Most of us ask ourselves about the reason for our being here, likewise asking ourselves ” who am I really?”
These are questions that tend to become more important as we get older. Around our 40s & 50s many people, especially woman have difficulty in accepting their new home situation as children fly the nest, maybe through going on to University or even setting up their own home. While this can be a welcome move, bringing the promise of a more peaceful life & more financial freedom, it can come at a high price! This is sometimes known as empty nest syndrome. Mothers & Fathers can find themselves going through a mid life crisis. They may behave strangely or out of character, sometimes chasing dreams of their past, trying to relive what they feel that they have lost. At this time marriages can fall apart, affairs seem appealing or depression & anxiety can take over their life. Obviously this doesn’t happen to everyone, some people love this new freedom & relish making the most of the free time that they now have. If this is you, you are very fortunate! But for the rest of us, take heart – there is light at the end of the tunnel!
During this period in our lives, it can become evident that our homemaking skills are not needed in the same way as before. Many people, including myself become tortured by selfdoubt, thinking that they are no longer wanted or needed. Feelings of inadequacy are very common. This is not really surising when you consider that many of us have become accustomed to being ‘just Mum /Dad’ we are referred to as ‘so & so’s wife/ Husband/ Partner, we are a Son/ Daughter, employee, friend, neighbour & so on…………
what about ME?
This can be quite a scary question. Some people chose to ignore it, maybe drinking too much or trying to find other ways to blot it out, but the question is still there – & it’s very real!
Now that our previous skills are needed less, many of us have a burning desire to discover the real person that they feel they should be. For me this happened in a very big way. Having been a Mother since a teenager & wife to 3 different men, I was used to thinking that my life began & ended at my front door. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved being a Mum, ( always will!) I took great pleasure in seeing my children happy but once they had left home, I began to wonder what the point of it all was. I had left school at 15yrs with no qualifications, married my first love & although I’d had a few meaningless jobs, I. had never really considered a life beyond my family.
I knew that I was reasonably intelligent, was creative, interested in people, but what use was that? I had lost all of my confidence & couldn’t envisage a future being a nothing, a nobody! At this point I felt invisible, I felt that I had no right to an opinion, after all, all I really knew about was child rearing! I wrestled with such depression & low self esteem that I tried to blend into the background. I felt worthless!
My marriage went the way of so many, it collapsed under the weight of trying to find myself & to make my mark on the world. No longer a wife & with little contact with my family, I tried to end my life several times until it occurred to me that I have to have been put on this Earth for a reason . There my quest really began…………….
In my enforced solitude in a tiny retirement apartment, I started to think about my own self, this was very difficult at first. For the first time in years I could spend time with friends, or pampering myself without guilt. I discovered that I loved it! I loved being my own boss, going to bed when I chose, eating my own choice of food, being responsible for my own decisions. My confidence started to grow, slowly at first, but with every little achievement I grew stronger.
I found a sense of humour that can be a bit off the wall, but it was MY sense of humour. Bit by bit I found out what makes me happy. In my case I gain satisfaction from helping other people & now realise how useful my difficult past can be. I find that learning anything new is a joy, I have taken up many wonderful pastimes. I am learning T’ai Chi, I have taken up exercise & also lead a class for elderly neighbours. Recently I decided that I would like to work with & support vulnerable elderly people. I’m not 100% sure yet which form this will take, but one thing is for sure, it will happen! I relish a challenge! I am no longer scared of tomorrow ! I am becoming more creative again, writing being a particular passion. Every day life gets better. I feel so contented! I don’t have much, but need even less. My life hasn’t been wasted, it’s all been a useful learning curve. I am determined to lead a good, useful life & don’t intend to allow my disability to stop me.
I suppose the best thing for me is looking in a mirror & realising that I like being me. So although I may not have made a set plan for my future, I know that I am strong enough to keep changing, evolving. I am no longer ‘only’ anything……..
I am Rosie. I am me. I am happy!
I have made that change & so can you. You don’t need to be single, all you need is to recognise that YOU count. So why not make that change?
We are all capable of being happy, but in most cases we need to be true to ourselves. Take that gamble. Take that leap of personal faith. You are stronger than you believe!,
I wish you all the happiness & luck in the world 😊