When live is incredibly busy, but incredibly boring …

Just wondering … do any of you ever feel like you are so busy you can’t see straight, and yet most of your lives are spent on everything for everyone else … you find yourself not even remembering WHAT in life ever got you excited at all? I’ve been stuck here for years. I fill my time with eating (what new taste or new wine can I discover next?). I used to fill my time with dating and dinners or brunches; but my income has gone down since I took a government job, AND I have a toddler now … so time and spending money have gone out the window.

I’m a single mom who is lucky to have a flexible schedule, a roof over my head and halfway decent money, but I don’t do ANYTHING with my life beyond being her mom (and I LOVE that J.O.B. – don’t get my wrong). I pay bills, eat and eat some more. I work. I love to sleep a lot when she is down for her naps. It just doesn’t seem like life has a purpose though.

But … I tell myself that I am in my 40s (feeling really old already), and that this is probably to be expected. I am depressed and deal with anxiety a lot. I just feel so unfulfilled in my ho-hum relationship. I have much of what I need (at least as far as society says so). I fancy myself a writer, but I mostly just string together good sounding sentences for the government.

So, I ask you … is there MORE to life than just existing and staying afloat? Have any of you been there and come through that and found a better way to live your lives? I used to find that spark in life through running (for 20 years!). But I injured myself. I also retired from the military. I miss my life as it was. I used to do more, go more places, and just BE MORE. Now I feel like I’m no one doing nothing that anyone will ever remember once I’m done and gone.

ANY ADVICE would be so welcomed. I don’t mean to sound like a pity party. I just don’t know how to escape my boredom and dissatisfaction with life. Antidepressants just aren’t the answer either.

I telework, so some weeks I don’t even leave the house but once or twice. And that may seem great to some, but it gets old. I don’t feel like doing anything. So lethargic and dealing with a thyroid problem — but that’s pretty well under control.

I feel like I want to discover a way to reinvent my life before it’s too late.

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8 thoughts on “When live is incredibly busy, but incredibly boring …

  1. theophila says:

    [I think a lot of it is addressed by your description. You feel unmotivated, so you don’t do anything, and because you don’t do anything, you don’t meet people or have anything new in your life.

    I would suggest trying something completely new. Go out on a limb and look up a meetup in your area that has anything you might even remotely be interested in. Go out of your comfort zone. Go to each new thing 2-3 times, just to give it a chance. It can be something as simple as groups that try new foods, go hiking together, go to free live bands, play games, cook at each others’ homes, have potluck, etc. Many people also have kids so have reasonable meetups and schedules. It’s really not about the hobby as much as finding people who will expand your world.

  2. Dennis Hong says:

    [Honestly, my advice is to spend less time on the internet. It feels good when you find a new virtual place to “hang out” (i.e., LemonVibe), but if you’re feeling bored and lonely, then online communities can be the virtual equivalent of fast food: they’re satisfying at first, but in the long run, they’re not going to give you the nourishment your soul needs.

    I echo theophila’s suggestions.

  3. Ecrivaine32 says:

    [I’m kind of in a Catch-22 these days. The Internet and maybe the very occasional time to spend with a friend is really all that I have these days for social interactions. I telework often now, family is far away, though we do talk by phone. It’s such a struggle to do anything with the little one right now that I am either tragically late, or I just can’t make it at all; so I’ve gotten to where I don’t plan anything.

    Doing much worse today. I don’t know if it’s PMS, or a combination of things, to include the Graves’ Disease I have (they actually have a name for it … not kidding, “Graves’ rage” … but I just feel that I can’t take another minute of my life. I feel just filled with hatred and anger tonight at my situation. I actually burst into tears in front of my toddler and I couldn’t stop. I know that’s not exactly being a model mom; but I just couldn’t help it. She deserves so much! And I feel like such a loser. I NEED to find happiness or move to a totally new place, change things in big ways in 2015. I cannot live this way anymore. I am dying inside and out in so many ways.

    Yesterday was the first time I ever checked my blood pressure and found it to be high. I checked it three times and was astonished, though I guess I shouldn’t be, as I calm myself over White Castle burgers, mozzarella sticks, ice cream and the like. The ONLY way I feel happy is when I’m either eating or sleeping. I know that sounds terrible. But it’s during those times I can block out the world and all of the things that pain me so much.

  4. Ecrivaine32 says:

    [I love my little girl beyond all else. I really felt my life had no purpose before she was born. The most I could ever find to do with myself before her (outside of work) was the occasional brunch over mimosas with a friend or a happy hour with colleagues after work. Other than that, I was usually at home sleeping off the weekend, bored, eating takeout of watching movies, shopping online.

