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Thread: Dealing with the mid life blahs

  1. #1
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Dealing with the mid life blahs

    Life is pretty good and satisfying, and I realize this is a first world problem but....

    I'm at the point in my life where everything seems the same. I've tried a lot of things and gone a lot of places. I've discarded a lot along the way as not really being for me- for example, hanging out in malls or me being a cocktail party host. So I'm rather comfortable within my choices that fit, however, I do like variety and it feels like many days are the same old same old, even if they are choices.

    When I was younger, I often used shopping as an excuse for an "adventure", but I no longer need much. I used to cook a lot of exotic food, but now we eat fairly simply. I've simplified my life a lot, which provides time and space to reflect (I realize this is a luxury not many people have). I've been frustrated in many of my volunteer ventures (although I haven't written this off). I don't have kids, so I don't get the variety of following a child's interests and friends. Many of my friends live an hour plus away (met them through work), so socializing often involves driving long distances- they are all so busy busy busy that if I wasn't doing the major accomodation I would likely not see them.

    So to sum it up, life is just kinda blah. No problems, or drama or health issues and the like, for which I am so grateful. I even feel guilty "complaining" about this. I just see life as a big hamster wheel, or like the movie Groundhog Day. Anyone else feel this way at mid life? What did you do about it to get back some zest?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Learn something new! You will be invigorated and pleasantly challenged very quickly . I really enjoy taking all kinds of comm college courses, but if you don't have that available you can always learn something one-on-one. I'm not a big fan of learning something just by myself, like a language on audiotapes or an online course, because I like the social aspect of doing it with others.

    Another thing that always helps is to volunteer in areas where people have a real need. I find that doing so really gives me perspective and helps others as well, a win-win. For a while I volunteered in an ESL class for parents at my local elementary school. That was a lot of fun! The people were so incredibly motivated and eager that it was a real pleasure to help them. They refused to take breaks and demanded homework!

    Good luck finding something that makes you feel engaged again.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jemima's Avatar
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    I haven't got any bright ideas beyond what watergoddess offered, but you've got my sympathy.

    I retired last Labor Day weekend and it's been a case of "beware of what you want, for you may get it". My job was so all-consuming that I didn't have time to start a volunteer job or pursue interests before retiring and that, coupled with being sick for months from adverse drug side effects, has left me awfully bored and often lonely as I recover my health. My house is decluttered and there are some home improvement projects waiting that I can't do at the moment. I, too, used to get into elaborate cooking, but geared that down quite a bit when the weather got so hot. I usually enjoy gardening, but the weather has made that borderline miserable as well. I thought that I might want to write, but at the moment there are no topics that inspire any enthusiasm.

    As you say, herbgeek, this is a first world problem, but comparing myself to those who are far worse off has never worked very well for me. I'm hoping that some interesting volunteer opportunities will open up in the fall, but beyond that, I don't seem able to come up with anything inspiring.

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    I'd second classes - and maybe another stab at volunteering? I started volunteering about 3.5 years ago, it's made a big difference for me. I've also made friendships through volunteering so it now overlaps with my social life.

    I know how you feel, though. I'm not quite ready yet, but it's getting to be time to shake things up a bit.

  5. #5
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    The other thing is, my financial future is a bit uncertain right now, as I'm still looking for a job. So the things I would normally look forward to, like planning a trip somewhere, are out. Hubby wants to start looking for a retirement house, but I see there to be no point since we couldn't buy it right now anyways. We do a number of day trips, but even those seem to be the same kinds of places. This summer we've been trying to go to festivals we've never been to, instead of repeating ones we've liked. I do take a lot of (fun) classes in the area, so I have that to look forward to in the fall.

    Volunteering has been a mixed bag. I've mentioned some of it on this board before, like the organization that wanted a CORI check and references from a boss, as well as references from other places I've volunteered in order to weed the herb garden. I've done some volunteering with professional organizations that has been ok, but not quite as fulfilling as I'd like. I recently joined an herb group and volunteered to be the web master. After 2 months of working on it and dealing with run arounds, and waiting on approvals from people who were assigned to my committee (without my agreement), the president decided to have her husband do it instead (its still not up after a month, even though he was telling me he'd have it up in one day). I really like gardening, particularly herbs, but haven't found my volunteer niche for that yet.

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I went through some of what you are going through but started to have fun when I got some Great Courses and invited one or two acquaintances to join with me in listening to them. The courses were on sale and we listen and then discuss the topics during the Sept-April period. We now have a group of about 7 getting together. I have been invited to do other things which bring in other new people. I decided that I finally had time to be a friend and make space for some friends. It has worked out very well but has taken about 2 years to get there. Total cost so far in courses that we have used is about $150 over that time period. Others have offered to buy the next course so the cost gets shared.
    Volunteering has been fun but I got very tired of carrying too much responsibility so have withdrawn from most activities in groups except in a supportive role for the horticultural society.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Try using your time a little each day to do things for others to make them happy. Excitement is a fleeting emotion but love is long lasting. Try to love others as much as you can and do special little or big things. You will so happy inside that you made someone happy and have brought some good into a very unhappy world.

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    I have a lot of hobbies and belong to several clubs. I think we might join the local Moose Lodge, too. We do a lot of free things like plays and museum visits through Goldstar and free library passes. We have a dog we take to the local dog park, which is next to a small lake and botanical garden. We go there almost every day to let the dog play and then walk around the lake or gardens.

    The clubs each have activities all month long - field trips, lectures, shows, competitions, dinners, pot lucks, classes, etc. so there is always more to do than we have time for.

  9. #9
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    DH and I are both experiencing the same blah Ground Hog days. Life is so smooth it scares me as I know things can change in a minute. I blame our blahs on the ridiculous six months of summer we have had the past few years every year. Neither one of us have been able to get out and do the things we love to do - hike, garden, nature photography. Even my volunteer work is outdoor-based so doesn't get going again until fall. So it feels like when not working we are inside just trying to stay cool. We continue to give very serious thought to moving to cooler climes - if there is such a thing anymore. In the meantime...I am signing up for some indoor classes to improve work skills and trying not to go nuts. I have a feeling there a lot of us mid-lifers in the same boat.

  10. #10
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    Herbgeek, I've been trying to teach more, either in person or in writing. Do you like to write? Ever consider sharing your wealth of knowledge about herbs through a web site or blog, in a niche you like? I have a heck of a time finding out good, reliable, well-written, personable information about cultivating herbs, especially medicinals. Godaddy says that the web domain name theherbgeek dot com is available. Just sayin'.

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