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Your description of the performance by the young people made me smile. I love that about you, quirky - how you have such an appreciation and respect for people's creativity. I think that is something really special. And one of many things you have to share with your nephews.

 

I would love to have a little niece or nephew to spoil! This whole discussion about children and the sense of wonder between Batya and yourself makes me smile.

 

Makes me want to go out and hug a kid today! haha. I love that about kids; how they see things so fresh.

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So here is how I would think of it -along the similar lines to you - they are also people. We don't necessarily click with all people whether they are related by blood or otherwise. What I would do is let them come to you and you be approachable - don't try to entertain them or make them laugh -simply be. I remember when my son was 2 or a bit younger my father in law would sit next to him on the couch and for long periods of time my FIL would hide cheerios in one of his hands and my son would pry open his fingers looking for them and then silently hand back the cheerios to my FIL to have it all done over again. There was so much contentment there - not always giggling or high level "fun" but who cares- they were connected by cereal.

 

Try not to take it personally when they prefer someone else. Just be there, be approachable and take a sincere interest in what they are doing whether it's building with Legos or skipping around the room searching for monsters under the bed. Get in their play with them -let them lead and add to it when you feel like it but letting them lead -ask questions like "ok what happens next", etc. Not saying this will "work" but it might be more worth it.

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What I would do is let them come to you and you be approachable - don't try to entertain them or make them laugh -simply be

 

When I have done that my sister thinks I don't care to connect with them. She told me it's better if I am excitable and try to engage them. Which I do but my mum is even more excitable and it feels like I an putting on a performance. I sense we would be much closer if I was there because I have a lot of fun ideas and enjoy playing.

 

IAG- I have tried Skype and it was fun sometimes, I'd disappear from the screen and play different instruments, they had to guess the instrument etc, he liked that, I have writen him a couple of songs too. When I am there I play with them at the beach, or draw/paint. Then something happened with either my video or my sister's, our scedules are very different, there is also a small time difference. It basically needs to be arranged in advance and my sister hasn't had that commitment. Perhaps I can try again, that's a good point. Admitedly I also don't understand sometimes what he is saying to me because he likes machines and engines and things I have no idea how they work, can we talk about your feelings or something I understand? lol

 

Kids are so cute and I had a chance to squeeze briefly my 2 year old nephew, omg he is adorable and how he repeats things. I was drawing things for him on the board and told him he can draw on me and then my mum said No! because apparently he draws on the sofas (I didn't know) but yes, it's stuff like that because I don't have kids I am either too paranoid or too relaxed, don't have the right balance.

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lol don't worry quirky, i've been scolded before too for getting a bit too 'wild' with kids. Because that's the parents job, to think of how its going to play out long term, and when you are playing a game of 'draw on me', they are thinking 'he's going to try drawing on EVERYTHING now!".

I don't think you should give yourself a hard time about that. I think that's something you get more a sense of balance of the more and more you spend time with kids.

 

It makes me think of my cousins' kids. I was there when they were little (they are grown men now! crazy! 18 and 21!). It's funny the little things they remember. The 18 year old still asks me to make him the 'special IAG noodles'. It was nothing I was thinking about at the time. I was just making meals. But he remembers it as something special, and something that made him feel loved. He brings up things sometimes that I don't remember us doing, but apparently we did, and it's neat seeing his memories and impressions of it, in adult to adult conversation.

 

So even when you aren't realizing it, even if they can't express it now, those kids are soaking the whole auntie quirky experience.

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"I have tried Skype and it was fun sometimes, I'd disappear from the screen and play different instruments, they had to guess the instrument etc, he liked that,"

 

Of course he liked that -what an awesome idea!

 

I really have a problem with your sister trying to dictate how you should be with them in that particular way. Of course she can tell people when things they do aren't safe or appropriate but she shouldn't tell you to be anything other than yourself. Also her children need to get used to all different styles of interacting with adults. If you have good intentions and care about them as people - I couldn't think of anything better. And your creativity in skyping for example is the icing on the cake.

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Yes, my friend has said the same. My relationship with my sister is a bit strained. It affects me relaxing with the children sadly.

