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To feel like I've led quite a dull life on the whole

(40 Posts)
Dullfromdullsville Fri 06-Nov-15 12:05:55

I'm in my late thirties and maybe having an early mid life crisis! I can't help feeling extremely boring and underachieving for someone of my age.

For example, I have never really travelled except for package holidays pre children. I just never seemed to have the money and would certainly never have been brave enough to travel alone like some people do. Now I can't as I still have no money, plus now I have husband, kids, mortgage etc.

I have under acheived in my career despite a promising start 13 years ago, I never pushed further like others do. As a result I feel like a bit of a failure. I think lack of confidence is the main reason for that.

At the moment I work with a diverse bunch of colleagues many of which are from overseas. By comparison, they have travelled the world, had lots of interesting experiences etc. I live close to where I grew up and work within 30 miles of that area too. They are high achievers and ambitious about life. I sometimes find it quite hard to add something interesting to the conversations we have.
I do have plans to travel when the kids grow up but I just have this nagging feeling I have wasted my life a bit.

I am sure someone might suggest I'm depressed, which is certainly true to some extent. I have started St John's Wort in the last week. All of my observations are still true though.

I guess what I want is for someone to tell me its OK to be a bit boring, we can't all be fabulous!

StealthPolarBear Fri 06-Nov-15 12:10:47

It's not ok to be boring however it's ok to decide for yourself what excites you. I have no great desire to travel massively, dh and I have some plans for when the children are older and w have more cash. Otoh I am ambitious and WANT to get on at work. Others don't. We all have different priorities and values, uou need to work out what yours are and live to them. If you are bored you do need to fix that. If you're worried others perceive you or your choices as boring, don't worry about that!

StealthPolarBear Fri 06-Nov-15 12:12:47

Sorry I mean we have plans to visit other countries but will probably go to touristy places and stay in hotels. We will try not to be the brits in Spain wingeing about the furrin food though smile you'll never catch us off the beaten track with a backpack though.

KatharineClifton Fri 06-Nov-15 12:13:26

I felt a little like this pre 40. Now I'm a couple of years past 40 I'm quite happy with boring. For the first time in my life I'm very pleased if everything stays the same. It's taken a long time for me to 'settle' but it's rather lovely.

Are you bored though?

Dullfromdullsville Fri 06-Nov-15 12:30:58

I AM bored I think. It's just I'm so tired and lacking in motivation to take up new hobbies. I wasn't even a "hobby" person pre kids so I'm certainly not now! I read the newspaper and watch the news. I run (when i can be arsed) I have have fair interest in politics and I'm able to converse about current issues I guess.

I think I need a passion though, something to really imerse myself in.

However, I do feel like I'm the sort of person that can't cope with too much at once. It's almost like after work, and taking care of the kids there's very little left in way of enthusiasm and sparkiness iyswim?

I work 2 long days a week and am out of the house for the entire day on those days so I just veg in front of the TV in the evenings. On my days off I clean, tidy, run errands etc. And spend FAR too much time on MN obviously!

KatharineClifton Fri 06-Nov-15 12:36:55

Ever tried Saori weaving? I went to a workshop a couple of weeks ago and have now realised it is the ANSWER TO EVERYTHING. Saving for a loom now.

With young kids I don't see a way of it being anything but an effort to get through the day and then put the tv on and slob. It is exhausting. Mine are 13 now and less of an effort in some ways, but more emotionally taxing than ever.

I do think it's your depression is colouring life somewhat though, hope the St. Johns does it's job.

MadeMan Fri 06-Nov-15 12:49:12

Bah humbug to travelling. As Homer Simpson might say, "What's the point, you'll only end up back home again."

People who travel always take exactly the same photos as everybody else does as well.

Better to stay indoors with the curtains closed.

Bah humbug.

TheHouseOnTheLane Fri 06-Nov-15 13:10:15

But what would you LIKE to happen?

AbeSaidYes Fri 06-Nov-15 13:12:06

you could be me. I have hardly traveled and in fact would much rather see more of the UK. My career is stagnant and I have no hobbies apart from my allotment.

I was thinking this morning I might look into getting some new qualifications but then I remembered I can barely keep the allotment going so what makes me think I can add extra things!

Dullfromdullsville Fri 06-Nov-15 13:28:11

I think if I didn't have to mix with all these super interesting people I would probably be fairly content! Its because I constantly compare myself with others.

Ragwort Fri 06-Nov-15 13:32:41

I don't think just because people have 'travelled' it necessarily makes them more interesting. Perhaps I know too many travel bores.

The fact that you watch the news, read a newspaper and can converse about current affairs makes you are lot more interesting, in my opinion. The vast majority of people seem to have nothing more interesting to talk about that what happens on Strictly or who won Bake Off grin.

feckityfeck Fri 06-Nov-15 13:46:56

Comparison is the thief of joy and all that.

I know what you mean though OP. I am mid thirties and recently DH was offered(/strongly encouraged to take) a secondment to Singapore. When it was first mentioned I freaked out completely. I liked our life as it is, everything felt settled and happy. But eventually I came to see it as a great opportunity for adventure, something we'd never have sought out but I was ready to embrace it.

