It began two years ago.
I had reached the age when it’s perfectly normal for a man to assess his position in the order of things. I began to consider what, if anything, my achievements to date were worth, the fundamental question being: Am I worthy of my space on this earth?
I questioned everything: my work, my possessions, my pleasures and principles. Whether the culmination of my endeavours to that point was merely the veneer of success – a man successful at appearing to be successful – or was there substance to my achievements? Of course, in the process, I also wanted to see whether self-worth should or could be measured in secular terms of money and possessions or was there a more spiritual complexion to it, that my worth so to speak was a combined measure of satisfaction in my work and the extent of my well-being?
It quickly became obvious there were a few hurdles to straddle before I could get a clear run at the problem.
The simple act of day to day living, at that time, was becoming increasingly complicated. Without apparent reason, there was an escalation in unsolicited letters from organisations I had only ever heard from once in a blue moon all professing their undying devotion to my happiness – for me personally, their most valued customer! Some urged me to do the sensible thing and take out a £100 New for Old insurance policy on an electric toaster originally purchased for £39.99, they had pre-filled most of the blanks on the application form for my convenience. How kind. Others were embarrassingly needy, declaring their lives would remain without form or meaning unless I borrowed a staggering amount of money from them. To show how much I truly meant to them, they were prepared to make a “once in a lifetime gift” of zero percent interest for the first six months (terms and conditions apply etc. etc.). There were glossy brochures from Estate Agents imploring me to let them sell our house because people were queueing around the block to part with ludicrous amounts of money to climb ever higher on the “property ladder.” There were even a few rather jolly “Information Updates” from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs with a cartoon character cheekily explaining the reasons my tax code had changed fourteen times in as many months (but if I was dead I could ignore the letter and contact them by phone instead).
I was being letter-bombed by strangers to the very brink of irritation melt-down!
But, as if torture by means of the Royal Mail wasn’t enough, water-boarding through the medium of cold calls from Call Centres added a unique dimension. Some were selling different forms of energy efficiency, others accused me of allowing scurrilous scallywags to infest my computer with, I don’t know, ferret porn or something and demanded I hand over passwords or there would be hell to pay. Most, however, were just checking that my details were correct, in other words, they were gathering information to sell on to other cold calling companies so the whole damned circus could run for all eternity, round and around. I developed a way of dealing with that particular variety of intrusion which I shall share with you in the next instalment.
In the end: As this story unravels, I shall explain why I was worn out with dancing to other people’s tunes and how the idea was beginning to take root that I had no choice but to step off the carousel if I was to preserve my sanity.
>Next post: The Gall* Centre<
>Location: Exmoor, Somerset, England<
>Music: R-Roy ~ Natty Rebel<
© Rivenrod 2017
* Gall, /ɡôl/noun
1. bold, impudent behaviour:
“the bank had the gall to demand a fee”
synonyms: effrontery, impudence, impertinence, cheek, cheekiness
2. the contents of the gallbladder; bile (proverbial for its bitterness).
synonyms: bitterness, resentment, rancour, bile, spleen