complaint have often never bothered to make a budget, look for savings, or seriously considered how they might increase their income. People often only seek the services of a financial counselor once their situation has become desperate or a court has ordered them to.
“Boo hoo, I hate my boring suburb/the weather/being so far from the beach.”
Oh, the many reasons people will throw at you as to why they can’t move from the place that makes them so forlorn. “My job is here.” “That’s the mark on the wall my son’s head made when he was four and crashed into it in his pedal car.” “My family are all here”. This last is, for some, the very best reason for getting out. How much do you really hate your city if you choose to stay in it until you die?
“Boo hoo, I’m lonely.”
FIND SOME FRIENDS. GET A GIRLFRIEND.
You’ll surely find some friends if you get out of the house and do something with others, even if it is bird watching. How to become more romantically successful has been dissected to the point of tedium – start here and do some reading.
“Boo hoo, I’m sick.”
SEE A DOCTOR.
It’s amazing how many people don’t take this radical step. Also, be aware that a GP will sometimes get it wrong the first time around. Be prepared to go back again, to seek a second opinion; do what you need to do to get to the bottom of it.
“Boo hoo, my wife despises me.”
FIX THE RELATIONSHIP OR LEAVE.
My friend’s parents were even more miserable than mine. They just loved to bicker with each other, all day, every day. It was their main hobby. They had no friends or interests. Just arguing. And yet as far as I am aware, they are still together in their old age. Madness.
Try Athol Kay or The Rational Male for red-pill relationship advice; seek surreptitious legal advice in your jurisdiction if you’re ready to throw in the towel.
“Boo hoo, so-and-so is mean to me.”
AVOID THE SO-AND-SO.
If it is a psycho boss, see changing jobs above. If a relative, avoid so far as possible. If a friend or girlfriend, dump dump dump. I knew a family whose elderly landlady had a weird obsession with the wife, perhaps because her own daughters refused to speak to her. It got to the point where she was causing all sorts of irrational drama, using her position of power to force the family into her insane world. Solution? They moved, all of a sudden (though after careful planning) and without any fuss. Problem eliminated.
Or it would have been, had the wife not allowed herself to get sucked back into the landlady’s mad, mad world.
There’s one further step you can take to decrease the total level of annoyance in your life. Aside from yourself, determine whether others around you are fixers or moaners. This is easy to do. If someone mentions a problem in their life, discuss with them possible solutions such as those provided above. If they have detailed reasons why each and every measure would be impossible in their case, or simple continue to complain about their situation, they are a moaner. They like their problems and solving them would deprive them of excellent moaning material. These people are best avoided.
I’m currently home sick with Bali Belly – but not too sick to provide my beloved readers with my simply worded advice! Just wash your hands after reading.
And yes, I’m taking antibiotics.