    Since then, my world has expanded emotionally with the advent of this wonderful daughter of mine. It has shrunk in many ways. I don’t go anywhere anymore. Sometimes I don’t even move my car but once a week. I am pretty isolated by my telework (though it’s great in some ways). Since I cannot afford daycare, I have her with me all of the time. We all love our kids, but I’m sure many parents — especially single ones — can understand. It’s hard to concentrate with a toddler around 24-7; so it’s tough.

    I think the hardest part is all of the extra housework. I was never the most perfect person at all of that. Pretty sloppy before, so now, with a child … it’s a struggle. I feel I am often fighting a losing battle over dishes as they quickly pile up, and I try to work and run around and chase her, keep her fed (when I have the hardest time coming up with anything outside of grilled cheese and macaroni for meals). I never cooked before. I always ate out, almost daily. My diet is horrid because of this, and I feed her a lot of fruit and yogurt, oatmeal, eggs and stuff. So I guess I’m doing okay. Laundry is a nightmare. I always have huge piles of it, because they have two washers, two dryers for the whole building, and that’s downstairs. Oh what I wouldn’t give to have that in my unit, so I could keep up with it all! I never get enough sleep. I’m up now because I spent the last 4 hours trying to get my daughter to sleep.

    I love her so much and I know why all of this struggle … so that she can have a good life. I gave up on my own life ever being good, but I don’t want my unhappiness to affect her. I know it has to be a horrible thing for her to see her mom break down and sob. I’m just trying to figure out a better way. I’m lucky if I can find a clean pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt to wear all day, and manage to make decent meals and keep the house clean … much less ever make it out of my home and anywhere for actual fun.

    • theophila says:

      [Unfortunately, this can be a cycle. I went through the same when both my husband and I lost jobs, and we moved to our current city on a leap of faith, since there was nothing tying us down and no job prospects (or dead end positions) in our last place.

      Lack of motivation/purpose can be a real killer – it leads to not being able to manage the basic chores like you say, and that alone makes everything seem like a mountain that you can’t cross.

      But you can. Even if you can’t get around, there are ways to connect with others. I don’t even have a car! And the public transportation in your is much better than mine – I promise – especially since I live out in the suburbs of my city where the busses run at most once every 30 minutes, can be up to 2 miles’ walk from my home, and stop running to my area at 8pm on weekdays and 7pm on weekends.

      After feeling miserable for a while, no friends in the new area, a tiny cramped apartment, and my only outlet my husband when he came home from work, grumpy and exhausted, at midnight-2am, I went online, looked up a free dance event in the afternoon, and took a bus out there. It took a while, but I met a bunch of people that have since become good friends to both of us. I figured the one-time risk was better than months or potentially infinite boredom.

      Here are a few resources in your area that I just found on a quick search of Meetup.com:

      Real Single Parents of the DMV

      Silver Spring, MD
      222 DMV Parents

      Let’s get together and create a meetup family for single parents – mothers and fathers – as well as those aunts, uncles, godparents, grandparents and friends who help support …

      Check out this Meetup Group →

      http://www.meetup.com/momsclubdc/
      http://www.meetup.com/DC-Fun-for-Moms-and-Kids/

      DC Metro Mamas

      Washington, DC
      33 Mamas and Papas

      Hi!I’ve decided to start this group to build a community for moms and dads who live in and around the District, and specifically who rely on the metro or other public transpo…

      Check out this Meetup Group →

      http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Play-DC/
      http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Modern-Moms/

      You DON’T have to limit yourself to moms/single parents groups, but they will likely be very understanding. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help or to carpool. The worst that can happen is that someone isn’t available to help that time – but they could the next time around! Many of my friends exchange babysitting for each other – after all, what is one more kid if you have to watch your own kid anyway? Offer another simple exchange for carpooling if you’re so worried – such as cookies. It can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be a burden.

      If you’re on the internet, look up supportive and fun groups. CafeMom is a GREAT resource that’s a lot of fun (AND FREE!), and there are groups there to help you get organised with cleaning. Don’t try to tackle everything. Just tackle one thing at a time, such as vowing to not go to bed without finishing dishes every night, or doing a single load of laundry every day. Trust me, when you’re doing things more frequently, it’s less of a burden. Don’t try to take on more than one task at a time either.

      There’s also HabitRPG – the basic (which works just fine!) is free, and you can set your own tasks/rewards. It turns everyday things into a game, and you can get support or accountability by going into the social “Tavern” and finding guilds to join and joining their challenges. The Graduate Students’ Guild, for example, has study related challenges. There are ones that help you avoid internet distractions (a negative habit if you waste time on Wikipedia or social networking sites, for example), laundry-focused ones that give you positive points when you start a load, empty the washer, empty the drier, and put clothing away.

      Again, start SMALL. It doesn’t matter what it is – just start!

      You are a great mom for being concerned about your child’s livelihood. But here’s the thing: children are remarkably resilient as long as they’re loved and cared for. And they won’t feel like anything’s missing if you don’t act like something’s missing.

