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Middle-aged angst or something else?

(9 Posts)
OrmIrian Tue 20-Feb-07 14:07:39

Recently I've been having the feeling that life is closing in on me. I have a job, an OK marriage, 3 kids and a reasonable social life. But I am beginning to feel so trapped. I've been trying to find activities to take me out of myself and gain a little space to myself but nothing seems to work. All the things that made me feel better before. I have started doing yoga (at home - can't find any classes round here), have been running again, last Sunday I decided to walk off my dark cloud but although I ended up walking 10 miles (and came home with blisters) I still felt so low and frustrated with everything. I have just started karate and was really looking forward to it but the class was full of really experienced people who were in their teens/20s mostly and probably started when they were children. I felt such a total dork . As if I was just kidding myself starting from scratch at 42.

I am working from home today with my kids (and 2 from elsewhere!) and I have to fight the urge to get up, get in the car and drive away. I don't feel depressed (not as I have been before) but I do feel despairing and trapped. Added to this all my plans to keep kids happy this week have gone to pot thanks to sil.....

Is this abnormal or does every approaching middle-ager go through this?

drosophila Tue 20-Feb-07 14:09:12

sounds familar to me.

majorstress Tue 20-Feb-07 14:43:00

How long has it gone on? days? seeks? months?

OrmIrian Tue 20-Feb-07 14:47:16

A few months. I'm OK when something big like Christmas is coming up as I can concentrate on that but otherwise it feels like there's nothing.

majorstress Tue 20-Feb-07 14:55:23

I was like you at 42, and 2 years later things are better. Not perfect, but better, and it took some effort I must admit. So here are my suggestions. You're on the right track to try exercise, or other "ME" activites, methinks, but you haven't found the right one for you yet. Out-of-house activites were the saving grace for me, I need something to look forward to every week, not just once a year!
Make a list of all the things you just might like (or can GET to within your constraints of time etc.) and start trying them, at least one a week. Include lots of stuff even if you never thought of doing it before. If possible make Tuesday or whatever evening sacrosanct-arrange cover for that day every week. Even if the class or whatever is off that week, go out anyway. If your usual minder is busy, have a backup babysitter.

majorstress Tue 20-Feb-07 14:56:13

and good luck.

OrmIrian Tue 20-Feb-07 15:17:28

Thankyou Majorstress. Glad you have managed to improve things for yourself .

I am going to persist with the karate for the moment as it really appeals - but if things don't improve (ie more beginners like me) I may have to move on. Don't need to be shown up every week when I already feel pretty worthless...

majorstress Wed 21-Feb-07 13:56:50

Yeah! keep trying with the karate, and once you master it you can give whoever laughs the chop.

I'm guessing where you live you couldn't get to a class with a different instructor (or crowd)?

Last night I went to a class about Rumi a poet I saw quoted once one of those notepads or coasters or something once, I thought a 1960's Buddhist, I found out he was a Sufi (Muslim) from the 12 century. Ans that I am profoundly ingonorant. ANd I can;t type. or spell. But GODDAMIT I did it. And only felt extremely guilty for ignoring kids, a bit.

I had to find yet another babysitter to accomplish this, and she turned out to be a "find" I think!!!

How old are your kids?

OrmIrian Wed 21-Feb-07 21:08:07

10, 7 and 3. And suddenly I find that, although I love them quite irrationally, contrary to my previous belief, they are not the centre of the universe! Neither is my DH. Nor my job. I am. Which means that I have to do something that is for me....otherwise I might just go insane which won't help any of them.

I think that doing something a bit scary, unexpected and contrary to everyone's expectations (incl your own) is liberating and sustaining. As you did and I am trying to do. Perhaps it's the start of the wearing of purple hats and swearing at passers-by that I am sure is in wait for me in old age....

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