There is not a day in the week I’m not exhausted. Of course, a very few moments of self-pity are enough to remind me to question the assumption behind it: do I really think that isn’t a common, perhaps nearly universal complaint?
– Do I really think that traditional and especially subsistence farmers (most of the world for most of history) aren’t constantly worn down?
– Do I really think salaried employees who don’t leave on the dot of 5 come home bounding with energy?
– Do I really think that single parents, or parents working multiple jobs to support their family, or even married, stable, middle-class parents don’t have more demands on them from more directions than I can even bear to think about?
Unfortunately, this method of gaining perspective only makes me feel worse: thinking about others’ suffering doesn’t change mine, but now I also feel bad for being such a baby about it, plus I feel frustrated by a world system that does so little good for anyone.
So my first question is this: does that kind of comparison make you feel better, and if so, what is the mental process you go through to get that result?
My second question is this: do you have any advice on how not to be a baby about your own difficulties? I know the obvious solution is just to put your head down and push on, and there are definitely times to do that, but it doesn’t seem like a good way to live over the long term. The question is really: what do you do, and how do you not get discouraged, when you lift your head and see the full bleak reality – and don’t see a way to change it?