Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Passionless past

Recently I read that when one retires it is a good time to resume what you were passionate about in earlier years.

I don't think I had a passion. I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up and I still don't. I think if I had it to do over again I would have been a computer programmer or something to do with computers. If anything has been my passion it is computing and I have been involved with them since 1975. However in the interests of health and balance I feel I should not look for more things to do on the computer.

Why did I not develop other interests when younger? The answer is that I spent most of my adult years working three jobs to support a dead beat husband and three sons, plus I home schooled them as we were always moving and I felt it would at least give them some continuity in their education. I was so busy surviving that I had no time for anything else. Since then of course I got rid of the deadbeat and the three sons have moved on with their lives.

Since I have retired I have tried several hobbies and I find I just about master them and come to the last project and lose interest. That is why I have an almost finished blouse hanging over the sewing machine in the solarium, an almost finished cable sweater, several pieces of jewelry almost finished, a tablecloth that I stenciled and have done embroidery on half, a weaving project stashed somewhere and on it goes.

I guess the counsel I have for younger women is don't put everything you have into your children because when they leave home you look around and wonder what now. The fact is they sometimes move some distance away and the closeness you had when mothering them in their younger years is gone. I think that is how it should be, especially with sons. The Bible says that a man should cleave to his wife and I think it is unhealthy for too much mother input in a grown son's life. We chat via Skype or Messenger about every three to four weeks and I see them once or twice a year but I would like it if we could be a bit closer as the grandchildren are growing and I have virtually no input in their lives.

I think the restlessness I am going through now is partly because we are so isolated and partly a new era in my life that I have not come to terms with as yet. It is hard for me to fathom that in just under eight years I will be seventy. Seventy is old, I am not old yet I feel nineteen inside. I have a lot to do still if I could only figure out what it is. How about you?


Anna said...

I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, either. My kids are practically grown and will be out on their own before I know it, and then what? I'm thinking about it, but I don't really know.

Jeni said...

A big welcome to you to the "I don't know what I wanna be" club! Like you, for so many years, all I got done doing wss working a full-time job, plus a part-time job, plus trying to feed and clothe three kids and then, I went to college and after that, I was working two or three part-time jobs then for five years solid! No time to do any of the craft type things I always enjoyed, for sure.
Now, I need more hours in my day! Not enough time or I am not fast enough to do the embroidery projects I WANT to get done. My days are tied up between reading others blog posts, cooking supper (usually) for the family, watching the grandkids if Mandy needs to go someplace, writing an occasional post, working on one embroidery project after another but I'm so slow at them much of the time, it seems I'm not making any headway. So what do I do? Join Facebook! And I took on the volunteer job of transcribing death records for our county's GenWeb site too! I have a kazillion files of research saved about the township and the villages in it where I live that I started working on about 4-5 years ago in the hopes of putting it all together in a sort of history type thing and research tool for family tree researchers but never finished the research to put it all together. I'm a bit on the bi-polar side at times and go off on tangents and then drop them instead of keeping on and finishing a lot of stuff. Now, I'm also involved to a small degree in the Women's group at our church as well as serving on two other church committees. One of those committees involves visiting parishioners who can't get out and about very easily and here I am, with so damned many irons in the fire that I can't always get out and about easily either! But it still all beats working 12-14 hours every day, seven days a week! (Oh yeah -I am still doing that but just not getting paid for it! LOL)
Keep looking and you'll find something that really trips your trigger.

latt├ęgirl said...

I had a single-mom friend years ago, when our sons were in kindergarten together. Back then she urged me constantly to get a boyfriend, saying that I was putting my everything into my son and that he should not be the man in my life. I understood her point, even though I was not entirely in agreement with the "needing a b/f" part. The son moved on with his life, but I was fortunate to have maintained my career.

Today I am still not sure what my intended calling in life is, but I am working toward something... whatever that might be.

I would be very interested in seeing that unfinished jewelry of yours in its finished state. I am quite passionate about jewelry, especially hand-crafted items... so if you feel like picking up that particular project again, you have at least one person "out there" who would love to see it.

Cicero Sings said...

I've never known what I want to be when I grow up. I left school and just fell into jobs and usually decently paying jobs howbeit not very interesting jobs!

I'm happy to be retired and find my days full. But I know what you mean about getting bored with things once they are somewhat mastered. I have the same problem. Okay, been there done that, what else is there? I've soap to make, quilts to do, embroidery ... etc.

Mingus is taking a LOT of time right now.

I don't have children but I see and have seen many women pour everything into their kids and then! My SIL for instance basically only lives for her only son. She is obsessive about it. I wonder if the son will ever have a life? She most certainly doesn't have one. She controls everything he does (and he is ready for college) and lives vicariously through him. I feel sorry for him. I could go on and on about this. I've been reading a book by Farley Mowat and he speaks of his own Mom ... I think more Moms should be like her. While she sounds quite eccentric, she still loved him but trusted him to Providence ... he was allowed a LOT of freedom and was able to develop into who he really was.

I think your advice to young Moms is good ... parents should always bear in mind that their children will and should leave the nest.

jmb said...

Well I passed into the old category some years ago and I still feel 35 (not 19) in my head. The mirror is a shock.

But I am still a restless soul too, a work in progress.

Don't beat yourself up Berni, you should be proud of yourself,what you accomplished under very difficult circumstances.

Life is just putting one foot after another for many of us, we don't really have a grand plan. Mine is simple in a way. Always try to do the right thing. Not as easy as it sounds.

TechnoBabe said...

I think you are speaking for so many of us women who raised kids and were so busy taking care of them and working that we did not do any of the fun or crafty things that look like fun to us now. It is not so unusual for you not to finish projects because you are trying out so many things. Keep looking and you will surely find a couple things you really like to do. And if not, you will have had fun trying out many different things.

Liz said...

Start by not saying that in 8 years you will be 70! Eight years is a lifetime away! You're 62: that's nothing! Come to that, 70's not old these days!

My grandchildren will be a long way from me and I regret that, but you're right that we have to let our children go.