I've become increasingly dissatisfied with the way my life is going lately. I certainly have the trappings of a comfortable life, but I feel increasingly like I'm not going anywhere. I'm doing fine at work (I think -- always never entirely certain about that part), but it sucks up a lot of my time, and then dealing with the cats takes care of a bunch of the rest. There is free time, but I blow it doing stupid crap like reading Reddit, similarly to how others might by crashing in front of the TV. I don't like it at all. I remember one point when I lamented having so many things I wanted to spend free time on; now I don't remember any of them.
I know what I like. A few times in the past 3 or 4 years, I've gone out by myself to remote places. They were always excuses for photo wanderings, but really, the camera was secondary; seeing things with my own eyes and being in places, often with no other people around for what could have been miles, was utterly invigorating. And feeling completely free to do even sillier things like wander out to normally crowded parks at midnight to see them completely empty and bathed in moonlight. I can't put words to the feeling, but I really liked it, even if I didn't care much for getting into bed at 1 just to force myself awake at 5 to hit a trail before sunrise. (Where I might have been eaten by a grue, for all I know.)
It's a cliche for people to find themselves tied down by responsibilities. Mine are the umpteen cats and the house. It seems unwise for me to disappear from here for any longer than a weekend, and possibly not even that; alunissage couldn't hold up the stress of dealing with all the cats while I was gone over Christmas, and that was before we found out Rufus needed fluids. I'm supposed to go to Dublin at least once a year to see my coworkers, but I haven't been there since December 2012, and I don't expect to be able to go this year at all. It's one thing to be the foundation holding the house up; it's another to be the pin holding an entire set of lives together.
I've found that I forget a lot of stuff, too. I believe I myself am overloaded. There are things I don't get to at work because other things keep poaching all the time, and I think that isn't helping my life outside of work. I seem to recall someone saying that having more than five things to actively manage simultaneously highly correlates with all sorts of other overload-related symptoms... well, I definitely have more than five at work alone.
I know there are little things I can do to slowly improve on my situation. I don't like the idea of scheduling free time, but I think I'd better get used to it. It would certainly help with my fear of letting other things (like my marriage) slide if I force myself to devote all my time to myself. I have no idea what I can do with the big picture things, though... I'm in a horrible position to be making decisions like leaving my job, and I simply cannot abandon my cats.
Scheduling... like getting to sleep on time in order to be up at 7... yeah. I definitely need that. Lack of sleep probably isn't helping me, too.