Forty Two.

I find myself tonight struggling with the meaning of life, the universe and everything.

Well, perhaps not everything.  I’ve just read something that started some sort of sub-conscious echo – no, that’s not it – a resonance.  A similar feeling of futility maybe, but on a different level, in a different thread of life.

Because I’ve sort of ‘stopped’.   I’ve found myself distinctly unmotivated about just about everything.   Things, the normal everyday humdrum things that we do without much thought, just seem to lack any sort of excitement or inspiration.  Things that I loved doing up until a year or two ago, I no longer find interesting.

Take painting.  A few years ago I was putting my heart and soul into banging out painting after painting in oils, acrylics, watercolours, and I loved nothing more than sitting on a ship and spending my days creating images of the sights we had just seen on our travels.  But on the last trip, I started a couple, and they still sit in the bedroom half completed.

Why?

I saw a style of painting in our local Range store and thought – I can do that – but halfway through I’ve just put it to one side.

And I sit and think why, and come up with one theory.   Lack of appreciation.  Or more to the point, I want to feel appreciated.

Who am I painting these for, I ask myself?  I get a kick when someone says – “I like that”.   I loved sitting painting on the ship, attracting the occasional passer by who drops the occasional compliment.   I don’t do this solely to solicit complements of course. But it is a welcome bonus.  It makes me feel good inside, like I am somehow worthy.

I have around 100 paintings in the loft that no-one sees.  I can’t imagine anything better than having them on display in someone’s home, where they (and my hard work) is appreciated.

My wife doesn’t appreciate them – to the point where she’s told me to “get rid” of them.  Sell them, throw them. it doesn’t seem to matter.  Lack of appreciation you see.  Demotivating.  Not much point knocking out any more is there?

I wonder if there’s a lack of self-esteem going off here? Or is it a sense of being unsuccessful?   How does one measure success?  Maslow’s self actualisation comes to mind yet again.  While I might be considered to be successful, I look at my career for instance and see it isn’t the success I had hoped for.  Far from it. How did I let that happen?

My family has been a success in the main, having brought up three beautiful daughters to the point were I can stand back and be proud of each and every one of them.   I’ve managed to stick at a 36 year marriage that has had its dark moments, and come out at the end relatively well.  But all of that doesn’t seem to be sufficient.  I’m not sure what else I need in my life to feel successful.

And even that’s not the whole picture.  Because there’s also a lack of fulfillment.  I know I can knock out another painting, so I won’t achieve much by doing so.   Nothing is taxing any more.  Nothing feels like a challenge.

And it is even more complex than that.  The presence of a challenge isn’t in itself a solution. It has to be a worthwhile challenge.   Something that has meaning.

It’s not sufficient to have a target, or a goal, there has to be some overarching purpose.

Maybe i’ve just got to that time old question “Why am I here?”

Predecessors

Now, if you have ever used Microsoft Project, you’ll know about these things, and predecessors currently play a big part in motivation.

I have quite a few unfinished projects which I just don’t seem to be able to muster up the interest.  And some of this is due to predecessors.

These are things that you must have done, must have in place, before you can get on with the next step.

I can think of lots of unfinished projects around the home which are rightly or wrongly delayed or deferred, due to predecessors.

For example, I brought three new light fittings for our bathroom, but haven’t fitted them as I needed loft access, and that required the loft clearing so I can get access to the wiring.   But to clear the loft I needed help, not just to off load the stuff but then to try to sort out the contents and get rid of the rubbish.   So the first step was to enlist help.

So many things I fear are held up due to little things.  Or so it seems.  Conveniently.

Going through the change

I know what you are thinking, but I’m not referring to that.  But men go through emotional and physical changes as they get older.   For me, its a lack of stamina and marginal laziness.  I get tired too quickly i fear.  Instead of my eagerness to take up the paint roller or get out in the garden when I come home, I prefer to just slump in a chair, read facebook and watch a film.    Lazy?  No, just bloody well knackered.   As I keep being reminded, I’m closer to 60 than 30 and I’m not the spring chicken I used to be.

It’s depressing.

Solution

I’m not sure there is one.   I would love a new job with a new challenge.  Nay, not even that – a new direction.  I have thrived on variety for 35 years and now there is none.  I’m in a rut.   I don’t need a new hobby, but I need something to motivate me.

All of my current aspirations require considerable funding.  Whether it is starting a new business, or retiring tomorrow and going on a world cruise, I need money.  The euro-millions isn’t helping at all despite raising the price of the ticket to £2.50, and this just proves to me that Brexit will be the right move in the long run.  They will stop selling euro-millions tickets anyway when that happens.

I have to remember that in the past, I have been very fortunate that opportunities have basically landed at my feet and I haven’t had to go out hunting for them.  Some of my depression comes from the fact that these opportunities have dried up, the future looks dire and I must indeed get off my backside and go looking for them elsewhere. But I’ve had four years of trying that, with nothing to show for the effort.

I’m not sure what drives me to record this – but what I also have great faith in is that something will, without any doubt, come along.  It always does.

So it’s nothing to get overly worried about at the moment.    Next!

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