Thursday, 5 August 2010

Really Lacking Motivation...

Hey ho. Another day. Another day feeling sort of down. No real reason, but if I were to guess I'd say I have too much time on my hands and no real purpose in life any more.

Oh don't get me wrong. I have plenty to do around the house and in the garden - but I don't feel inspired to do it. Those jobs are there every day, and if I do them today, they'll be there again nope, no inspiration in that quarter. I read lots of 'self help' stuff. Inspirational, motivational stuff. The message always is "Just do something. Don't wait for the time to be right. Just do it." I have all the patter, all the advice, and I'd be able to coax and encourage someone else to make something of their day - but can I shove myself in the same direction? No.

Sometimes the advice is "Go with the flow. Feel your moods, your discontent. Embrace it" etc. Have done that too. I am OK. I am cheery generally. I just feel a bit stuck. I have no the social interaction I used to get every day has gone, as has a sense of responsibility and a structure to my day. I didn't think about my days much. They were hectic. I just got on with them.

Even though I was often exhausted, I used to feel fulfilled. Now I don't. Oh, well go and volunteer I tell myself, and I have. I have helped out here, there and everywhere since retirement. Now however, given all my savings have gone, transport costs are a stumbling block. I just can't find the £4.00 per day it costs in bus fares to get anywhere. That sounds pathetic, but it's true. £4.00 will buy us milk and bread for a day. Lack of money also brings me down. I budget, I get by, but constant budgeting is a drain. I know many have to do it - but that fact doesn't console me.

I've looked for part-time jobs, so I can earn a wage to supplement my occupational pension. It's amazing what you have to be 'conversant' in now. Even receptionists earning a poxy basic wage in a back-street tattoo shop have to be familiar with X, Y and Z systems and have a diploma in rocket science. It's incredible.

I scour the job ads, in the local paper and online, and again, feel defeated. Even cleaners have to be super-fit. I doubt very much I'd get an interview given I retired from my last post on health grounds. Then of course, after the age of fifty you seem to be on the scrap-heap. It doesn't matter that you have a wealth of experience, wisdom, loads of transferable skills and are likely to be reliable etc, etc....doors close as you get older. I didn't think it would happen in this day and age, but it does. One of my ex-colleagues in her early 50s, a very able and bright woman who left work when the stress of it all added to her complicated family problems, has been actively looking for work over the last 18 months, and she says if she gets an interview she always, without fail, loses out to a younger person, often someone with fewer qualifications and less experience. She feels disheartened. I'd stack supermarket shelves if I could, but I can't due to the abdominal problems I had. Long periods of lifting, stretching and bending would damage all the repair work I had done a few years ago.

I feel quite stuck and discontented, although I have much to be grateful for. Let me stress that. My problems are nothing compared to what's happening elsewhere in the world and the situations some people find themselves in. I know that, but honestly...this is me, this is now...and we don't constantly remind ourselves that we are lucky we aren't in war-torn, drought-stricken places in Africa. It's all relative, and right now, here in the western world, life seems hard, despite all my blessing-counting. No fluffiness needed thanks. Yes, we are lucky, we have food on the table..but still our days can seem empty and meaningless and we can feel broke and uninspired. Life isn't permanently joyous, and to be blinkered to that reality is a form of denial.

"We must look for ways to be an active force in our own lives. We must take charge of our own destinies, design a life of substance and truly begin to live our dreams."  ~ Les Brown

Nope. That's not doing it for me today Les. It's a good point, but I am wallowing, so leave me alone.

I mean really...just WHO DOES design 'a life of substance', except those people who get rich from telling us that we too can design a life of substance? You have to be permanetly upbeat and positive to make that your motto every bloody day. I am suspicious of people who are permanently upbeat and positive.

Most posters apologise for whining. This is a whiny post - and I know it's up to me to change things, and I know moving helps, but this morning, after my half hour on the bike I didn't have the urge to conquer the world, or even the pile of dishes that needed to be put in the dishwasher. Scowl. Boring.

I feel a bit defeated and of course this has the knock-on effect of me not really caring whether I eat three slices of bread instead of one, or whether I go and peel and orange or just let the orange go dry, or turn soggy and mouldy in the fruit bowl.

I conclude that this is life. Get over it. Change it if you don't like it etc. Blah, blah blah. Yup. I have an evening meal to cook and man is coming over later. Yesterday was lovely, I spent it in town with my daughter, who treated me to lunch. We laughed and did lots of shopping. She shopped, I watched and enthused, but it was enjoyable. She also drove me to the supermarket where I stocked up on the bulky things which are difficult to carry home, now I don't have a car.

Life is good. I just don't feel very vibrant, despite being in reasonable health. No antidepressants needed. It's not that sort of 'down-ness' - more of a general discontent with so many aspects of life. I suspect many people know what I mean. Been there?

Thing is, when you feel like that you don't really care what you look like either. Why bother lose weight? Who cares if I do? Know that feeling too?

