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to think I'm in a rut and that life is passing me by?

27 replies

BatKitten · 01/06/2013 12:52

First post here so please be kind.

I know from reading through some other threads here that I should be thanking my lucky stars for the life I've got, but I'm in a rut and don't know what to do about it.

I've been with DH for 30 years. We met at uni and both of us knew we'd found "the one" within a week of meeting. We're very alike, have shared interests and, though the passion has diminished over the years, the love and affection is still strong. Neither of us wanted children and instead concentrated on work. We both have well paying, interesting jobs, own and live in a cliche of an old stone cottage (yes, it even has climbing roses around the door), have nice cars, go on holiday two or three times a year, and probably have enough in investments and pensions to retire now and live comfortably for the rest of our lives.

And despite all this I'm unhappy and feel guilty for being unhappy. I love my job but have no idea how I'd fill my days if I wasn't doing it. I work in a male dominated environment (electronic design) and haven't worked with another woman engineer for 20 years. Apart from my work colleagues the only person I seem to talk to is DH. Years pass by without anything really happening and I need to get out of this rut but don't know how.

OP posts:

YoniBottsBumgina · 01/06/2013 12:53

Is there anything you've always wanted to do? Anything really outlandish or crazy?


flanbase · 01/06/2013 12:54

Time to give to your community and volunteer for a local project. This will help you contribute to others happiness and will be fulfilling


Rosieeo · 01/06/2013 12:57

Join a group and make friends. A choir or something like that? Be a trustee for a charity?

You're right to keep reminding yourself of what you have though.


Facebaffle · 01/06/2013 12:58

You don't mention any friends or family. Do you have any?


claraschu · 01/06/2013 13:00

Can you think of a way you would like to help someone? Helping with an adult literacy programme? Helping refugees? Fostering an orphaned hedgehog?


yaimee · 01/06/2013 13:00

There's no need to feel guilty about feeling unhappy.
I think you need to identify exactly what it is that is making you unhappy.
Is it your social life? You mention not speaking to many people outside of colleges and dh.
If so then perhaps look for a new interest or hobby that would encourage you to socialise with new people.
Or is it your job? Could you look for something new? An environment that would challenge you more or one with new people to work with?
What ever it is, you should try to pin point it and come up with some pro active steps to help you change it!
Good luck Flowers


yaimee · 01/06/2013 13:01

Volunteering as suggested by the other posters is an excellent idea.
Fulfilling and will encourage you to meet new people if that's what you want!


Triumphoveradversity · 01/06/2013 13:02

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

juneau · 01/06/2013 13:07

I agree you need to identify what is making you unhappy. Lack of friends? Poor social life? Lack of interests outside of work? All of those?

Then look at how you change your life to improve those areas. Join a hiking group, volunteer at a charity, take a wine course, start doing yoga, join a book group, get involved in conservation, learn a new language, etc.

It might be worth looking at taking a sabbatical from work for a few months in order to do something 'meaningful' with your life to give it some spark. For instance, you could go and learn Spanish in south America and volunteer at a local orphanage or conservation project. There are MASSES of things out there (research 'gap years' or 'sabbaticals' for ideas).

It seems like you have the nuts and bolts of life sorted (DH, home, career, money), but it all lacks meaning and you lack plans for the future, so it all looks rather scary and pointless. Time to change that. Maybe even time to change career, if that's a possibility and it's boring you that much.


WhereDoAllTheCalculatorsGo · 01/06/2013 13:11

Take a short sabbatical from work, 3 months say, and do some travelling or join a charity project overseas. You could do it as a couple or just you. The shortness will make it seem manageable and it might lead to bigger things.


WhereDoAllTheCalculatorsGo · 01/06/2013 13:13

That's what I love about mumsnet, masses of people giving the same advice because they skim read the posts!


SgtTJCalhoun · 01/06/2013 13:15

If you can afford it, holidays.

I book one as soon as I come back and if I can't afford it then I do lots of weekends away or days out. Camping, a drive to the coast, into the city to one of the museums or big parks. It doesn't have to cost. Some of my most memorable days with my dc have cost the price of a tube ticket and an ice cream.


claraschu · 01/06/2013 13:16

You say you love your job, so is there a way you could use electronic design to help a cause you care about? Maybe if you volunteer to use your professional skills you could meet a new group of people and make a difference to the world, while doing something you love and are good at.