 

But I texted her on whatsapp to start skyping with them again and she liked that too.

 

I have written him a couple of songs before, he once was ill and gave me clue words to use like poo, fart, paracetamol, fever, vomit and I wrote him a funny song! Me and my sister found it funnier than him though.

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I didn't think it was a mistake but now I am wondering if it was. I saw M on Sunday.

 

It was strange and sad in many ways. We had drinks and dinner and talked about everything. I can see the changes he has made in his life, I am happy for him as he seems more fulfilled and positive. When I saw him I felt like kissing him straight away. Perhaps it's a habbit, I've only known him as a bf after all. We kissed at the end of the night. It felt nice but then I also remembered R's kisses and one in particular that had blown my mind once.

 

We talked honestly about things. My boundaries are not great in romantic relationships. And even more with him who is so forward and assertive.

 

I told him that night that I am not looking for a relationship, I am absorbed by my studies, personal development, work and volunteering and all the events I like to attend, and that I now have a stability I enjoy. That our relationship was very intense for me, almost destructive. That I felt silenced by him. He admitted to liking me so much that he was convinced we had to be together and couldn't see otherwise and how sorry he was about the way things turned out, that he won't be a d*ck this time.

 

I was very sad when I got home. I was in this strange place of loss where lots of memories had come back but no option felt right. To be friends, to get back together, to cut all contact. He initially appeared understanding and relaxed and accepting.

 

The next day he sent me a song he played on the guitar, a song I really like. And a proclamation of his feelings, desire to meet again, to work around my scedule, to be with me again. I felt daunted but also moved at the levels of interest he was exhibiting. I mean..why me?

 

This morning the postman knocks on the door and says delivery for Quirky and I open the door tentatively to see he had sent me flowers o_O. I both laughed and felt daunted at the same time. What the hell..?

 

So I thanked him for the flowers and then reiterated how this doesn't fully work for me, it's too much too soon. That it's both romantic and intimidating. He claimed he wanted to make his intentions clear, he loves me and wants me back. But that he has changed and feels more stable and happy in a way he can't explain. That he is happy to go for friendship, as slow as I like and if something comes off it then great.

 

I don't know what to do or whether to trust him. He is very intelligent, competent and reliable. Up for sex too. Forward and clear. I love those traits. Why is he inlove with me I don't understand. He could have SO many women that guy. But beyond all that I am wondering what am I feeling. Which just like the course of our previous relationship, ..I just don't know what I feel about this guy. That I care for him, admire him and feel his pain. But don't know if I will be excited long term to be with him.

 

R also messaged me and I found myself so pissed off and disappointed at everything. How much I clicked with him, fancied him, liked talking to him. Just so disappointing. I meet someone I genuinely feel excited with and he has a million issues, the sexual one being the most important. Love, ey.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have found my training incredibly difficult and draining. Tomorrow is the last day and I will soon know whether I have a place or not. I am daunted by the responsibility of the position. I have doubts as to whether I can cope with it but there's only one way to find out. By doing it.

 

In the past I used to brush things off a little bit more or fool myself with some positive pop psychology and now that I cannot do that I a) feel more authentic and b) feel more drained. Because I cannot pretend something is not happening. So it affects me full force. At least I manage it a bit better but occasionally I miss those days of less awareness. With more awareness comes more responsibility. And more consideration. And that requires energy.

 

So I have felt rather stressed. It is also related to seeing M again. I don't fully know how this has happened. Realistically we get on 100 times better now. This guy can offer me something real and long term. He has a lot of great traits that actually compliment mine. Is it my commitment difficulties that make me feel somewhat suffocated? Is it that I sense the possibility of long term commitment? This is one scenario.

 

The other scenario is that I simply don't have the right energy for another person in my life. I am squeezed with time. I want to focus on my goals. Even texting on whatsapp is distracting and time consuming. No, I am not obliged to reply and occasionally I will keep it on silent. But it draws me in and a conversation happens and before I know it I have spent 30 min on it sending things back and forth. I engage until then some days later I don't want to spend any energy on it any more. And then I worry I am letting a good thing go.

