Saturday, 5 May 2012

Ambivalence, lassitude & dare I say it ....loneliness

Lately these two words describe me much more than I would like to admit.  Oncoming winter is probably partly the reason, but really it's far bigger than that.  I once had a friend tell me that I was lucky to be single as I had far more options (her partner later cheated on her and she was hooked up again within 6 months!).  Really options are great, but I have said for a long time that I have too many options, in many respects I'd like to be tied to someone, and as scary as it is in some respects, having children takes care of about 20 years of having to decide what to do with your life.  Of course you still have to do and find other things in your life - but there's a great socially acceptable thing that you're already engaged in which engages you with many others in the same situation and in that situation I think the other things are easier to find.

I'm really at a stage where I have no idea what I want to do with the next few years of my life, let alone the rest of my life.  I'm lacking the passion and drive that I used to have, when I felt, not quite that the world was my oyster, but that I was going to have a great life and make a difference somehow.  I don't want to sound completely down, but currently I tend to see this long life of emptiness stretched out in front of me.

I don't seem to be able to make decisions about anything.  I have recently been doing some foster care training and watching all the couples (I was the only single person in there) who had already raised children of their own, made me question whether I have what it takes to be a foster carer and maybe more importantly whether I even want to do it.  I love the idea of doing it with a partner, where all the responsibility doesn't rest on me and I have someone to share the highs and lows with.  When I think about doing it alone, mostly I just feel like I'd rather go back to bed.  So there's one good example of my ambivalence and lassitude, but to be honest it feels like the theme of my life at the moment.  Will I ever feel passionate again?

Maybe the only thing I do feel a strong desire for is to find someone to share my life with....the answer to that from all the pop culture you read is to have a full and happy life doing the things you love and then you'll meet that partner.  So if I'm to believe pop culture, I'm pretty shot on that front.  So for now I just plod on trying to focus on small joys like walking my dog every day and completing some Uni assignments.  I'm hoping some kind of shift may just slowly creep up on me when I'm not looking.


  1. HI Living my Life,

    I am brand new to the world of blogging. I so appreciate the world it has opened to other women who don't have children writing about their describe very well the common dilemmas we share...I had an image of you in the foster parent wonder you were feeling a bit out of it if you were the only single woman there...imagine if instead of couples, the room was full of other single women sharing their hopes as well as their fears about fostering..what a different experience you would have had then!!!Maybe the fostering course people need to think about how they can resource single women to become foster carers..perhaps by introducing them to other single foster carers?

    Liking your posts very much..can so so so relate to your experiences!


  2. Thanks for your kind words Eileen. This is the second round of Foster Care training I've done and I have to say the people running this are much more welcoming than I found the staff at the introductory session. I certainly didn't feel that the intro session was a safe space to share fears. As much as they need carers it's all still unfortunately run in a way that the whole process becomes very punitive and judgmental and everyone fears the assessment process, it is a real shame I think. The other single woman in there was feeling as down as me at the end I think and said she thought she wouldn't proceed now as she didn't think she could do it on her own.
    The training I'm doing now is not compulsory, but I was interested in doing it and it's mainly long term foster carers in there and me - who hasn't even been through the approval process yet! Anyway I'm off to my final session of this round of training tonight.
    I can really relate to what you've said on your blog about becoming more tentative. I really hate seeing that in myself - I feel as though I've lost faith in myself and my abilities as I've had so many set-backs of late and it is bloody tough being on your own and continually putting yourself out there.

  3. Hugs to you. I have had periods of feeling this way before in life as well. I know how not so good it feels and I think finding joy in the small things is the best way to go. Take of yourself. Treat yourself well and I am sure that shift you hope for will come in time!

    1. Thanks Nicole,

      You are certainly living up to what you write in your post 'The Importance of Sisterhoods'.

  4. I can relate to so much of what you've written. I'm 53 now (though most people assume I'm younger) and your recent pieces seem to describe so much of my life. I am starting to feel really hopeless -- all friends even close to my age are wrapped up in their husbands and children, and the younger friends are getting married and moving away. I've tried finding hobbies, projects, volunteering -- but I always wind up feeling lonelier, as most other people in those activities have families or are elderly. I feel like a lost soul when I go out on my own, so I find myself staying at home more and more. At least at home I don't feel as lonely as I do out among other people. At work, I'm okay as long as everyone is discussing work -- but once they start talking about their personal lives, I get quiet. I don't even have nieces and nephews to talk about! Sorry to be so gloomy,but needed to express how I've been feeling for so long. Thanks for listening.

  5. Susan I'm so sorry to hear that things are tough for you. I don't think we humans are meant to be alone and unfortunately many people can be very insensitive. I just started a new job today and was feeling very sad and lonely as everyone talked about partners, kids etc. I think it's okay to acknowledge the sadness and strive for things we value in life. When it gets bad I try to just live in the moment and not catastrophise too much regretting past mistakes and worrying about the future. I try to just enjoy the little things like curling up in bed at the end of the day with my dog snuggled next to me - giving me some of the love I feel is missing from my life.
    There are people that care about you Susan - sending you some positive vibes, look after yourself.

  6. Thank you so much for your kind words, and for making me feel less alone. I hope your new job gets more enjoyable -- I imagine it will once you get to know a few people. Thanks for getting in touch. I hope we both won't continue to be alone so much of the time.

  7. Thankyou,I am new to your blog, and can particularly relate to this post. It is so true that the very thing which we need to keep doing, getting out and meeting people, gets more difficult and I also know how lonely it feels to be in this position. I can also relate to your feeling of lost passion and apathy, please don't beat yourself up about that on top of all your other feelings, it is such a normal reaction. I recently turned 40 and can see a long, empty road ahead, and am searching for ways to keep motivated. Blogs like this give me hope, and I hope to be able to say something positive next time I comment...for now, wishing yourself and the other commenters all the best. CG.

    1. Thanks for your comment GG. I'm not feeling as though I'm offering much inspiration or hope with my life (or this blog) now. But I guess it's a way to not feel so alone and hopefully for others to realise they're not alone either. I wish there was some magic answer, but alas I haven't found it. I just had lunch with a guy today who has a five year old child and he had to rush off to look after his child, leaving me alone and feeling pretty much as though my life doesn't have much meaning once again. I know I need to create meaning - but I'm feeling uninspired by the options and wish I could conjour up a child to automatically give me that meaning....