SgtTJCalhoun · 01/06/2013 13:17

Do a masters? Volunteer to work with SN kids, go walking at weekends, get a dog, I know you work full time but there's doggie day care, I wouldn't be without mine. Take up photography. I am doing a course in September.


claraschu · 01/06/2013 13:17

some of us repeat previous posts because we are so slow at 1)having ideas and 2) typing them up.


CaipirinhasAllRound · 01/06/2013 13:18

There are women's networking groups for most industries if you're missing female relationships at work. And mentoring schemes which you might find enjoyable


DontmindifIdo · 01/06/2013 13:44

What are your non-work interests? It sounds like you've focussed on careers only and now you've 'made it' to a certain level you've looked around and realised you've not got much else going on.

Can you try to thinking of charities you could get involved with? As you don't have DCs and financially are all set, then you could afford to go part time and dedicate yourself to other voluntary work you might find more interesting.

Is there anything you feel is missing? The fact that you say that you wouldn't be able to fill your day without work suggests you don't have a large group of friends to meet up with or interests or sports you could do, is this what's missing?


WhereDoAllTheCalculatorsGo · 01/06/2013 13:44

claraschu I was referring to my repeating the sabbatical advice that had been given by the previous poster (in much better detail). I was the one who hadn't read her post properly!


CaptainSweatPants · 01/06/2013 14:00

Have you got any old uni friends you could go and visit?

Do you like the cinema/ theatre?


FarBetterNow · 01/06/2013 14:02

I'm older than you and still trying to retire.
I had thought that I would like to do a voluntary year doing something worthwhile overseas, but my health is against me now and I want to spend lots of time with GC.

Could you research any overseas projects that would use your electronic design skills?

In the mean time would you be interested in joining Amnesty International and campaigning for human rights from the comfort of your home whilst still working?

I don't think more holidays are the answer for you.


FarBetterNow · 01/06/2013 14:07

Do you have a local Youth Club or Project?
They are generally run mainly by volunteers and they always welcome more helpers
Some volunteers have a particular skill that they can do the kids, ie art work, sewing, chess, cricket, music.
Your electronic knowledge would be brilliant.


BatKitten · 01/06/2013 14:47

Thanks for all the replies. They've given me plenty of ideas to think about.

There were a few questions raised which I'll try and answer. Regarding friends and family, both of us are from single child families and I lost my parents quite early on. We've moved several times around the country and spent several periods, up to a few years, working abroad. This means I lost touch with friends I had from college and I seem to find it increasingly hard to make new ones; probably lack of opportunity and practice.

I really don't want to cut back on work or change what I do, as, strange though it may seem, I find it my creative outlet; being able to do something more simply or more elegantly and knowing that my ideas are going to end up inside things that people find useful gives me a buzz. I just wish a few other women would see the advantages of this line of work.

The holiday thing I agree with. We do make full use of our leave time and pad out time between holidays with weekends away. I was thinking the other day though where we'd been the time before last and realised I couldn't remember without checking my diary.

The people who suggested volunteering or charity work are right of course. I just need to summon up the courage and dive in somewhere, whether they want me or not. Smile

OP posts:

Sleepyhoglet · 01/06/2013 15:04

Maybe you have reached a stage where actually you are ready for children without realising it.


FarBetterNow · 01/06/2013 15:11

Bat: Voluntary work - your input will be greatly appreciated.


Primrose123 · 01/06/2013 17:34

How about learning to play a new instrument or learning a new language?

Or if you can afford it, go part time, both of you, and spend more time travelling?

If you wanted to volunteer for something, we have good friends who are now retired, and are in their fifties. They don't have any children, I don't think they wanted any, but they do like children.

They have a large house, and have made the downstairs into a small flat. I don't know quite how they do this but i think it's through Barnardo's. They take in teenagers when they leave the care system (one at a time). The teenager lives in their flat, and they are not parents as such, but they sort of give guidance and advice when needed, like going to college, working out bus routes, finding jobs etc. Sort of like a landlord with a little parental influence thrown in. I don't know how it works exactly, but it is very important to them, without being a full time responsibility. Is this something that would appeal to you?

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