 

Last scenario is that no matter how great this guy is I haven't felt those butterflies in my heart for him. This might happen and love might grow. But I never felt it before. The fact he has kids and is divorced prevents me from feeling that. It lacks the 'freshness' that I yearn for. He is steady and reliable and up for sex and nights out. Yet I am missing that intangible something that would excite me and make me intrigued and curious and enamoured with him. He is smart and he understands and accepts me..why don't I find him more exciting? Everyone I find exciting lacks in the reliability department. It is so disheartening..

 

When I was with R I felt like a teenager, he was so funny and interesting to me and I got excited to chat with him. I don't know..I don't know if what I am longing for is utopic. I know I felt like the hottest woman on the planet with him.

 

L was very helpful today. I feel sane when I see my friends. Which I miss now I have been seeing M. L said she'll help me structure and plan my business idea. I was crying and thanking her and telling her just how important she is to me and how meaningless my life would be without her and L. I can't believe she loves organising things, it's my nightmare. Just goes to show people compliment each other ey. She was very supportive and expressed her faith in me which helps I guess though I know she is biased lol. It's great to know she can help me, it encourages me to move ahead with my idea, it makes me feel it can possibly materialise.

 

When I think about what is holding me back...I have the ideas, motivation and drive..but don't believe I am competent enough. So I wrote down what I consider as competence. And it's basically many of the skills I don't have

 

organised

practical not emotional

looks at opportunities not obstacles

knowledgeable/good with research

people rely on them

quick decisions

doesn't get overwhelmed

good at multi tasking

 

So my task is to challenge those limiting beliefs and see if I actually have any of those skills but in different areas, if I can obtain them slowly or if I don't actually need all that to start my idea.

 

The irony of it all is if I want to be self employed in order to be free, if freedom is the most important thing to me then I am getting in my own way of obtaining that freedom with stupid beliefs and hesitation. I know how important freedom is to me so I plan to focus on that and do whatever I can to overcome any real or perceived obstacles.

 

Really hope it goes ok tomorrow. Need to relax about it.

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Wow, good luck tomorrow!!!

Very exciting, but also, can understand how it would be stressful too.

 

I have an idea. Sometime when you have the time. It's something I did recently, and I found it very helpful. I think your list of what you find as blocks/skills not yet as developed as you would like that are important to success a great thing to do. But don't forget to list out what you DO have as strong skills which have helped you reach the level of success you have, and that will help you in the future. What I really found was that , because our strengths are so natural to us, we forget they are an advantage. Sometimes it feels really good to see them in front of us.

 

Can't wait to hear how it all goes. !

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  • 3 months later...

I have been out of eNA land for a while, don't quite know how this happened, maybe I had a life ! haha..but actually I miss it because this forum offers something to me, some grounding, some sort of strange, abstract community feeling, some comfort..all concepts around self care to some extent.

 

I have been seeing M since June now. I am still perplexed about it all and sometimes wonder how did I get into this again. Last month was particularly difficult and I experienced deep anxiety. I knew something was up when it was affecting me sexually too. That's when I know the relationship has troubles. We also had more conflicts. And one particular weekend I had that feeling...that turn inside..when you know the end is not very far. Despite all that I have stuck it out while trying to figure out what I am feeling for this guy. Trying to practice empathy, diversity, challenge my prejudices and my own fears and limitations.

 

On paper we are great for each other. An unorthodox union considering our backgrounds but it works. When we do tasks it flows, I trust his abilities, he is smart, reliable and cares for me. In my heart I am battling with my own desires and more familiar circumstances. Perhaps this is too challenging for me, perhaps it is right BECAUSE it is too challenging, perhaps I am growing and re evaluating how have my values/perceptions/passions served me. Overal they felt right and distributed in my life in abundance. But I can see I could have a future with this man so I am trying something different.

 

I find it overwhelming when he does his big gestures, trips abroad, surprises, gifts..I kinda just want to see how we are alone without the circus extravaganza. I think he understands that now. I do wonder overall how our backgrounds will mesh and how we can genuinely see the world from the others' eyes.

