Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Grumpy Old Man

I think this has been around for a while.  Subconsciously I've known it for some time, but now it's time to admit it - I'm becoming a Grumpy Old Man.

I'll caveat that by saying I'm not a harbinger of doom and misery about everything because I'm really not.  But I'm noticing more and more that I have less and less patience for things, and my tolerance threshold feels like it's reached an all time low.

There's no one thing that I think has made this happen.  Things just annoy me more than they should.  I've been described as a "cynic" a number of times and I'm usually fairly happy to wear that label (though I occasionally suggest "realist" as an alternative).

I hope it's not age that's the driving factor because, at 31, I'd hate to think I'm going to keep on getting grumpier and angrier about things as I get older.  I even know that I'm getting worked up about nothing, but it does little to reduce the problem.

A lot of these things boil down to commuting, popular "culture" and the media.  Commuting is the worst offender of these three because it's something I can't really avoid.   I genuinely don't understand how difficult it is for other drivers to use the orange flashy lights on the side of their cars to let me know which why they're going.  And I don't see how difficult it is for pedestrians to look before they step out into a road.  To me that's common sense, but I start to wonder whether I'm in the minority or not.

I've taken steps to try and reduce the stress caused by being grumpy.  I tend not to watch much TV nor do I get a daily paper, so I remain well insulated from the fervour of whichever TV programme has "the nation divided". I'm by no means averse to anyone watching X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing or anything like that - I'm not an advocate of slating people for it.  I just know it's not for me and I avoid it.  I'm pretty sure that's what most of pop culture refers to these days so I do OK there.

Wisely or not, I get most of my news from the good BBC website and most of my sports news from a few websites (and Sky Sports News in a morning).  In all honesty I'm not sure any of that is a good idea.  I can remember off hand articles on the BBC about the Prime Minister's cat and what the word Supercalifragalisticexpialidocious really means.  As I write this, the fourth most read news story on the BBC today is "Readers' stories of being single"  Add that to the endless reading of statson Sky Sports News and the reporting of any footballer's tweet as news, it just gets me down.

Like I said, I avoid a lot of this stuff now if possible.  There's no point subjecting myself to the requirement to fill endless hours and pages with "news" for the sake of it.

In all likelihood, I'm not on my own with this despair, but I probably react too much to it (internally at least).  I'm not sure I feel any better for writing it down, but I do hope that if there's anyone out there who feels like me, just know that you're not alone!

I've started working on the first of two music blogs for the end of the year so we'll have something good to talk about next time.


P.S. To be clear, this isn't really a dig at pop culture, people that watch reality TV, the BBC, Sky Sports or anyone.  I'm not daft enough to think that such things are produced when there's no demand.  I'm just trying to highlight that these things aren't necessarily all for me and that it's harder than you think to escape them.  It is a dig at pedestrians who don't look before they cross a road...

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