      My mum was in her second master’s programme after my dad had started going on a lot of business trips and becoming distant (we later found he was having an affair), and I only saw her a few hours each evening and morning, and I still felt we spent so much time together. When my dad’s business trips got longer and longer, then he left and emptied out the bank accounts, and she was more and more stressed, I never really thought it strange he was gone for so long or felt neglected, because all I cared about was the fact that I could *always* talk to her – she would answer any question I asked if she was able, nothing was too small or too pointless to answer. Whatever she couldn’t answer, she gave me the resources to find out for myself (books, took me to the museum, let me do basic science experiments, introduced me to people who loved to teach me). She made sure I still felt valued – and this was when I was 4-7 years old. These are the things I remember. I only realised the stress my mum was under later on. So I don’t mean that you have to feel embarrassed to be stressed or fake things in front of her, but take a small piece of the burden off your shoulders in knowing that the major stresses of adulthood don’t mean much to her now.

      Start your day doing one small thing for yourself to improve your mood. And hold yourself to it. Get up, take a shower (or whatever you would do to get yourself ready if you were working outside the home), and put on something presentable. Doesn’t have to be fancy, but something you feel good seeing yourself in. This is for YOU. Your image is part of your mindset. And DON’T focus on whether you would look better if only [some negative attribute about yourself] was different. I mostly work from home as well (as a developer), and I make it a point to get up, brush my hair, and get dressed, otherwise there would be NO regularity to my life.

  5. Ecrivaine32 says:

    [So, the suggestions really were thought out, and I GREATLY APPRECIATE them, but I’m just sure there’s much I could do to apply them. I live in the DC area. There’s a lot to do here, but it takes a lot of logistics for a mom and a toddler to pack up and drive and find parking in the city or ride the Metro into the city … not to mention money (unless, of course, it’s the Smithsonian). It always seems like a good idea, but I don’t seem to ever quite get there.

    I think it’s a combination of things … it’s depression, which has been a lifelong struggle, it’s living far from my family (which is really only three people left in the world … my sis, and divorced mom and divorced dad), it’s the Graves’ Disease (which doesn’t help) … it’s 20 years of an active life spent running — what I lived for — going down the drain after a bad ankle injury … it’s issues from my time in Iraq I haven’t dealt with … going from the private to the public sector (fed govt.) and losing a comfortable salary … my live-in ex (and his dog), whom I need to persuade to move out and get out of my life … no real social interaction with work … losing who I was, or who I thought I was … retired from the Army after 20 years, which was my structure — my source of pride and confidence for so long — and it’s being thrust from a single life spent doing whatever and having all the freedom in the world to being a mom who struggles to even get off of the couch, much less out to meet people. And yet the more I live this way, the more awkward it feels to even approach people … the people I used to know well, much less total strangers in a MeetUp group. I used to be the person who just showed up at these types of events and did random fun things. I don’t even know where that girl went … the one who arrived in DC excited, always finding something fun to do, excited about her future, size 8 (now 16) …

    Life throws us some odd curveballs. There is no one who matters more to me in this world than that precious, (finally) sleeping little wonder in that crib down the hall. But my life has taken such a turn I don’t know which way is up and which way is down.

    Anyway, I know no one wants to hear someone bitch about her life. I just need to find a way to change my story.

    I love my own mom so much, but I don’t want to become like her. These days I don’t think she ever leaves her home. My stepdad died a couple of years ago, and he was her everything. Now she eats, watches TV, drinks tea, sleeps a lot and does it all over again each day. I don’t think she ever leaves her home. She says she’s now on Prozac. I feel I’m headed that way if I don’t get some help.

    Thanks for the support and take care!

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [It’s not that we don’t want to hear you bitch about your life. It’s more that we don’t know what to tell you. You’re in a tough spot, and online anonymous online acquaintances can only offer so much help, ya know? You mentioned that you have a group of close girlfriends. Can you reach out to them?

      Also, if you’re a veteran, doesn’t the VA offer counseling services? I feel like either of those might be able to help.

      I do wish you the best of luck dealing with all this, and if it does help you to post on here, please do so by all means. I just don’t know what else we can do to help you at this point, aside from being a sounding board…..

  6. Ecrivaine32 says:

    [Well, thanks for the support. I am a writer, and this is mostly cathartic to me, just having an anonymous place to get it all out. I don’t feel I can do that in my everyday life. I feel so stifled by my situation. I used to keep a blog on a site that has since went away; but, for 10 years, I used it for just having a space in the world to record what I was loving or not loving about life. Funny how I don’t get the same sense of resolution from keeping a diary or journal to myself. Maybe it was just the act of knowing there were other people out there “listening,” and who shared similar experiences.

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