 

I see for a fact though that men with money can fulfill dreams. They can offer a thrill in an instant. That gives them that extra confidence. It's a circle really, the confidence and the money..what comes first ha? When a man with a normal salary needs to save and plan a trip in advance it means he will also be thinking how much does he actually want to be with that woman in order to go abroad with her. The rich guy doesn't lose out too much financially by offering that trip and thereore he offers it in an istant. For him it's an experience not a commitment as it is for me. On the other hand I attach too much weight on friggin everything sometimes and that's not always necessary either.

 

The trip on Wednesday? I look forward to it so much!! One of my dream destinations I saw a documentary on that city when I was 17 and always wanted to visit. Who could have guessed that 20 years later I'd be going with someone I met online, the internet was unfathomable then! Going with someone who with our lives would probable never have crossed if it wasn't for online dating and also someone I am not yet sure I want a future with. Life is strange..But for now and this next week I am trying to just savour the fact that I am going. Eventhough he is paying for everything.

 

I dislike that he is paying for everything. I don't mind him treating me to dinners but realistically when we are away, I kinda depend on him financially and that sucks a miilion. Because that is not how I was raised or live my life. But he wants to do these things, I'd be happy to have a few days off, sleep in a little, go to a gallery or two and just watch Frasier in bed. He wants the trip. I have been very clear about my finances. Nevertheless this puts me in an position of stressing about bringing money for the trip and then eating beans and potatoes for 2 weeks. This is not a remote reality for him. And he tells me not to worry. But he just can't fully fathom the stress of low income. I mean, I am studying and although I am very tight financially I have accepted that for another year at least I will not have things that cost much money. I have accepted that because I am working towards a greater goal. I don''t need the stress to pay for things I genuinely cannot afford. He on the other hand is used to this as his ex wife didn't work.

 

Anyway...

 

time for dinner. I want to come back and write about my course and other self reflections as I think it helps me to keep a journal with myself above all.

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Have a wonderful vacation and consider that going on vacation with the wrong person might not hurt a well-off person financially but there might be other consequences of which that person is very aware. It might be a huge commitment other than financially. I agree that money can smooth things over that otherwise are complicated but having money to spend doesn't mean that the person doesn't get concerned about their financial future, etc.

 

He's an adult and if he chooses to spend his money on you or so that you can accompany him to places outside your budget I'd say just try to chill a bit more about it and enjoy!

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I keep thinkig about death alot. It's an underlined anxiety spread over my inner landscape. Without realising it first I have come to notice my theme of 'lack of time'. It is possibly also interwoven with my diminishing chance of having children. I am going to miss out on that experience that everyone regards as the most wonderful. But I know I need to accept this considering my ambivalence of having children, the thought only really came to the surface after I hit 30 and more particularly at 33 after I split up from S and G died.

 

Life truly took a different turn for me since then. Mostly in a positive way. Regarding death...I don't quite know why it's so prevalent in my thoughts now. I think it every time I speak to my mum. It's also perhaps because of my dad's ill health since he retired. He never had a single problem while he was working. And in the last 2 years it's like he has aged 7. All this is unraveling while I am away and feel powerless to help, to do anything but call..I want to be closer and my phone is old, I am using a calling card which rarely works, he can't hear me well, I am always out where it's noisy and at home the receptionn is terrible. All this seems insignificant but it becomes frustrating on a daily basis. Life is hectic in big cities. Yet I think..could I live in the countryside somewhere? Probably not. Because I love the Arts and I love diversity.

 

The palava with my classmate has taken drakonian proportions and I hate her for it. I hate myself too. And my course. I am caught up in something I don't identify myself with, stupid gossip, mistrust and immaturity. I want it to be left in the past but it seems impossible considering the nature of my course. I have reflected and still am refelecting so much on it that it has become exhausting. Last week I felt this is not good for me any more, I felt unsafe. I have been feeling more fearful too, how I hate that.

