Saturday, 9 October 2010

163/365 Identity crisis

Last night on TV, I think it was BBC4, I watched a programme about singer/songwriters of the 60s and 70s. I dont mind admitting, that as it was Friday evening I'd had a couple of drinks and was fairly relaxed, but suddenly, seeing my youth in front of me - John Sebastion, Carol King, Paul Simon, Billy Joel - set me thinking. Here I am, at age 62, sitting comfortably on my sofa with my crochet, my four adult children all out and making their own way in the world, hard working husband already in bed and asleep, and what have I achieved in my life? Very little to be precise.
OK, so I never had big plans, I got married a couple of times, had 4 kids, and was quite content to just be Mum. But although I am still (and always will be) Mum, the practical side of that job is behind me now, none of them need me on a daily basis to feed or clothe them, pick them up when they fall, hug them and give them special Mummy's kisses. So, with the prospect of a good 20-30 years still ahead of me, perhaps now is the time to try to make a difference, to make my short time on this planet count for something. Or maybe it was just the alcohol "talking", maybe just having these four now grown men WAS the difference I made? I dont know, and I am confused. Perhaps thinking late at night after a few drinks is not such a good thing, but when I woke this morning the feeling was still with me, and I feel the need to DO SOMETHING. But I dont know what. Perhaps I'll just hang around for while and see what turns up.
A lot of perhapses, but dont expect an instant answer, when I have decided where I'm going I'll invite you along to keep me company on the ride. In the mean time, whatever happened to this 40 year-old me?

To be honest I certainly dont feel any older, and not a great deal wiser, inside my head, but my body keeps telling me different. And this morning both my head and my body are telling me that staying up late drinking and watching vintage TV is a daft thing to do.


Jean said...

Joy, you said it in the first paragraph or so. You have 4 sons, who are making their way in the World. That is your contribution m'dear.
What comes next ? now that is a thorny topic for a 62 year old! I am the same age and stage as you so....any hints you can give out?

Chrissy said...

You have taken the thoughts straight out of my brain - I have been feeling like this now for months and months. One daughter married and living in Canada, the other getting married next October. I think at times, what have I done and why am I here? For what purpose. Maybe there are only so many people on this planet that actually make a difference and the rest of us are here 'just because we are'. I am 58 and although done a fair bit, travelled a lot, lived in Canada and Germany, I now feel what is there left to do, but just wander from day to day - making a card here, a card there and just pottering. Is this our midlife crisis stage do you think?

carol said...

Joy, i am only 36 (next month) and sometimes think what have i done but when you really look hard, it's quite a lot! I left school with 9 GCSE's, i have had only 2 jobs in my life but made supervisor in both of them (OK i was made redundant a couple of months ago but still made a difference while i was there) I was there for my family when my dad was fighting cancer and my mum had major spinal surgery which has left her disabled. I have started my own business, small but it's still an achievement. I have given my husband love and a happy life after the bad marriage he had. I am unable to have children with him since he was sterilized after his 2nd child in his previous marriage. He has had this reversed but it wasn't sucessful. Our only option is IVF which at the moment we can not afford but if that day comes we will give it a try. I don't feel bitter at all though as i am happy just to have Tony in my life. And i have also given a loving home to a dog, 2 rabbits and a cat.
We have all achieved a lot if we alow ourselves to look hard enough.

BerryandTwig said...

You raised children! You brought life into this world...and now your legacy is the legacy of your sons. How could you not have made a difference? Your children wouldn't be who they are without you. And now it is their job to continue your work. It is their job to make a difference, whether that is having their own children or making a name for themselves, but it's all because of you!! I can imagine this would be how retired people feel. After so many years of working it suddenly stops...and you sit and say " what?" You will always be a mother to them. Everyone needs their mom :) My mother is going through the same crisis. My sister has a family of her own and I am moving out and getting married. She's suddenly saying "wait!!! I'm not ready to retire from my job as a mom! I want my babies with me!" But now she can focus on herself and do whatever it is that she wants to do...even if that is only growing old with my father. So now it's your turn Joy!! Do whatever it is that you want to do! And know that you did your job at raising 4 (I can imagine they are wonderful) wonderful boys!!

joy said...

thanks everyone for your comments, I know my lovely boys are my legacy, and I know that I am now free to live MY life, and when Rog retires, hopefully soon, we'll be able to do so much more, its just that sometimes I miss the younger, less stiff jointed, quicker witted me. And, of course, I have a gorgeous grand-daughter to look forward to, in less than a month now. I think I get too maudlin when I've had a drink or two, maybe time to cut back a bit, methinks.

Stella said...

I remember my dear Mum saying much the same thing to me a few years before she died. She never worked outside the home and felt that she had never achieved anything herself. But I think that to create a happy home where all are welcomed, to bring children into this world and mould them into decent human beings, to love and cherish grandchildren, is a tremendous achievement.
But also, as you look at the world outside your home, you will find any number of ways that you can make a difference, however small.
I have never been so aware of global and social issues as I am now, and am not afraid to hold my own opinion, and try in my own small way to make some kind of difference.
The young can be aware of these things of course, but I think that we older women, with years of caring and nurturing behind us, have a unique part to play in making this world a better place.
And now, after that sermon, I'm off to crack open a bottle of wine myself.

bramleycards said...

Blimey, I was watching that as well, not that far behind you, not physically able and always in pain, mostly housebound, I would like to achieve something to make my children and grandson proud.
Was hoping a card business was in that plan but not too much happening on that front.
Not in the waiting room yet tho'

ScottishPrincess said...

Joy, I'm slightly younger than you. I will be 52 in December. I have always worked outside the home and am still in a state of shock to find myself unemployed for the first time in 31 years.

I had the high powered job with the high powered salary and all the stress that came with it. I ended up as a single mum tryig to bring up two daughters and didn't give them the attention they desrved. It affected my (mental) health. The way I was got rid of by my last employer disgusted me. There were a few hundred of us made redundant but it wasn't done with any kind of sympathy or support. I felt like a leper at the end, unloved, unwanted and totally unappreciated.

I look back now at all my supposed work acheivements and I'm asking myself what was the point of them all? I worked for a huge global company and many of my clients were huge global companies who I was helping to squeeze even more profit out of their business by providing business services. I don't believe any of that ever helped the majority of the population. It didn't make buying stuff any cheaper for them. It only helped the sellers and makers make more profit.

I don't want to do that any more but I'm now in a position where I need to get some kind of well paid job in order to pay the mortgage until I can pay it off so I'm just going to have to put up with it and try to find another similar type of job.

My two daughters are adults and have left home. At last they both seem to have found the path they want to follow in life so I can be proud of them. They are my acheivement and my legacy.
Rant over :o)

The syders said...

Hi Joy, Sorry I'm a Bit late joining in on your post. I personally think the greatest achievement in life is to be happy and fulfilled.

I have a friend who is the same age as me (40) and is so glamorous. She has travelled the world and now lives in Cyprus. She is stunning looking, gorgeous figure, perfect hair & skin and is always out and about partying with beautiful friends. She recently came to stay with me for a few days and over a glass of wine one night I said to her "you are so lucky that you have achieved so much in your life...You must think I'm so boring being a Mum" She replied "Em, Im so envious of your life...I wish I had, had a family...I am so alone in the world!"
I was shocked and it really put life into perspective for me. I feel so lucky and fulfilled to have had such a beautiful family and a good husband.
I guess I have a few years before all mine are off hand but I now have a Granchild and My input into another childs upbringing has began again. I think It is one of the most important things we will ever do in our lives and that is where you have achieved the most in your life Joy....with your four kids.
Hugs X