I had a little rant about unhelpful ‘inspirational quotes‘ a little while ago, so I won’t go into that again, but ‘Live The Life You Imagined’, is one that gets on my nerves, and probably yours too if something out of your control got in the way. Mine is hypothyroid disease…..
If you’ve not come across hypothyroid disease, here’s the search results from my blog.
I never imagined I’d be fat. I’ve never expected to be thin – I never was; but I never imagined I’d end up overweight all my life. I never imagined that I’d never be able to exercise off any over-indulgences – I used to be quite fit you know. Kickboxing, zumba classes, street dancing – I did all that sort of thing. I never imagined that a walk to the other side of the village to see a friend would wipe me out for the whole of the next day; mentally as well as physically exhausted.
I’ve had hypothyroid disease for many years now, and in the past I’d get a bit depressed about it, but on the whole I got on with life as best I could, but the last three or four years it has been on my mind a lot more. I think I’m much more tired than I used to be, and that’s been difficult to deal with. But I think I’ve pinpointed down why recently I’ve indulged in some self-pity and why I’ve started to wonder how I’d be living life now if I didn’t have a chronic illness:
I’ve never had any expectations on life – I take what comes and I do my best. When, at the age of sixteen my boyfriend said he wanted to have children, I took some convincing to begin with. One of his most persuasive points was the life we could lead when we were in our forties – all of the parenting done and dusted; it would really be a new and exciting time of our lives. We could do anything we wanted with the second half of our life. So my only expectation I’ve ever had, was that this would happen. My career could really get going; we could go travelling; anything! I didn’t have specifics in mind, but I looked forward to it.
So now that time has come. My kids are 23 and 20 and although they live at home and I’m still needed; my time bringing up children is at an end. And that’s the thing that I’m struggling with – all the while I’m bringing up children; well that’s enough isn’t it?! That’s my job. That’s what I was doing. (Looking back, I surprisingly fitted a remarkable amount of other stuff in as well!) But now…now what? Everything is much more of a struggle than I ever imagined it would be. I’ve been looking forward to my child-free years so I could make something of my clothing business instead of it just ticking along. But if I’m tired, I make stupid sewing mistakes or find myself spending half an hour trying to decide if the neckline should have lace attached, because my brain just won’t think. The same with writing; there’s no point in trying to write well when I’m tired. And the problem is, I’m tired A LOT.
Now I can no longer call myself a mother; what exactly is my identity? Someone who…struggles! I’m struggling to come to terms with this change in my expectations for this point in my life, that’s for sure!
Do you have expectations for the future? Are you a five-year plan person or a take it as it comes person?
Linking with #sharealllinkup at Not Dressed as Lamb.
mireilleApril 9, 2019
Life does have a way of throwing some curveballs. I definitely would not have imagined where I am now. I do have 2 friends who struggle with thyroid problems, one with hypo and the other with hyper. And while I have never been there myself I understand how it is a struggle to come to terms with. I hope you find your place in the world this year, I must be a hard transition from being the mom who is needed all the time (my stage right now with 4 boys under 12) to being the mom who maybe becomes more the friend?
HelenApril 11, 2019
Thank you for your lovely comment Mireille, I hope your friends are doing ok. Four boys must keep you very busy!! Yes, it’s a weird transition as they become adults, but all of us are starting to get used to it; I’m a friend who tells them off for not putting their mugs in the dishwasher!
Jeannie MullinderJune 30, 2020
I’ve only just found this, first of all so sorry about your health condition, it must be draining.
Well I’ve been through the empty nest syndrome and am now a Grandmother.
When I say I’ve been through it that’s not entirely true because you never go through it. There is always the sense of loss, the sense of not being needed, the sense of not having a slot to fit into and the worst, of not having a purpose anymore.
All us Mums have to cope with this, and all we can do is muddle through the best we can, put on a brave and smiley face when you are falling apart inside.
I don’t have friends and live alone, well down to two cats now, so the conversation is a little limited.
All my friends dropped of the radar when my relationship broke up and he spread the most awful rumours, but I guess if they believed him then there weren’t really friends in the first place.
So rest assured Helen, you are not alone.
Chin up and be thankful you have kept your girls at home with you for longer than most.
HelenJuly 6, 2020
Congratulations on being a grandmother! I expect the empty nest syndrome hits much harder when you’re on your own – as Chris and I had children so young, we’re looking forward to having our couple time that most people get before having kids, afterwards! But yes, it is lovely having them at home for now. I’m sorry about the friends situation – you’re right though – they weren’t really friends in the first place. I’ve found friends since moving to a new area by joining a Writers’ group, a community choir, and a book club; so maybe something like that is worth a try if your cats aren’t providing enough conversation. (Though you might get better replies from the cats!)
Thank you for commenting. 🙂