To remain permanently buoyant and cheer-leadery regarding fitness and diet just isn't me - and keep me away from cheery types like that - please.

I feel we should do all we can to be as healthy as we can...but today? Nope. Today is a drag. I haven't eaten all before me. I am not a binger, but I do use food to fill gaps. Today however, it's almost too much effort to go and spread cream cheese on Ryvita.

I feel better for unloading. Thanks for staying to the end. Tomorrow I'll have a plan of action, but's difficult steering your own boat all the time, charting the courses etc. Right now I am going to make a pot of tea (tea is a cure-all, trust me) and I'll have a bite to eat...some Ryvita and cheese, followed by that orange - which will be nice if I eat it today. I'll sit down and watch some trashy televison..(or at least catch up with some decent stuff :)

It's one of those days. I shan't go mad with food to blot out feelings of bleugh-ness. I am going with it, conscious of the fact that the clock is ticking. This really isn't how I want to spend my life. Do we all experience days like this?


  1. FG: Where is your pool of gal pals? Ms. M dropped by yesterday and we smashed plates and made mosaic art. I have the man, the kids, the job, the animals, the house...and I have some of my most fun moments with the gals. I have to laugh every single day or I will go nuts and the gals make me laugh. I want a full report. Jo

  2. Most of my gal pals are still at work Jo. I lost touch with work colleagues, as you do when you haven't been part of it for a while.

    Evenings are with my man and the boys...people are around. I socialise with my girl friends, but it's all pre-arranged, given they have families, jobs, commitments too. During the day there just aren't many people around. All my neighbours go off to work. Having said that, I really like my own company and peace and quiet too, but I need to have plans, targets for my days. (I also need someone to make me stick to my targets on the days when I don't feel like meeting them. It's easy to cheat when you are your own - lax - tax master.)

  3. *task master* even :)
    Tax? I am of little interest to the tax man any more, although the b'stard still taxes my pension, which I worked for!

  4. FG: I wished you lived here...I could use your skills in my office.

  5. I used to feel like that a lot. My teenagers didn't need me, I didn't like my job and so on. So I quit smoking, quit my job that I had to support my habit, and started taking university courses through an Open University. It doesn't cure all blah days but it does mean that I always have something to do, even if I don't feel like doing it. You don't necessarily have to go that far, but maybe you could choose to learn about something. Aren't Brits famous for being experts? Just a thought.


  6. I can understand why you feel the way you do, and I've had plenty of those days as well - especially the "it doesn't matter so I might as well eat and stop suffering in that way". Also, thinking about how "lucky" you are compared to others in the world because you aren't a child prostitute in Thailand being abused or starving doesn't help. In fact, it makes you feel even worse because your unrest has some form of guilt piled on top of it.

    I don't know where your talent lies, but clearly you can write a bit. You may want to consider starting up a non-weight-based blog (I have three of them right now) which allows you to channel creative energy into another space, not to mention your thinking processes. The blog can be about anything which is of interest to you, or you can make several related to various topics. Then, you can discipline yourself to write for one of them everyday. Put some Google ads on them, and try to find out what it takes to draw traffic to them. You won't make much money (and it'll take at least a year to get them rolling with any sort of traffic), but you'll learn things and create something as well as talk about something of value.

    I recommend this because your efforts to get other balls rolling are hampered by the choices of others. This sort of endeavor and how successful it is is fully under your control. It's a good outlet, and will eventually add to your sense of connectedness and vitality. Trust me. Those three blogs are something I apply myself to every week and when I do the work I've assigned myself to do, I feel good about what I'm doing and what I've put out there. These days, I even make a little money (very little, but still) from them.

    The other thing is that I encourage you to consume quality content on-line like university lectures or to go about learning how to accomplish new things so that you feel yourself growing as a person. This isn't for job qualification, but feeling like things matter and that you are stretching yourself in directions that feel fulfilling. You can look into for starters. There's lots of excellent stuff there including Michael Sandal's philosophy lectures on justice (which are known world-wide).

    It isn't all about weight loss by a long shot, but building other areas of your life can lead to better lifestyle habits because it's easier to care when other areas are making you satisfied, particularly when you have complete control over them.

  7. I have no sage advice, I understand your position. However, I will offer to cheer you on, whatever you decide to tackle. I've dealt, like most people, with the feelings you're describing. I've watched the guys my age get let go, one by one. I'm now the oldest in my department, looking over my shoulder every day. One day, maybe soon, I'll be out and be in the same place as you. Therefore, I'd really like you to figure it out and post a solution for me before I get there!!! :)

  8. Yeah. I think everyone does have these days and the slightly down thoughts from time to time. It is really hard to pull back some motivation but don't give up. We'd miss you!

    The OU suggestions sound like something to consider. I agree with the self-fulfillment 'just because I want to' attitude, rather than specifically looking for job skills too. Sounds like you need something for 'you'. Just wish we lived geographically closer as a cuppa (tea, of course!) with a like-minded soul would be nice sometimes.