Now, there has been a suggestion of a different opportunity for DH in the UK, which has equal merit, and it's absolutely doing my head in because I was ready for adventure and now, while it makes so much more sense for so many reasons to stay in the UK, that feels 'boring' now, even though six months ago it would have been totally what I wanted. If we stay, I'll have to put a bit of work into changing my mindset back to 'happy as we are'.

You need to work out what you want and what you like. If that's life as it is, there's no need to think you should be doing this or that, just because others have.

Anomaly Fri 06-Nov-15 13:55:55

Do you want to travel or just feel you should? There is such an element of one up manship about traveling and a lot of selective memory.

A mate of mine went to India and rather than waxing lyrical about how amazing it was came back bemoaning the shit curries he'd had and the huge amount of time spent on the loo! First time ever I've known someone go there with no intention of ever returning.

I think you sound depressed and bored. Most people lead boring unremarkable lives. But it still can be fun, what do you enjoy?

Gottagetmoving Fri 06-Nov-15 13:57:50

If you want to do more and achieve more because other people do or have done, then you will never feel content. Don't compare what you have done to what others have.
There are no rules about how we should live our lives.
I am like you. I could have achieved a damn lot more than I have done by now but I accept that was my choice. I could blame circumstances but it is down to me.
I too have lacked confidence to do anything on my own and admire those who can, but again, I could have made the effort to change that.
Don't regret the past. Accept the way you are or put in whatever effort is required to change things.

Dullfromdullsville Fri 06-Nov-15 14:25:13

Sound advice from all of you as usual, thank you!
I really do want to travel and see certain parts of the work. Not all of it necessarily but I do have a list of places I would love to go to. India being one!
I just hope it happens one day, I'm sure I'll make it happen when the time is right.
As for work, I guess i'll always be a bit lacking in drive on that front, promotion doesn't interest me although i would love the extra money, I know I wouldn't cope with the stress.

ahbollocks Fri 06-Nov-15 14:39:42

Hmmm it's a tough one!
I had a pretty exciting life before I met dh. Running round the world with rock bands, going to different countries, dancing on roof tops with some mad Russians.
But I was pretty miserable, I didn't have a home, I never felt comfortable or safe necessarily.
Tbh now I am very boring, I love an m and s ready meal, netflix and walks on the beach with our toddler. I think I am very very fortunate to have a warm house and a healthy child and the luxury of being able to relax after work.
I'm sure you are an interesting person by the way smile I think the most interesting person I've ever met is my dh grandma, who I'm pretty sure has never left Liverpool.
It's not all about exotic adventures.
I do think you should work on your confidence however, if you restore that I'm sure the rest will follow

bibliomania Fri 06-Nov-15 14:46:19

I've travelled loads and lived in other countries and I wouldn't say it makes me interesting, exactly. Nobody has ever begged for a thrilling anecdote from my time away, alas. A couple of things:

- it's November! I feel like I'm allowed to go into my cave and hibernate for a bit. That's the beauty of winter.

- you don't have to go far away to see something new and interesting. I'm a fan of visiting places in the UK I haven't been before - I will go in, guidebook in hand, exactly the way I would if I'd come a long way to visit.

- Even more simply, a small thing like going down a different street (or even a different side of the street) on your way to work can be surprisingly interesting. Look at your home-town through a stranger's eyes. It stops you sleepwalking through the same old rut. Look your local area up in a guidebook and go somewhere nearby that you've never been - even a different pub or café.

And as you say, when the time is right, you can go further afield.

chanie44 Fri 06-Nov-15 15:16:02

Op, I feel like I could have written your post. After uni, my focus was career, mortgage, children. Now I have that im not quite sure what's next. I plod along happily enough but sometimes I feel i need something for 'me'.

TheBunnyOfDoom Fri 06-Nov-15 15:23:13

I think, on the whole, most people live pretty average lives. We go to school, maybe go on a gap year or take some time out, then work or go into further education. After that, it's getting a job, paying the rent, buying a house, having kids (not necessarily in that order) and working to pay for our lifestyle.

I certainly can't afford a lot of travel. My holidays are going to stay with parents/in-laws or occasionally a weekend break to London. I work five days a week, don't have any exciting hobbies and certainly can't afford to start any!

But I'm happy. I have a dependable partner, I don't have any major worries about anything, I have my health, a roof over my head, the bills are paid, I have no debt and I know a LOT of people are worse off than me.

It would be nice to travel more and experience different places, but I'm not going to go down the road of wishing my life away.

wellthatstornit Fri 06-Nov-15 15:54:31

is it just travel, or lack thereof, that you feel makes you dull? Its not the be all and end all of being less dull, or more exciting?

I think a lot of people get to a certain stage and wonder what life would have been like had we taken a different route home one day, or took the other job when you were offered two at once, its natural.

