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Gap yah at 49? Mid-life crisis? Self improvement? WIBU?

(99 Posts)
Gingernaut Sat 19-Aug-17 17:28:04

I apologise for the length of this post.

I'm currently facing the end of a temporary (bank) contract and will be free from the beginning of September.

I'm living in a flat as my house is being fully refurbished. The work should be finished/I'll be moving back in at the end of September.

I have recently been diagnosed with ADHD-PI (the new name for ADD), I am in the early stages of my first prescription and currently getting doses tweaked. My next appointment is early October.

The first effects are subtle, but amazing. I can focus and concentrate for the first time ever.

Now, you little nest of vipers/bunch of champions, this is where you come in.

I am at a loss to know what to do next.

I don't have the qualifications required to start on a degree course.

I had to drop out of a Higher Tier GCSE Maths course earlier this year as the amount of work required on top of what was taught in the Lower Tier class was too much.

Over £800 down the fucking drain because I couldn't get my act together. I'm kicking myself, but enough self-flagellation.

I'm overweight (BMI 27), unfit with some mobility/foot and ankle issues, I can see my face and body deteriorating every time I see myself in the mirror, the menopause is starting to come in (hot flushes, hyperhidrosis and blotching blushes, nice), I'm wildly underqualified (washing beakers requires a degree, apparently) and I want to have a wishlist of stuff I want to achieve. Life goals.

I can't drive, have few friends (5 Facebook friends and some goodwill from my soon-to-be former colleagues), have cross-stitch projects I haven't touched in years and no family near me.

I'm the eldest of three, one abroad and one with kids in London.

All but one of my parents' entire generation are deceased. So far, nobody makes it past 69 in my family.

I have absolutely no clue what to do with myself, but I am conscious of the fact I have another 18/19 years before I retire and there's a good chance I won't see retirement. ☠

I'm 'lucky' in that both my parents are deceased and they owned property in London.

After an iniquitous amount of IHT, I am comfortable, and, with good money management, can afford not to work for a year or two.

Instead of launching into another frenzied and upsetting round of job searching, all the while trying to pack up the flat, move back into my house and settle all bills, I feel the need to take a step back and take stock.

I'm mortgage free. I have spare money and can pay for a holiday (visiting sibling abroad or something), courses, lessons and trainers.

I am conscious of the phrase "You can do anything, but you can't do everything".

Now I have the (drug assisted) capacity to focus and concentrate, all of a sudden, I'm like an over excited child in a sweet shop being told that I can only have one sweetie.

I have never been able to apply myself academically, beyond GCSE and ONC, would not know how to and don't know what to do first.

Life coaching? Careers coaching? Personal trainer? Full on therapy? Driving lessons?

So here are the questions.


What have you done?

How did you find the subject you wanted to study?

How did you 'commit' to a way of life?

There are children out there with a clearer idea of what they want to do than me and are striving towards career goals already. confused confused

Fuck me. I don't know what I'll eat for breakfast tomorrow. confused

Are there courses or lessons about life management? How to prioritise?

How does one acquire the nebulous, barely defined life skills that allow people to plan and execute, rather than letting life just hit you with random stuff?

This post has been edited by MNHQ

user1490465531 Sat 19-Aug-17 17:33:09

stopped reading at the bunch of cunts bit TBH

Redtartanshoes Sat 19-Aug-17 17:37:34

I guess my first thought would be what will you do after your year out... will you be able to get s job doing similar to what you are doing now? Or would you like to move into something different... if the latter you need to think about that.

Yes to driving lessons unless you live in London.

Would you consider some sort of volunteering project abroad for a few months? There was an article in the guardian a few months back about places that would let you stay for free in return for help.. domestic, or similar. One even wanted people to paint.

Are you tied to an area? Would you consider moving to be nearer your sibling for a year and rent your house out?

What would be your dream way to spend a year?

QuiteChic Sat 19-Aug-17 17:41:30

Well i didn't ! I reckon I would prioritize my health first - so get a personal trainer and a nutritionist. Then I would get my driving license. Then I would plan a trip - either abroad or in the UK. Once my health was on track I would take dance lessons in something like salsa because I think you'd meet a bunch of people with a bit of a sense of humour.

Gingernaut Sat 19-Aug-17 17:45:54

After a year (or two), I want to be able to have a career plan. Or a job goal. And be able to work towards it.

If that means college and starting at the bottom with a GCSE/C&G or something, that's fine.

I want to travel. I want to be able to drive. I want to be about 2 stone lighter.

Gingernaut Sat 19-Aug-17 17:48:55

Physical health.
Mental health.

Nope. Not in London.

theancientmarinader Sat 19-Aug-17 17:51:00

Lol user, did you only join today by following the 'too much swearing' articles? grin

Hmmmm it's a conundrum. My friend who was in a similar-ish position booked a last minute holiday to Cuba, packed a swimming costume and a shiny new journal, and got on a plane to swish about in the sun for a week to consider her options. (She says she finds it easier to make plans when she is warm, near the ocean, and someone else is cooking).

I just took a sorta kinda gap year at 46 and went back to school. I failed completely as I ended up back at work covering for a medical leave, so my gap year is now stretching thin with little concrete to show for it.

Where is your sibling? Is it somewhere you could explore? Is your sibling someone you would want to be in close proximity to for a lengthy period of time (and likewise re you for your sibling wink)
Sometimes family is just too much when you really want is to spread your wings.

