One year has passed since my last posting. It certainly doesn’t reflect good blogmanship that this much time has elapsed, but it does indicate that I have had very little to complain about in this last year. Which is also a bit of a problem — for it can be frustrating having nothing to rail on and only good things to say about my life and the people in it.
I had attempted to make a few posts throughout the year: I began them earnestly and with much malice only to edit and revise what little I had written to the point of questioning the purpose of writing them at all. They didn’t come together in a the short essay-like fashion I prefer to present and I found myself questioning their greater purpose and effect only to finally slash them with my own red pen.
I had one post about an experience with my cable company that left me breathless and flat with exasperation. But as I outlined the five different phone calls and the nuances of each utterly incapable and entirely difficult customer support agent and the penultimate event during which my cable was cutoff — I lost interest. At the sixth page of dialogue reiterating the cyclical conversations exponentially escalating to my emotional breakdown and attempts at my own life — I stopped typing. I realized: everyone has nonsensical conversations with the cable company and the result is usually the same: we pay a lot of money for cable television and we watch it and sometimes it is shut off and that’s when we call them and they turn it on and we pay them more money. And that just isn’t funny and it also isn’t particularly mean-spirited — alas: boring.
Now this isn’t to say I haven’t been miserable at times. Far from it! In fact, I’ve even learned that my misery is entirely self-created. A podcast from National Public Radio about the difference between two types of people (“saticficers” and “optimizers”) explains it all in sordid detail (based on this study (PDF)). See: an “optimizer” is a person who searches out an array of options when approaching any task, while a “saticficer” is one who just sort of says: “oh look at this here — I’ll go with that, thank you.” I am an optimizer, obviously. The point of the report is that optimizers get cool stuff but are, in the end, miserable with it because they know that there is all this other stuff out there (having reviewed the options) and are afraid they may have missed something. Satisficers don’t know what they’re missing and are thus blissfully content in their ignorance. I was going to write about how this podcast had opened my eyes to my own condition and that I now determined the fate of my own happiness when I suddenly understood that being able to choose between misery and joy was, in fact, just another option I was presenting myself. And that I chose misery. Every time.
I have been taking out my frustrations at not having anything to complain about on the most unsuspecting and innocent of targets. Instead of writing my own ideas I have been trolling webpages a looking for excuses to start a war of words — tiny verbal battles with unsuspecting forum frequenters. I attack with the a cackling laugh from behind my little screen thinking how clever and witty and smart I am and how surely someone will find my post likewise genius and laugh and cackle along with me. But no one does. And even I don’t find them funny any more.
But now it’s the new year! Times are a changing! I’m posting a blog-item again and I’ve posted another song as well. I’ve dug deep into my happy life to find something to complain about and, with any luck, the well will not run dry any time soon. Perhaps I’ll even edit less and write more and, with any luck, churn out a whopping two or more posts for 2008.