Miserable Men

Miserable men scare me.  Their gloom and doom outlook on life depresses and dispirits me.

Miserable men are easy to spot.  They are generally over the age of 40.  They are world-weary — they’ve seen it all, and they don’t like what they see.  They know it all, and feel it is their duty to impart their toxic world-view to everyone else.

They are almost incapable of joy.  And if they see others experiencing the goodness of life, they take it upon themselves to snuff it out as quickly as possible.

“The summer’s almost over,” they’ll announce in mid-July.

“Christmas is nothing but an excuse to increase retail revenues.”

“This country has completely gone to hell.  The standards our parents held are dead.”

“Outsiders are to blame for our troubles.”

“Kids today are spoiled and worthless.”

“Happiness is only a momentary sensation.”

You get the idea.

They are miserable because they have made themselves that way.  The keys to the prison are in their own pockets.

However, patterns of negative thinking are hard cycles to break.  Once you are accustomed to seeing things that way, it’s difficult to imagine life otherwise.

Every once in a while, the black clouds part and a ray of sunshine comes through.  It could be a baseball player’s achievement, a story from Ireland, a rediscovered toy from childhood, a call from an old friend.

The thing that scares me most about miserable men is…………..

I fear becoming one of them.

Each year, I fight harder to maintain a sense of joie de vivre.

In my 30s, I gave Running Girl strict instructions: “Once I turn 40, should I become a miserable man, you have my permission to slam my hand in the door of my car.”

Every once in a while, my beast will come out.

“Major,” Running Girl will call to me.  “Please come see me in the garage.  I have something I need to do to you.”

— The Major

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