Stress: In the curtain wall of human suffering, it is the mullion. It is the structure that bears the dead load weight of life. Without it, you shatter and fall to the ground. Many doubt this fact, despite a lifetime of experience confirming it. They attack some particular stressor thinking wrongly that that stressor will disappear and be replaced with nothing. This is utter folly, unless, of course, you enjoy being bushwhacked by unplanned stressors you didn't choose. A new stressor will definitely emerge, though, and you won't like it any more or any less than your last one. Stress is the constant. To me, the only thing worse than stress (which you always have) is stress coupled with chaos. I want stress coupled with stability. This is why I like to pick one stressor and take the time to experience it completely. For several years now, my stressor of choice has been debt. Debt stress isn't fun--no stress is fun--but it's as bearable as any other form of stress. Other than swinging between constipation so severe it has to be cleared digitally and diarrhea that makes amoebic dysentery feel like a bad taco, it really doesn't cause me any physiological symptoms to speak of. If there's any reason at all to trade my debt stress for some other kind of stress, it is only boredom. I admit my debt stress learning curve has flattened out to such a degree that, alas, it may be time to try something new. I'm still deciding on a replacement, but I definitely want to try something new rather than reliving a stress I've already experienced. The key to a flourishing life is to keep suffering in new and different ways. Job dissatisfaction stress is emerging as the most obvious candidate. In fact, I believe paying down my debt just partially would clear the way for job dissatisfaction stress to set in without me having to take any other action. The underlying dissatisfaction already exists! I almost chose job dissatisfaction stress about a decade ago but at the time, I was experiencing a crushing loneliness that smothered whatever stress my crappy job was causing. I promised myself I'd revisit that opportunity if I ever found someone to fill that void in my heart. Now that I have a lovely and cynical wife who fills that void, and the coolest kid in the world to boot, and with $10,000 of debt already removed thanks to a driver from the South Pacific who had never seen snow in his life yet still chose to climb into his death wagon and hurl himself down the wrong side of an ice-caked HWY 71, there has never been a better time to strike! I am going to choose my next stressor and mismanage whatever aspect of my life I need to in order to bring that stressor about. I will do it at a time and place of my choosing, under my own terms. In fact, I will make the decision right here: I choose job dissatisfaction! I will find a secure, easy, crashingly dull job, similar to the one I already have, and ride it till the last speck of stimulation disappears into a crack between the dreary tiles of its cold and lusterless floor. That is my plan; it is a good plan, and I will start today!
This is my curtain wall!