With my life...(19 Posts)
DD2 is 6 mo now. I really like looking after her but beyond that I'm lost. I want to have something I care about to pursue. I feel like if I carry on doing the same stuff in the same place for the next 20 years I'll feel like I've wasted my life tbh. How do people decide what they should do? Or whether they're happy?
I'm not sure that anyone ever does decide that they're completely happy. At best there may only be minor things that need tweaking.
As for deciding what one should do. I guess the majority of people are led by other people saying "you'd be good at this..." Whether that's being encouraged to take certain exams at school or training as an adult. And a few people have such an obvious gift that they don't need to wait for encouragement.
But you don't say OP where you are now. Age? Qualifications? Aspirations? Family support - or not? Enough money to make choices - or not?
Could you start by making a list of things that could possibly be changed to enable you to move forward? And a list of things that can't be changed at the moment.
Hi there and thanks. Yes, DC1 is at school. I'm 36, have a degree and postgrad qualification in library / information things. I work on a health type website at the moment (when I'm working). Support from DH to do something else but really no money to undertake eg degree level training unless it was funded. I was looking at occupational therapy but I feel very conflicted about the idea of going back to study full time as I feel I need to be around for the DCs. Part time it's not funded and too expensive. So whatever I did would probably have to be part time and probably not possible for a few years. I guess I just want a way in to thinking about it. I enjoy my work but I feel like it's time for a change and to explore something else.
You are right about happiness, there always seems to be something else and something else and something else. It comes and goes, doesn't it?
Oh good! I'm glad you've come back.
I couldn't think of any more ways to bump the thread without looking weird...
And you sound cheerier and more positive than yesterday. Hopefully there'll be a few people who are in a similar situation so they may have helpful things to say.
I'm curious as to why occupational therapy. I get that you've been working in health but would have thought that the motivation for librarianship is either a love for organising or a love for information (if you're not actually working with books. Whereas occupational therapy is surely entirely about people. Or was the library qualification a mis-step?
Argh, typed a whole post and lost it.
I don't think it was a mis step, I wanted something that would just get me a job. I think a lot of library/information people do it because it is helping people to find what they need and it's that aspect i like. I have enjoyed it, but I think I've changed since having children. Now I'd like something more practical and less office based, plus I feel like I now try to avoid information to maintain a bit of mental calm rather than trying to acquire more! I do like doing something that seems useful to other people. I guess that's why OT seemed good but, as I say, the training means it's not really possible so I'm trying to think of other ideas now.
What about working as a part-time teaching or nursing or care assistant? Or even an occupational therapy assistant? Then when your kids are older you can do professional training and qualify as a teacher or nurse or social worker or occupational therapist. Maybe you could do some short courses in the meantime to keep your mind occupied e.g. with the OU or the Workers Educational Association or at evening classes.
Have a look at what colour us my parachute book from the web or library. Some great questions to get you thinking about what you enjoy!
Lightmin did you pay off your student loan or do you still have it on record?
Part time courses are now being funded by student loans (I'm on one) just in case that helps.
What about getting started with an open university course?
Student loan paid off - does that make a difference? Will look at the parachute book, thank you.
OU sounds good but my problem is thinking of what to focus on, how to identify my interests and how to pursue them. I did try to do an OU course once before and found the solitary learning quite unmotivating, tbh.
Will have a look at those other careers, thank you. I don't think nursing is for me. Now that I'm looking at this thread I'm wondering if I really would like such a people focused job. I do need a fair bit of time on my own. Perhaps I wouldn't be suited to it.
Oh no! Wasn't trying to put you off. It was just that the way you phrased your OP struck a chord... (I stare in wonder at people in "caring" professions. I couldn't do it.)
I had two thoughts. Do you have any frustrated or suppressed or unacknowledged artistic leanings? That's what people generally mean when they say "something I care about." And (setting aside actual teacher-ing for the moment) could you consider doing some private tuition? It is a sort of occupational therapy (surely...) and practical and useful - (and flexible) but you would still have a foot in the airy fairy intellectual world. I don't know why - but I feel you might not want to lose that.
"my problem is thinking of what to focus on, how to identify my interests and how to pursue them."
Definitely "What Colour is my Parachute" should be your first resource. (How have you not come across it before? It used to be pretty much compulsory....) It should help to focus your mind. But, after that you may want to consider some more advanced career analysis. Years and years ago I spent about a week at a place in Barnes - every kind of test and lots of discussion. (This was post Cambridge and two years in the City, so I really can see how you might be feeling...) in the end it confirmed what I'd had in mind anyway - but had been too
wishy-washy scared to try. Having data that said I'd be good at it forced me to make a decision. I don't know if that place still exists. But you're a librarian, you have finding skills.
Again, lost a whole post. Grrr.
Hi sthn. I was aware of it but DH is very scathing about anything self helpy so I guess I've been avoiding it. However he will just have to accept it I think.
I am not sure about teaching, or what I'd teach really. Some years ago I did have an idea about teaching adult literacy, I thought that might be good and I have a fair bit of writing and editing experience so feel quite at home with the ideas, but I never pursued it. I do like making things, I'd like to make things out of wood but I think it's more of a hobby.
It sounds quite flaky but I think what I'm interested in is sort of therapeutic movement, like walking, yoga etc., but also maybe dancing (although have never done that). I had RSI years ago (another reason for not wanting to be full time in an office) and realised that our range of movement can be so limited. I found doing yoga and just moving more very helpful physically and mentally, not in an exercise kind of way. I guess I'd like to be part of something which helped people to break out of limited movement patterns to help them improve their physical and mental health. I don't really know what that is though, I think OT has some of it, also physio but that's usually focused on particular repetitive exercises. Maybe dance and movement therapy, but that's more about dance. I don't know. Does anyone know what that might be?
Slightly funkier site....
But I'm fascinated by your leaning towards sculpture. It's so at one with what you're feeling about the body in a career context. Really interesting.
(I'm not keen on self-helpy stuff generally but Parachute is much more than that - more like sensible investigation. Don't let him put you off taking the first steps. The career analysis I mentioned above is not cheap. but it is very much the kind of thing a loving, optimistic but slghtly concerned partner might
insist upon offer as a Christmas present......)
'Scuse misprints. Was rushing.
I was thinking less of sculpture and more of bookshelves . I don't know anything about the Alexander Technique, thank you for the suggestion. Will look into it. Although my first instinct was to buy a book. Perhaps I am a librarian after all! Thanks for all your advice, it's really got me thinking.
It only occurred to me afterwards that you might have meant carpentry rather than sculpture. I even constructed an argument as to why my point still held - but I've forgotten it. Something about "structure" and re-making....
The problem is - you have too much choice and any decision inevitably leads to sacrificing the possibility of other things you might do equally well. (I so know the feeling. Do think about the career analysis. (If you can find a good one that doesn't want £££££ to tell you what you already know.)
And I'm sure there are hundreds of books on the Alexander Technique!
Join the discussion
Please login first.