Is giving up, giving up

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ajs88
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Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260674Post ajs88
Thu May 17, 2012 9:23 am

I've put a huge amount of pressure on myself to achieve over the last few years, in part I can thank myself for it as I have a very modest income and home out of it, but on the flipside I'm constantly feeling like a failure, suffering from status anxiety, and my depression and eczema have both returned.

I envy those seemingly carefree women who work in Neals Yard and the organic grocery, who earn a living but seem to not worry too much about it, while envying those who have achieved what I think I ought too.

Why am I pushing myself? School, family and university all told me that I have to achieve, as a women I have to accomplish something, I have to do something that others can be proud of. No one mentioned being happy, no one valued being a woman in itself, or even that you work to live so study something that will make this easier not harder! And its not even to earn money, if it was maybe someone would have mentioned getting a bloody skill, its literally success in itself and the more unachievable and harder the goal the better.

If I did manage to achieve the 100k a year job what would I be rewarded with, not being allowed to have children or stay at home with them because I'm the breadwinner, a huge mortgage, more and more insurance and finally redundancy as this is how most these jobs seem to end. Would my marriage survive this success, would my children, would I?

I often feel like I've literally been indoctrinated and brainwashed with a false set of values and am beginning to see the dawn, my body and mind is reacting against me for a reason, I should listen to it. I should see my modest achievements as huge achievements, despite a very dysfunctional and deprived childhood, serve depression and self-destruction in my teens, several traumas and not a lot of help I have accomplished a normal life and even better someone lovely to share it with.

But even to the liberal arty people who are my friends and family this is hearsay, I'm giving up, I'm wasting myself, I could do so much more etc. I'm guessing a lot of people on here face this sort of thing and was wondering how do you deal with it.

Thanks for reading my semi-rant :flower:

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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260678Post Green Aura
Thu May 17, 2012 9:42 am

Well, AJ it looks like you've reached some sort of crossroad. Advice will abound (from family, friends and here no doubt) but only you can decide what's best for you.

The acid test for me was always do I want to look back when I'm 50 and find I've not done what I wanted with my life. I say "was" because I'm well past 50 and still enjoying life to my own satisfaction.

For some people that is a simple question, career or family. For others it's more complicated but you have to set your own standards. What does your partner want - some of this is a compromise. But there are some compromises that shouldn't be made. Your health for a bigger mortgage etc just strikes me as absurd.

Back in the day, when I had a "proper job" we had a simple tool to help patients work out problems. An A4 sheet of paper divided into four in a + way. Given any statement e.g. "I want to go for promotion" looks at the pros and cons of going for it in the top two squares and similar for not going for it in the bottom two. Try not to think too much about it, just leave it about so when something pops into your head you can add it to the right square. After a few days one of the four lists will be markedly bigger than the others, which might help you decide which way your true inclination lies. At least that way you get a clearer idea of what you want - not what other people are telling you you should do.

And take care of yourself. Give yourself some downtime to yourself. :hugish:
Maggie

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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260728Post boboff
Thu May 17, 2012 1:19 pm

I gave up, and it is the best thing I have ever done.

I still struggle when people ask me what I "do"

My parents still ask when I am going to get a job.

All I can say it, you owe it to yourself and to your family and friends to do what makes you happy, the bit to avoid is giving up carear etc and then find out you are still not happy.

Pipe dreams and the field on the other side of the river being greener and all that.

On your next Holiday, go and work on someones smallholding, or what ever, see if you like the routine.

Next time ask for a 1 month sabatical at the firms quietest point in the year, again evaluate whether you enjoyed it.

You may actually find something where you can use your spare time, enjoy that, and end up actually being able to tollerate what you are doing day to day, or you may not, but it really is up to you to start seeing if what you think you want, will make you happy.

I think the risk is jacking it all in, and then in six months being really poor with no job, fed up with health issues, and having to do something outside in the winter in the rain which you don't enjoy.......

As the very lovely GA says, forget about what you do, or are doing, concentrate on being, you.

My unfullfilled ambition in life is to be happy just being.
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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260732Post MKG
Thu May 17, 2012 1:39 pm

Ajs88 said "in part I can thank myself for it as I have a very modest income and home out of it".

Don't beat yourself up. That little snippet says it all. If that isn't success, I don't know what is. You can build from there with minimum stress - and I wish you the best of all possible luck.

Mike
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260747Post Zech
Thu May 17, 2012 3:59 pm

Well done for what you've achieved, you should be proud of yourself :icon_smile: At the same time, what you achieve next doesn't have to be what "the world" says you have to achieve next. From reading your post, I think you know this and you're asking how to cope with other people's expectations.
ajs88 wrote: But even to the liberal arty people who are my friends and family this is hearsay, I'm giving up, I'm wasting myself, I could do so much more etc. I'm guessing a lot of people on here face this sort of thing and was wondering how do you deal with it.
I recognise this. I gave up my job to throw myself into my attempts at self-sufficiency and some people certainly saw this as a step backwards. Mostly I've been fairly thick-skinned about it and simply said, "I'm doing this because this is what I want to do," but sometimes it's got to me, especially when accompanied by the word, "housewife." I still wince when I have to declare that as my occupation on official forms, because they don't have a box for, "Opting out of the rat race."

If asked, I think pretty much everyone will agree that what we all want in life is to be happy, but when it comes to making the big decisions in life, many people seem to forget that. Hold tight to the fact that you're choosing the life that seems to you to have the best chance of making you happy. If other people think there are better reasons for making choices, more fool them!