 

Nevertheless I have been thinking of my place in groups and how I exist within them. To a large extend I exist both within them but mostly act as a mediating force. I don't fully know why I take that role, it's my obsession with fairness I suppose..or is it lack of trust in others? I think a lot of people think in terms of self, this is what society feeds us anyway. When I was growing up the adults felt so fake to me..and uninspiring. So once I was able to carve my own path I did so by trying to preserve a sense of wonder and openess about the world. By sensing what is important to me and following that. In clumsy ways yes and destructive sometimes too. But I'd rather that than being jaded and paranoid. In following my own light I would put shutters on others' negativity or conformity of what society expects from us. And by doing that I looked down on some people and didn't trust their opinions because I didn't trust their integrity, courage or authenticity. In many ways I didn't want to be affected by that uninspiring crap I hated and in many ways I didn't want to be contaminated.

 

I do not go in situations just thinking of my own needs. In some circumstances or in a particular day someone else's needs will be more important. That has never made me a doormat. And this is a strength I struggle to explain to people that see good as selfless doormat and bad as selfish jerk. I have been able to be mostly good by retaining my own ground and checking what people give back. To be watering a dead flower is not benevolence, it's stupidity. I give first and check my feelings, any responses..and then decide if and when and what I will give again.

 

So this is why perhaps I take the mediating role. Because I trust myself that I will think of the collective good. And because I don't have a bad temper. That is all positive but still underlined by an arrogance on my part. It's not that I want to take over. I can both lead and follow. But don't want to do either. I just don't fully trust that others will think carefully before they act. And I see that as damaging. On a personal, sociological and political level. Thoughtlessness. It always bothered me. Go live your life like that if you like but don't affect me with it. Now that I am part of a group I cannot run away from..the last thing I want is to be the centre of it. Even for one session.

 

Unfortunately I suspect things will come up next Tuesday. And I am dreading it. Last year Tuesday was my favourite day of the week and now..I have only enjoyed one lesson so far. How I wish I could go with the teachers for a drink.

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Have a wonderful vacation and consider that going on vacation with the wrong person might not hurt a well-off person financially but there might be other consequences of which that person is very aware. It might be a huge commitment other than financially.

 

Thanks Batya

 

Do you mean emotional implications? Trust me I have been wrecked with guilt for my doubts particularly the month just gone. But I cannot force myself to say or feel things, I am caring and honest towards him and maybe we all have our own pace..he is so different to anyone I have dated. I am giving this a good go despite how much it's challenging me. People told me it doesn't have to be fireworks from the start, that love requires work and reality, so I am trying to see how many of the obstacles are real or imagined.

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Thanks Batya

 

Do you mean emotional implications? Trust me I have been wrecked with guilt for my doubts particularly the month just gone. But I cannot force myself to say or feel things, I am caring and honest towards him and maybe we all have our own pace..he is so different to anyone I have dated. I am giving this a good go despite how much it's challenging me. People told me it doesn't have to be fireworks from the start, that love requires work and reality, so I am trying to see how many of the obstacles are real or imagined.

 

Sure -emotional -like feeling like the vacation didn't live up to expectations, or that you two won't get along while away and what are the long term implications of that, that vulnerable feeling when you first travel with someone, etc.

 

I don't think there have to be fireworks at first sight. I do think that there should be excitement about the person hopefully before you decide to be exclusive -certainly some decide to be exclusive from the start because of not wanting to date more than one person at a time but for those who wait it shouldn't be 'ho hum I have a boyfriend, this is pleasant" but more of a sense of passion, excitement and wonder that you've met this person who sparkles and sparks you.

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I haven't felt the passion you describe with this man because I had too many inner obstacles to overcome. It's like I didn't want to fall in love with him because it felt too challenging...reconciling our worlds to start with and my apprehension about dating a divorced man with children. He doesn't come alone. This is hard for me to manage as a non married person without children. He also doesn't have any close friends or hobbies and isn't close to his parents or brother. So really..it's his children he wants me to meet. But I don't want to do that until we are solid. He wanted me to meet them within 2 months of dating the first time when the relationship was completely unstable. I found that very strange and somewhat irresponsible. Today he still tells me I should meet them and they'll be fine but I can't help but think they have never seen him with anyone else but their mother (she has a relationship for 1 year now an up/down one). I tell him I will meet them when we both feel long term potential and security in our relationship.

