Am I turning into a bitter old man?

Lately, peeling boiled eggs is driving me crazy. The shell never comes off without a fight. What is going on? Are the eggshells glued on? Are those eggs doing that on purpose?

My laptop is doing everything it can to piss me off. It watches what I do and makes urgent tasks so slow that sometimes I barely manage not to smash it into the floor.

Just a moment ago, I needed to open a new roll of toilet paper, but I only tore off a tiny bit of paper every time I tried until I yanked off about half the roll with a single furious tug.

Every time something like this happens, I scream profanities for about ten seconds, then realize my neighbors could hear me and feel ashamed.

I know it’s not the eggs, the toilet paper, or the laptop that is the problem. My outbursts of anger over insignificant trifles mean something’s wrong with my life.

I have a talent for not seeing the little problems. Instead of solving them while they are still small, I live with them. Frustration accumulates, and I only notice it when the pressure starts to make a noise - in this respect, I am like a pressure cooker.

So, what is stewing inside me?

I have scoliosis. That means facing occasional flare-ups of back pain. Usually, the pain goes away in two weeks. This time, it has persisted for months. Three years ago, it was so painful that I started exercising with a physiotherapist, and my problems subsided. I was so happy. I thought I had solved my back problems for good. I wasn’t slacking off - I exercised every day. And yet, my back defeated me again.

My job no longer satisfies me. Years ago, when I started at the company, each day was a series of problems, and I enjoyed solving them. But the company matured. Every little thing is now standardized. The work has become so routine that a trained monkey could do it. In addition, we were swallowed by a large company a year ago, so decisions now come from some distant corporate center instead of from people I can talk to. The team atmosphere has changed. I no longer feel good there.

I have no money. I don’t need luxury, but I can’t live well with the feeling that if I spill coffee into my laptop, a new one will cost me half my savings. I have no reserve for unforeseen situations. Just two years ago, I had a semi-decent salary. Then, the talk of selling the company started. They froze our salaries and didn’t unfreeze them even when inflation jumped into double digits.

Close friends are turning into distant friends. I’m an introvert and can be alone with my books for a long time, but everybody needs a few close friends. Close now, not once upon a time in college. Those old friends are still great, but they have families and live in other cities. We see each other once in a blue moon.

The last close friend is now expecting a child with his girlfriend - he longed for a family, and I am happy for him, but he won’t have much time for me anymore. And in recent years, I have stopped doing new things where one finds new friends.

I’m starting to hate living in the city. I keep daydreaming about a smaller town where I could get on a bike and be outside the city in five minutes instead of struggling through traffic for an hour.

The Czech winter is killing me. It is too long, cold, dark, and depressing for me. Sometimes weeks go by without sun. Everything is just gray. Freezing wind screaming outside.

I envy the Spaniards - where there is more sun and warmth, there is more joy in life, at least for me. And it’s about the joy of life, I think. That’s how guys turn into angry old men - when they fail to find joy in life, and frustration is all there is.

I’m turning into an angry old man at 47 years of age! I have to shake things up. My life is in dire need of a reboot.

After a long period of hesitation, I gave my notice at work - I’m leaving at the end of May after seven and a half years in the company. I have an appointment with an orthopedist. The first available appointment was in six weeks, so I’m still waiting; hopefully, they will find a way to help me with my back.

All that’s left is to find that joy somewhere.

Lately, I keep watching videos of a cyclist who moved to Spain. His videos beautifully represent what I imagine when someone says “joy of life” - bike rides, sun, mountains, friends… this is what I want!

The two things that have brought me the most joy in life are cycling and Spain.

As a boy, I used to do a bit of racing on my bike, and in adulthood, I always rode whenever I had time, for pleasure and to clear my head. When the pandemic started, I returned to somewhat systematic training, including winter preparation, not just riding for fun over the summer.

I fell in love with Spain, walked from one side to the other several times (I plan to write about my experiences from Camino de Santiago - those were great times), and always dreamed that I would like to live there for a while. It got under my skin so much that I learned to speak Spanish.

What if I moved to Spain and maybe even tried to get into shape for some amateur races? When I think about it, it seems like a silly idea. It sounds like a naive adolescent dreaming of adventure, and at my age, I should know better. But on the other hand, when I think about it, I get this wonderfully ticklish feeling in my stomach.

I’ve lived most of my life as a somewhat indecisive guy who hesitates for so long about doing something that it keeps getting postponed indefinitely. But every now and then, I do throw myself into something, usually filled with anxiety and detailed catastrophic scenarios about how it could all go wrong. A few times, it ended up being one of those times in life that are worth living.

I keep thinking about that recent cancer scare. I feel I am not living fully (whatever that means), but I keep postponing it to some unspecified future. But what if I never get there?

I have minimal savings, I need to sort out my back, I will be out of work from June, I don’t have much hope of finding something in the Spanish job market, and I only have a vague idea of how to arrange the whole life reboot. By giving notice, I forced myself to embark on something new, but I still don’t know what exactly. That makes me nervous. But it’s exciting.

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