My changing life

stress 1

NOTE: This is a stock image, not a pic of me, but it represents well how I am feeling. Especially since I’m also dealing with a migraine today.

I’m 52 years old (53 in November), with a 22 (nearly 23) year old and an 18-year-old. Plus my husband of 24yrs (together 26), and 4 cats.

I stayed home and homeschooled my kiddos for 22 years. I had to return to outside work last year in October due to a huge loss of income in our family. I now work 2 part-time jobs that sometimes together equal full-time pay.

Thankfully, I actually really like my jobs. I work at a bookstore in the kids ‘ department and at a local science center as an educator. Totally my things.

But I’m just so tired all the time. And we never have enough money. Such has been my whole life essentially, but it is just so tiring sometimes, ya know? Not being able to fix things when they need fixing, or replace things that need replacing…that sort of thing really wears on a person.

And then there’s the life change of caring for aging parents.

My dad was sick for a long time. He had dementia and Parkinson’s. He passed away last December after years of wasting away, both physically and mentally. Thankfully, his last years were in a wonderful facility where my mom finally got help with him. He was in Memory Care at the end. But the mental and emotional stress on those of us who loved him dearly has been so hard for so long. And there were some really rough years when it was just my mom taking care of him and me providing them both support. That’s when I had to go onto anti-anxiety meds since my mental health couldn’t take all of it.

Now it’s just my mom and she is moving to NY state to be near my younger brother. A move that I believe is probably beneficial all around. She found a great facility out there when visiting recently. And she’s ready for something new. Totally understandable. I’m truly happy for her and what she should hopefully be able to experience in a new life.

In the meantime, we still have my husband’s parents here in town who are aging. And the fact that my husband has been out of full-time work for several years now. And mental health issues abound in our house.

Oh, and I have never been happy where we live. I yearn to move somewhere pretty that doesn’t have such long and excruciatingly hot summers.

I feel so much like I’m just surviving most days and not actually living. And I’m not sure how to change that. Add to that that my husband (who is just 9 days older than me) and I are aging as well and starting to think about the fact that we have nothing set up to pay for our future elderly years. We’ve never been at a place where we could spare the money to set something like that up. Always paycheck to paycheck. And then for a few years, no paychecks at all! Thankfully the pandemic actually helped us out financially a lot with government aid enabling us to defer our mortgage payments and then we qualified for aid that helped us catch up on all our overdue bills. We are extremely grateful for all of that.

My stress has gone down some since I found outside work (since there is finally money coming in). But I need more than just surviving.

I am finally medicated for ADHD but it hasn’t changed my life much. I’m still all over the place and cannot follow through on much. I struggle constantly.

I so want to have some sort of project to bring me joy, like the podcast I used to do with a friend. I used to have a wonderful audience that enjoyed what I had to share with them. I always felt like I was helping people and it helped me to thrive and continue to produce. Until it didn’t anymore and I grew tired of the tedium each episode entailed. SIGH!

This has always been how my life goes. I am PASSIONATE about something and thrive and then eventually I lose interest and cannot keep it up.

I have learned that this is ADHD. It’s a dopamine deficiency and executive function disorder, so it makes sense. But even with meds, I struggle constantly.

And life is always overwhelming.

I get a lot of joy from the books that I read and I want to do something to share these finds with the world in a way that is sustainable to me. I doubt I could ever regularly produce anything consistently. Podcast, blog posts, social media posts, whatever…consistency is never going to be something I can do. Even on meds. But I YEARN to share so much (my phone is filling up with all the pics of book covers I take at work of all the amazing books I discover!) and I know that it would make me so very happy to have an outlet to share things with people again.

I just cannot figure out what that should be. And how to build an audience again.

I would love to be able to build something like what The Orange Rhino has but with a different audience and, a different focus. I adore her FB posts and their long streams of consciousness. I can relate so much. Not to her topic so much…I’ve never been much of a yeller…and now that I’m older I’m even less so. I pretty much never yell (that’s her whole challenge). But I still relate so much to her and what she has to say so much.

I really benefit from reading about other’s struggles and feeling like I am not alone in mine. I feel like posting about MY struggles might also help others.

And so I continue to ruminate on what I can do to help bring more joy to my life and some help to others. Because I LOVE helping others. It brings ME joy!

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *