Midlife blues

Suddenly, you're forty and feeling it. You're tired and crabby and bored, and to top it all off, your jeans are too tight. It happens to most of us sometime. One moment life is sweet, work is going well, relationship and kids are fine, the next minute you feel middle-aged and disappointed.

This is not exclusive to people in couples, or with kids, but getting bored with your life can have big consequences for other people as well as for you when you're part of a family group. Nothing is wrong exactly, life just feels dull. You feel dull, and you can't figure out what happened to that rich, promising life you thought you were having.

Okay, so you need to spend some time with yourself, but what do you actually do?  It's not just a matter of being too busy. It's about losing touch with what you enjoy, with what you want from life. It's about treating your life as a car, then finding you've let other people do the driving.

Getting back behind your own wheel doesn't mean being careless about the needs of others. It means being careful on your own behalf, and taking some responsibility for yourself.

You might start out by doing some research. What did you used to dream of doing? What happened to those ideas? Your dreams could be about anything, they might be about a job you want, or a hobby you enjoy, or a skill you want to learn. They might be about the kind of person you want to be.

The Midlife Blues

If you're feeling dull and bored it may be a struggle to come up with ideas. So ask for help. Your partner, your kids, your parents, your brothers and sisters, your friends, they are all rich resources for you.

Ask your resource people what they think you get fired up about. Don't worry if you don't feel excited about those things now. Just listen to the stories and remember what it felt like to have plans and interests and enthusiasms.

Ask people you know about what they do. What are they involved in? What interests them about it? It's not that you need to copy someone else. It's that all the ideas and stories about how people put meaning in their lives will help you to figure out what's important to you.

Sometimes what happens is you find a new enjoyment of the things you already have in your life. Sometimes you develop new plans for yourself, sometimes you go back to dreams that got interrupted by all the bustle of your family life. You might also develop new dreams with your partner.

If you're bored with your life, you are probably feeling bored with yourself. So give yourself a little time and attention to help rediscover where you find your enjoyment and satisfaction. The more you enjoy yourself, the more you can enjoy your partner, your family, and all that's on offer around you.

If you would like help to build on your romance, contact Relationship Services on 0800 RELATE (0800 735 283) or your local office which is listed in the telephone directory. Or visit us at www.relate.org.nz/index.asp

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  • Mellow says
    The Midlife Blues, starts with a number... for sure. Eating chocolate for comfort and watching Oparh, ..... taking on board in others' issues.......is no answer... Wake up and see what is there in front of mirror, & smile.......
  • Anna says
    hopefully im far to young for the midlife blues =P
  • KH says
    I don't like my own birthdays and struggle with adding that extra year...every year. Have a funny feeling I wont like turning 40.
    • Anna says
      actually i realised i must be getting old the other day... my parents always forget which exact age they are.. and i always thought that was sooo silly how could you possibly forget... but ive started to!! i actually have to like fully think about it now!! ahhhh oldness!!
      • KH says
        So true and it's so funny! Someone asked me on Friday and I said...aaahh...I think I'm....

        Yeah. Whoops.
      • Wice says
        Despite the more negative physical side of aging, each year of my life brings more riches, more knowledge , understanding and confidence. I would never want to go back to being younger and feel privileged that I've made it so far and had such an awesome life! I know that in ten, twenty, thirty, etc. years I will look back and think how young I was now. I often look at old photos which at the time I thought were hideous - but now I can't believe how great I looked back then :D I can’t help enjoying each day as if it was my last and appreciating all that I have. The older you get, the more aware you become that here is always someone worse off than you – friends, family, strangers that are suffering or have passed on.

        When my Dad was really ill, he found it almost impossible to walk. Now, when I feel lazy and don’t want to have to do something physical, I think of him and how lucky I am just to be able to do it, My whole attitude has changed.

        There is so much I still want to do in my life and the longer it lasts, the more I discover to add to my list!
      • New Member says
        That's a great point!
      • New Member says
        been there before.
      • New Member says
        it's all mental right?
      • New Member says
        This is a great article full of information, I'm also going to write as you've written so technically on professional cv writing services which are now so essential that students and job seekers are approaching globally. Thanks for sharing
      • New Member says
        Good post, full of information, I'm also going to write an article on professional cv writing so that I can help needy students and job seekers globally.

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