I'm not sure if this helps, but if you'd like to read more of my blatherings on the subject (and some interesting comments by other people), I've written about it here:
http://growingthingsandmakingthings.blo ... ewife.html, here: http://growingthingsandmakingthings.blo ... -grow.html, here: http://growingthingsandmakingthings.blo ... le_12.html, and here: http://growingthingsandmakingthings.blo ... -self.html, and I'll probably write about it again :wink:
---
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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260749Post British Red
Thu May 17, 2012 4:59 pm

Life is for living lass.

Now, I am not saying don't work, or don't have kids, or don't stay home.

What has worked for me is to work out what makes me happy and then work out what I need to do to achieve it. We decided we wanted a little cottage with some land. We wanted one in Devon or Hampshire. But to get that we would have had to work ten more years to pay for it. So we bought a run down place in rural Lincolnshire and stopped working full time ten years sooner.

Reckon that 100k a year makes you happy? It doesn't. Using that money to do what makes you happy might do though. If you work hard for a period to buy your dream home, or small holding or pay for your kids education or whatever floats your boat, sure, that's worthwhile.

We run our own business and work when we need to. A client of mione laughed when I said I needed a "sh** job". He was bemused until I explained I needed to replace the septic tank..so literally I needed a job to pay for...well, you get the idea.

I will, next winter, do another assignment. Why? Because I want to go of grid with our electricity. So all that stuff I have to do is for that. It makes it easier to go to work and think "this is the timber for two raised beds ...or a load of fencing...or some fruit trees". I don't work for money. I work to invest in our lives.

However, thats not everyones bag. Nothing wrong with being a mum or dad, or doing a job you find rewarding if thats your bag. The thing is to know what makes you happy, and do it, save for it, work towards it.

Red
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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260756Post Susie
Thu May 17, 2012 5:33 pm

I've been through this and I'm not sure I've got anything intelligent to add, but, I'm really sympathetic and I could have written your post a few years ago (for what it's worth, I gave up, and it's the best thing I've ever done - this is the only time I've felt fulfilled and interested in my life, since, well, forever really).
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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260764Post Ellendra
Thu May 17, 2012 7:07 pm

ajs88 wrote: But even to the liberal arty people who are my friends and family this is hearsay, I'm giving up, I'm wasting myself, I could do so much more etc.

People will always try to tell you how to live your life. If you listen objectively you may notice that most of the time, what they're actually doing is talking to themselves. They're giving you the advice that they think they should be following themselves but don't, thus telling you stuff to salve their own conscience. They aren't the ones who live your life, you are. I'm trying not to add myself to the list of people telling you what to think, but I do hope you'll stop and breathe once in a while!

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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260766Post oldjerry
Thu May 17, 2012 7:18 pm

Humans need shelter,food,warmth,and (for me personally) someone to talk to.and that's about it.All the rest is just other people's expectation................. boll--ks to them. Best Wishes.

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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260770Post Thomzo
Thu May 17, 2012 8:00 pm

Oh Ajs, I know exactly what you're going through. By my mid thirties I was completely burnt out. Looking back, I spent my entire twenties either working or studying and then working or renovating old houses. I took more and more pressurised jobs. Sure they paid well but the stress was intolerable.

It all came to a head 9 years ago when I "mutually agreed" to leave a role with a particular company (that spectacularly crashed 3 years later). The stress of being kicked out was unbelievable and I just remember breaking down in tears in my solicitor's office about the whole issue. Once it was over I was incredibly relieved, I took a lower paid job and really enjoyed it. I got home at a sensible time each day and never had to work weekends. It changed my perspective completely.

I thoroughly recommend that you get some professional help in managing your stress. A combination of acupuncture and hypnotherapy helped me to cope, both with over-demanding bosses and busybodies who try to tell me how to live my life.

Well done for achieving what you have in life. Now's the time to start enjoying the fruits of your labour.

Zoe
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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260793Post dustydave
Fri May 18, 2012 5:57 am

Sounds like you are learning something from life – not many people do.

Embrace it!

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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260796Post becks77
Fri May 18, 2012 7:33 am

sending hugs, whatever you decide to do and which ever path you choose if you do your best no-one especially you can ask any more thats what I tell my girls and it seems to work.
All the very best
Becks
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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260813Post the.fee.fairy
Fri May 18, 2012 9:00 am

I like MW's philosophy.

I've always lived following the mantra 'I would rather regret the things I have done than the things I have not'.
It works well for me.

Think: When your life flashes before your eyes, will you laugh and say 'I enjoyed that!' or will you cry and say 'I wish I had'?

I'm hoping for the laughing option myself :iconbiggrin:

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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260821Post Milims
Fri May 18, 2012 9:59 am

Big hugs hun :hugish: It sounds to me that you have reached a really important point in life. You have the opportunity to take stock of your life so far, cherry pick the best bits and get rid of the dead wood. It's not an easy thing to do and the process can be very painful, but if you stay stong and hold fast to what you really want, you will make it. You will come out the other side a stronger, happier, more fulfilled, more chilled person. I know it can happen because I've done it.
Why do we push ourselves to achieve the "Norm"? I think the answer is "because other people expect us to". Perhaps what we should ask ourselves is "what do I need to to do make me fulfilled?" Provided that you are causing no real harm to anyone you have the right to do what makes you happy. If someone else is upset by your life choices, then that is their choice and has nothing to do with you - they choose how they feel, not you.
Have you ever wondered how happy they really are? They may just envy your power to choose because they aren't as brave as you :wink:
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And let us be kind
Let us be silly and free
It won't make us famous
It won't make us rich
But damn it how happy we'll be!
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ajs88
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Re: Is giving up, giving up

Post: # 260824Post ajs88
Fri May 18, 2012 10:15 am

Thank you so much for all of the :hugish: its really means something to find other people who understand. I don't actually have to jack in anything or make any changes, in facts its the opposite just get on with it and not stress about where it will all lead. Funny I already feel less stressed :cheers:

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