TravellingFleet Sat 19-Aug-17 17:52:51

I'm taking a Gap Yah, travelling the world and volunteering. It's terrific! Mix of the very hard work (I'm volunteering with an NGO as a consultant in my profession) and time to relax and find myself. Myself turns out to like all sorts of unexpected things.

One of the things I've done was to walk the Camino de Santiago, which was an amazing way to get to grips with some big life issues.

I'm told (work paid for me to see a careers consultant when I was made redundant aged 40) that I would actually gain CV points if I did the right volunteering during a gap year, and i think that will definitely be the case.

PM me if you want details.

Gingernaut Sat 19-Aug-17 17:55:31

We come from London.

I don't want to be specific, but one married sibling is abroad and the London sibling has travelled but now lives in the area we grew up in.

There is no spare room.

They have no idea I was diagnosed with depression. Have no idea about the ADHD and have no idea one of my hobbies is stand up comedy.

I'm currently preparing for a charity fundraiser also at the end of September. confused

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Sat 19-Aug-17 18:05:03

Do you actually want a full time job? I know of a few people who temp banking jobs 6-9 months of the year and travel, do courses etc. the rest of the time.
You've got a lot to adjust to at the moment so I would start with some down time. You might find it's a week or so before you can focus on what to do next. If you pick somewhere warm with a swimming pool you can do some exercise which will help with the aches and pains.
If you are struggling to find what you want to do, this book can help

Gingernaut Sat 19-Aug-17 18:13:33

A part time job, somewhere local, to pay the bills would be nice.

As it is, I can't seem to find work here in my 'city'.

I have to travel, by bus, across a motorway, through roadworks and accidents to the next town.

At best, the journey takes an hour for 6.5 miles.

At worst, it took the best part of 2 hours, one morning.

I don't have regular access to a computer either. I've got a mobile phone, the computers at works or at the library. blush

This refurbishment wasn't planned very well.

Gingernaut Sat 19-Aug-17 18:15:47

Thanks, ChazsBrilliantAttitude. Book ordered.

Redtartanshoes Sat 19-Aug-17 18:15:57

Get yourself an iPad. 👍🏽

ButtHoleinOne Sat 19-Aug-17 18:17:42

I wouldn't take a gap year. I'd look for a job somewhere fabulous and go there and figure out what I want to do while experiencing life in the area.

Gingernaut Sat 19-Aug-17 18:17:50


Gingernaut Sat 19-Aug-17 18:20:54

Sorry, ButtHoleinOne, without a degree or some very desirable and rare skills, I won't be considered.

I've applied for permanent roles where I work and not got them.

Even though I've done the job temporarily and been complimented on my work.....sad

FrancisCrawford Sat 19-Aug-17 18:27:31

Hi Ginger

I took Voluntary Early Exit at 49. I gave myself a year to decompress, travel, get work done in the house etc. I called it my adult gap year and it was the best thing I ever did.

Wishing you the best of luck. Have you considered getting a Fitbit and getting fitter/losing weight by walking more? I find it really motivates me

ButtHoleinOne Sat 19-Aug-17 18:32:58

I've only ever worked abroad OP smile no qualifications. No special skills. I don't mean a fancy job, I mean waitress. Fish thrower. Is that a job? Probably a job

Fixmylife Sat 19-Aug-17 18:35:59

Take a year to ravel and visit family and end up at the Edinburgh festival to do your stand up comedy show!

Gingernaut Sat 19-Aug-17 18:38:53

I've got a Fitbit and lost 3 stones.

I've plateau'd and had to have a steroid injection and specially moulded orthotics for my shoes. I have really, really bad feet.

And RSI problems with hands, arms and shoulders.

I haven't gained weight since I started to go downhill physically. I'm quite proud of myself for that. blush

Physically, I don't have the ability or stamina for 'heavy' manual work any more.

I'm built for light 'pottering'.

Gingernaut Sat 19-Aug-17 18:39:45

Fixmylife grin grin grin

HotelEuphoria Sat 19-Aug-17 18:43:20

Fuck that, I would take the gap yah in a heart beat and use that time to "discover myself"

can you tell I never had the opportunity to do just that?

Viviennemary Sat 19-Aug-17 18:49:17

People do all sorts of things which I'm probably not adventurous enough to try. Ones I thought were interesting were being a house sitter a grand mansion and living on a houseboat for a year (Not at the same time. One of those residential courses abroad sound interesting. All sorts of crafts, arts, cookery, yoga and so on.

If your BMI is 27 that is very much overweight but it's a good idea to improve your fitness by exercise although I'm not a great fan of it. I've got the DVD's but don't actually put them on or if I do I watch them from a chair.

PeppaIsMyHero Sat 19-Aug-17 18:52:14

Ha - I would prioritise mental health, then physical health (can't fix the second without the first) and then reckon the rest will fall in to place.

I took 6 months off last year (in my forties) and it was hugely empowering. I get so much more enjoyment from life and nudged the direction I was heading to provide more challenge and stimulation, which has been great.

Good luck. Do it!

Gingernaut Sat 19-Aug-17 19:05:53

I'm pretty good at doing nothing, though.

I can see a year of something like school.

PE (local swimming fitness centre) college (GCSEs or ...something (?)), therapy and evening classes.

But have no idea how to motivate myself.

I have spent thousands on courses, equipment and books and have nothing to show for it.

How do people stay motivated?

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