Feeling rather melancholy tonight.
1. a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.
This is the situation. It’s nothing new, everyone faces it, but it’s a first for me.
We have completed the transformation from nurturing parents to doted upon grandparents.
The children have all gone their ways, making their lives on their own, in their own way, much the same we did back in the day.
I never considered back then how it must have felt for mum and dad. They had committed their whole lives to raising me and my brother, and suddenly, no longer needed. Well, that’s not quite right is it? Not needed to be the guiding force. Just needed in a loving, almost nostalgic way.
It’s difficult to cut the apron strings. I suppose for someone whose kids all leave at 18 it’s a bit of a wrench, but after a while, it seems like they will be, forever more, part of the furniture.
And now we are into that phase of “the weekly visit”. If you are lucky. We have said of our own family visits, “its so hard to make time, we are SO busy”. Now maybe we will start to hear the same excuses, and understand how that can feel like abandonment.
Resentful? No, of course not, because ultimately that’s exactly the best you wish for your children – that they find happiness, set out on their own and continue the cycle with you in the background if needed. Rarely needed.
Now, it’s time to re-focus and find a different set of goals that will breath life back into a fading existence, fill that empty void in the daily routine.
It is easy to become jealous of others; fast cars, faster women, high flying executives – “the grass is greener…”
But it is inevitable I suppose that you start to analyse your life’s achievements against old Maslow’s laws of self actualisation and table the question – “Are we there yet?”
Job? What a crock. I’ve had some inspirational moments in my life.
“You earn too much but it’s not your fault”
“You’ve plateau’d – there’s nowhere else for you to go”
What happened to the promises? “This is going to be the biggest thing ever… stick with me”… 37 years later, the highlight of the day is plugging a phone in to a socket. Just the ticket for a BA Honours graduate. But still, why moan? After all, whose fault is it?
I confess that I have committed the gross crime of being comfortable.
Interesting and easy work at times, decent wage, reasonable perks. But not pressing forward and achieving everything I could have achieved- Settling for the easy option.
I have seen the warning signs over and over again, but it has been too comfortable to consider leaving for pastures new. And now suddenly I’m feeling rather unfulfilled.
At a time that we should be springing around planning the rest of our lives, I find myself lethargic. Falling apart – teeth falling out, joints failing. Instead of planning the future we are just waiting to see if tomorrow arrives at all.
I’m sat on my own, because after nine, I’m the only one left awake in the house. Old before our time. I have lots of hobbies, none of them filling that gap. Unfulfilled.
I honestly hope this isn’t how my mum and dad felt all these years after I had left home. And now, with Dad gone, I wonder how mum fills her days, with only the odd visit from me and my brother for company?
We have the grandkids of course, and I’m sure if we were allowed, they would be living with us. But my life can’t just revolve around the weekly visit from the grandkids. I’ve got to find something meaningful in between.
I would like to finish work entirely, and my wife too, so that we didn’t have that mundane misery to put up with each day. But what to do instead? Surely that’s just an excuse to spend more time sitting and waiting for tomorrow to arrive?
If anyone has any ideas, let me know. For now, I will just despair on how I ended up here instead of the vision of the future I carried around with me for so long.