 

There is definitely and exchange between us that has the foundation of a very successful relationship. I am trying at the moment to relax my guard and see if I can fall inlove with him. I usually get those sparks from different kind of guys where we tend to be more playful and expressive together. This man is not playful or expressive but he is very reliable and competent and protective. The sex is frequent which I love, nevertheless he is not particularly expressive or passionate about my body. He is not verbal in general about things, more of an actions man. Everything about him is new to me.

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I only went on a few dates with men who had children with one exception -I dated a man for 3 months semi-seriously whose ex girlfriend was pregnant (and they were in their 40s!) - in fact he canceled a date with me when her water broke. Once the baby was born I just couldn't handle it -nothing to do with jealousy. I remember one night being stared down at a movie theater by two women a few rows back -friends of his ex. We are Facebook friends and he has never married. He told me about the situation on our first real date, a few weeks after we met. It just wasn't for me so I can relate.

 

So... having been in wrong relationships for the wrong amount of time (i.e. wayyyy too long) in my 30s I would say if you don't feel passionate about this man by now for whatever reason under the sun and it's not about reviving lost passion (which often can be done) then leave him be-let him find someone who is excited to be with him and has those sparks or the ability to revive the sparks.

 

And please don't expect him to be passionate during sex if you don't feel passionate about him -that's a tall order. In my 7 year on and off again relationship that ended when I was 38 I actually did have that passion and excitement -but it was too intermittent, I was too plagued by doubts, I was too often wondering what else/who else was out there and in hindsight -doing the back and forth thing was so unfair to him (me too but I'm focusing on the other person in this post). He met his future wife 2 years after we broke up - I reconnected with my future husband 6 months after we finally broke up -but honestly we both were lucky to find people in our late 30s/early 40s - sure, he is a great person and all just talking about practicalities. We both were lucky enough to have children in our 40s. I know of several examples where those long, wrong relationships squandered precious dating time and the results were not positive for those who had wanted marriage/family.

 

It's so darn hard to end a Mr. Right For Now relationship and too easy to tell yourself "I would feel passion IF.....". I kept going back because I genuinely missed him, thought I loved him, our reconciliations always were passionate. It was only months after we ended things -when I was dating no one actually - that it clicked why we didn't click/work as a couple. A mutual friend made one comment about him - not really negative at all -but that plus I guess all the time I had to let things just settle inside me -triggered that aha moment. And gave me so much peace. I hope the same for you just MUCH sooner than I did.

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  • 1 month later...
Sorry that I lost track of the story somewhere along the way -- is this guy the investment banker you dated and then broke up with many months back?

 

Yes...and there's a lot to say about that..

 

Things have been ok with him lately. I have had some important insights in my therapy sessions. I know I have anxiety around relationships..how to fit my life around them, how to make them last, how to stay empathic and how to deal with them if/when they end. So much around romantic relationships stresses me out.

 

Lack of time is a theme seems to be a focal point of my experience. I never feel I have enough time. I don't have enough money either but the time bothers me even more.

 

Here's my scedule

 

MON- therapy in the morning and compulsory volunteer placement as part of my course. I get home at 18:30 twice a month or at 21:00 the other two

TUE - course, get home at 18:00, my early finish of the week. I often see M on that night.

WED- work, leave at 8:45 and return at 20:15

THU- work, leave at 8:45 and return at 20:15

FRI- work, leave at 8:45 and return at 20:15

SAT - sometimes work, not often, day for house chores, studying for course, seeing people

SUN- sometimes work, not often, day for house chores, studying for course, seeing people

 

I work in 3 different jobs.

 

I spend lots of time on public transport. When I get home I don't fully relax as I live in a flatshare so I pretty much live in a room, I eat in my room and watch TV here too.

 

M lives quite far from me so I meet him after work.

 

I try to go to performances or events as it clears my mind a bit. Same with seeing my friends. I spend time with M 2 weekends a month and the other 2 I see my friends and spend some time alone. I miss writing music and connecting with nature, I feel very rushed. I am also on a very very low income as 2 of my days are taken up by course requirements. The sad part is that I can't see life being more generous timewise. I am aware of how busy most people are. Which makes me wonder..what am I doing? It's not how I like to live, rushing around like a lunatic.