I got to this stage in my mid to late 30's, again, lack of confidence...fat, frumpy, been with the same man since my teens, 4 kids etc etc....and just had an epiphany one day that I would be sat in my rocking chair or on my death bed thinking...well...thats it...no more chances to be able to sit back and think...well at least life wasnt ALL boring/safe/dull.

it wasnt even so I could tell or impress others, but just for me, for my thoughts.

So, anyway, to cut a long story short, i decided to just go wild for a year or two, come out of my comfort zone, and i signed up to a modelling website, not to make modelling a career (HA! Im 5 foot 3 and 15 stone!!) but it was a way of getting photographs taken by photographers wanting to perfect techniques in lighting/focus/exposure/editing for free, you gave your time and they gave you photos.....so I did lingerie, topless and nude (which as I say was WAY out of my comfort zone)

I also tried a spell as a sex chatline operator (hilarious, well paid, but too much effort not to laugh!!) and hubby and i tried an 18 month spell in the swinging lifestyle.

This phase lasted about 2 years, but once it was done, and we both had our exciting times to look back on, it was...right, thats done us the world of good, lets get on with enjoying life!

Now, dont for one minute think im suggesting that you go as mad as this...unless you want to LOL, but the point im trying to make is, that there are a thousand and one ways to bump yourself out of your rut.....some you may not have even thougth of/dared to dream about.

it could be something that you keep doing for life, like ballroom dancing lessons, or cake decorating, or something small or a one off that makes a huge difference, whether thats voluntary work with the homeless or in your kids school, listening to them read/showing them how to make playdough, or just a simple random act of kindness for a stranger.

No matter what you choose to do, whether its alone or with hubby/family/friends, its what YOU think of yourself that matters....but i bet your hubby/kids/family and freinds already think youre pretty damn fabulous anywa!

BillBrysonsBeard Fri 06-Nov-15 16:01:26

I've lived abroad and done some exciting things but nothing beats being at home. But maybe I can say that because I know the grass isn't greener! Someone telling you the grass isn't greener never works, we have to discover it ourselves I think.. It's hard with young ones, they consume most of our time.. We try and go on little outings now and then but the big stuff is saved for when they're older- travelling around europe etc! My partner has lived in all kinds of different countries and prefers to hardly go out.. But again I don't think he'd feel that way if he hadn't, he might wonder what it was like.
I sometimes wish I was one of those people who had loads of energy for life but I'm just not!

Seeyounearertime Fri 06-Nov-15 16:01:45

Meh. I'm the dullest person I know.
I have 0 friends, 0 interests and 0 ambition.
My life consist of being a SAHD to my DD, watching TV with my OH and playing stupid video games in between.
I have never had a holiday abroad, I've never left the country. The furthest from home I have ever been is Scotland.
I've never had an interesting job, never tried and interesting hobby, I don't listen to new and hip musoc and I hate spicy food.
If you had to imagine the most boring, dullest, greyest person then I'd be pretty close, he'll even Roy Cropper likes trains.

But in the emptiness comes happiness. I desire nothing therefore know no disappointment. I have no wish to travel, so im never jealous of those who have. I have never felt the need to have a bigger home or posher car, so the Jones' can keep them.
Providing I can hear my DD laugh everyday then there is little more I need.
Boring? Yes, happy? One of the happiest people I know.

(I'm sure I could probably class my self as some kind of hippy or Buddhist lol)

BeeeeAve Fri 06-Nov-15 16:10:32

Having kids makes it hard to be 'exciting' grin.

Maybe you do need a few new hobbies (doesn't have to be anything all consuming to make it fun and worthwhile), but mainly I think you could do with reframing how you look at things. there is a difference between being bored and feeling boring, isn't there?

One thing you could do to fire yourself up a bit is make a bucket let (yes, i know, cringe bloggers making bucket loss galore, but you could just do it for YOU).

I've had one for a couple of years (it started out as 'Things to do before I'm 40'...but has turned into 'Dont Become A Boring Old Fart' grin). I won't do half of the things on my list, but it does force you to challenge yourself and take a few risks.

So far, I have done whitewater rafting, got a new job, done a creative writing course and an online course on ancient Egyptian history, set myself a challenge of reading a novel a week, joined a gym and started lifting weights shock, had my 'colours done' and totally changed my style of dress, been to Washington DC 9always wanted to go...long story!)...all sorts, really, big and small.

I am NOT an exciting person grin. I work hard in a low paid and non glamorous job and have DC, including one with severe SN, and I spend most of my life stressed or knackered or both. But the list has forced me to take stock every now and then and think 'what am I doing for ME? What have I done lately that was fun? What have I learned lately?' etc, rather than get stuck in an endless rut of watching telly and doing nothing.

BeeeeAve Fri 06-Nov-15 16:10:59

BUCKET LIST, goddamit

iconcreet Fri 06-Nov-15 16:27:09

I don't think travelling necessarily makes you a more exciting person but I personally like to go abroad and see new places/cultures. I'm a single mum on a low income and it needn't be too expensive, I've gone backpacking with my dc in tow and in some places the daily cost is the same/lower than it would be in the UK. If you do your research and are prepared to slum it a bit it can be possible!

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