 

My stress about lack of time sometimes affects the time I spend with M as I am constantly aware it's not enough.

 

As I am typing now I have used 2 days of holidays from work to write an assignment. I resent using my holidays to do other 'work' rather than relax. There are builders right outside my window on a scaffolding, banging, clanging and chatting, it's like they are in my room. I don't know quite how to concentrate. It's a sunny day and my curtains are closed. They can see me though if I go to the kitchen as we have no curtains there.

 

I keep dreaming of a life by the sea or somewhere with a bit more space.

 

I am aware of my last fertile years, of time passing, my parents getting old and my nephews growing up. I believe I will get a good job when I am done with my studying and volunteering. But right now I am poor, squeezed in a flatshare and still unsure of a long term future with M.

 

All these thoughts have been exacerbated due to recent political events too. A few peopel I have spoken too seem to echo that feeling of dispondence, powerlessness and futility. I don't know what the point of it all is.

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When I look at your schedule I see a significant amount of time spent on social stuff- either with M or "seeing people" - perhaps you need more time to yourself so you can curtail seeing your friends? And since dirt is inert can you either do short cuts on house cleaning or listen to podcasts or radio shows so that you combine it with some pleasant activity?

 

This morning I had about 45 minutes to myself because for the first time in well over a year my son slept late (i.e. past 6:30am) because he is recuperating from an illness and my husband is out of town. At first it felt like vacation - it's been 10 days since I had more than 35 minutes to myself at a time during the day (and usually only once a day, and no time since Wednesday afternoon) but then I realized that since he could wake up at any moment it was different than when I was on my own with no husband/child. Not better/worse just different. So when I read your post and saw your social activities I wondered if you might need more alone time/me time or whether you're not emphasizing that social time as enough "me" time. I see that you see it as clearing your mind but then I see your perspective that you feel too rushed.

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I can understand what you said about your 'me' time and I admire that. I am aware people with children have very little time to themselves, it's one of the reasons I have been ambivalent about having children..though deep down I think I'd like the experience with the right partner.

 

Regarding the socialising..

 

I see M about 3 times a week. I see my friends on the weekends he has his children. One of my friends we meet in the day on Saturdays usually every fortnight. The other friend I see him once a week for a drink usually after work. As I have no family here they are the closest thing to family for me and if anything I'd like to see them more! Spending time with them grounds me. So do artistic performances. While I am studyiing I decided realistically that I cannot invest time in my own creativity so I have dropped my musical hobby. Going to performances or watching a film once a month is the nearest I can do with being close to creativity.

 

The times where I manage things better is when I stick to doing my tasks on time. My placement requires admin work that I seem to fall behind unless I do it straight away.

 

I think I find the commuting really hard.

 

to my job : 1 hr 15 min

to my placement: 1 hr 30 min

to my college: 1 hr

 

I sometimes listen to the radio or a cd when doing the cleaning. I do one part of the house once a week as part of a cleaning rota.

 

I notice my flatmates come back home and watch tv which I never do! Only on my days off or if I am with M.

 

I think I can save some time by not being distracted online too. I will think about what you said.

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Yes- if the time with friends is fun and works for you, by all means! Is your commute that long because you don't drive? I am learning right now at 49 and now live in a city where public transportation isn't the best so I feel your pain (and very often I am with my child for those "adventures"). Just asking as that might be a way to cut down on commute time.

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Commute time is where I'd try to make changes, too. Do you take public transit because of expense? When I take public transit to work it takes me an hour, when I drive it takes 15 minutes!

 

If there is no way for you to afford a vehicle and all the costs associated with that right now, maybe there is a way to find rides for at least some of your commutes? There must be some way to tweek your time waiting and taking public transit - because for you that is a LOT of time. Of course some of it can be used but a lot of it must feel like wasted time to you that you could be doing something else.

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On the kids thing I would focus less on the abstract "experience it with the right partner" and more on the nitty gritty details. The former helps a lot when the going is tough - recalling in an instant or less why you wanted to have a child - (or having it coexist with those rough/messy times). It also helped that I had a lot of experience with young children although not as a parent which is a huge caveat!

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