What To Look Forward To? - Talk About Marriage
Life After Divorce Divorce is complicated, and change is never easy to cope with. Use this section for help and advice on living life after a divorce.

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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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What To Look Forward To?

I'm not really even sure what I am asking, other than just maybe getting other people's opinions on what they would do in my shoes.

I have been divorced going on 10 years. I had a few relationships after my marriage, most recently one that lasted going on 2 years but just ended. The details are posted here in various places and I don't want this thread to get into details about it, because it's water under the bridge. It ended very badly and that upsets me, but it was inevitable. It was an LDR.

Enough about that. I guess I am just wondering how people keep motivated. Now that I'm free again, I feel like I don't want to be. I wanted the relationship to end differently. My focus is all over the place.

I'm 52, a physician but I don't practice full-time anymore. I do practice at a local tertiary care center here, but not full time. I started a medical writing business a few years ago and that has been my main source of income. I honestly have put almost no effort into it. The work I get are clients who come to me. I never recruited clients or put any work into it. Now things are starting to dwindle a bit there, and I should do something but I have no motivation. I don't really need the money, but I need something. Just not sure what.

The thought of dating makes me almost want to vomit. I HATE dating. I think that's why I tend to dive into relationships head-first; so that I can avoid it. I have a horrible terrible man-picker. I can't stand the thought of dating again.

I just don't know what to do next. I feel stupid because the world is my oyster now, but I just don't see it. My daughter (my youngest child) who is 16 lives with me and will graduate from high school soon. When she does, I can go anywhere I want and do anything I want. I just don't know what that is.

I don't know how to get from one day to the next with no goal, and I don't know how to find a goal. I don't want it to be all about a man. I know I should volunteer, find a new interest or career, etc, etc, etc, but I just don't have the motivation or desire. How does someone get the motivation?

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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 01:12 AM
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

What brings you happiness?

नमस्ते 🙏
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

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What brings you happiness?
I don't know
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

Helping people. Taking away pain that people have.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 04:29 AM
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

Thanks for asking this very interesting question as I can identify with how you're feeling. I hope you get some good feedback,because it will not only benefit you,but also others like myself that are in a similar place.

People talk to me about apathy,depression,attachment disorders and as King Yul would say... etc. etc. etc. So many things can cause this it seems. It's odd,in a way,looking for ways to motivate yourself to actually motivate yourself. Right now,I try to identify even a small goal,the best way to get there and then break it down into the smallest steps that I can handle. My little victories become important to me,as they reinforce a 'can do' belief.

Take heart I would say. After all,you were motivated to start this thread,and I hope you find what you need.

"Truth is like the sun,you can shut it out for a time,but it ain't going away"-Elvis
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 04:58 AM
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

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Originally Posted by Hope Shimmers View Post
I'm not really even sure what I am asking, other than just maybe getting other people's opinions on what they would do in my shoes.

I have been divorced going on 10 years. I had a few relationships after my marriage, most recently one that lasted going on 2 years but just ended. The details are posted here in various places and I don't want this thread to get into details about it, because it's water under the bridge. It ended very badly and that upsets me, but it was inevitable. It was an LDR.

Enough about that. I guess I am just wondering how people keep motivated. Now that I'm free again, I feel like I don't want to be. I wanted the relationship to end differently. My focus is all over the place.

I'm 52, a physician but I don't practice full-time anymore. I do practice at a local tertiary care center here, but not full time. I started a medical writing business a few years ago and that has been my main source of income. I honestly have put almost no effort into it. The work I get are clients who come to me. I never recruited clients or put any work into it. Now things are starting to dwindle a bit there, and I should do something but I have no motivation. I don't really need the money, but I need something. Just not sure what.

The thought of dating makes me almost want to vomit. I HATE dating. I think that's why I tend to dive into relationships head-first; so that I can avoid it. I have a horrible terrible man-picker. I can't stand the thought of dating again.

I just don't know what to do next. I feel stupid because the world is my oyster now, but I just don't see it. My daughter (my youngest child) who is 16 lives with me and will graduate from high school soon. When she does, I can go anywhere I want and do anything I want. I just don't know what that is.

I don't know how to get from one day to the next with no goal, and I don't know how to find a goal. I don't want it to be all about a man. I know I should volunteer, find a new interest or career, etc, etc, etc, but I just don't have the motivation or desire. How does someone get the motivation?

Why must you do anything, why must you have a goal to reach, why must you 'do something'? Maybe for the first time in your life you can 'just be.' We spend too much time striving and doing, engaged in action. If you are financially independent, then just enjoy the day to day. You will eventually come across something you really want to do, do not force it.
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 07:34 AM
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

I understand where you are coming from. I suffer from the same type of lethargy from time to time (more often than I'd like). While I am not a doctor, I do own my own business and I have a great deal more control over my time and how I choose to spend it, than most people do. One of the benefits to that is that I have more options than most people. Do I want to work this morning or go play golf? Can I do this now, or can it wait until later? Do I want to stay up or out late? Sleep in or get up early? Eat now? Travel? Invest? What do I want to do? The plethora of options often times lead to procrastination on my part. I sometimes wish I could live the life of someone who's life is dictated in terms of when they work, how long they work, how much free time they have every day, when they can take a day off, when they go on vacation etc etc. Then I remember I did do that. For about 6 months after I got divorced and I hated every minute of it.
I guess all I can say, is be happy you have what is largely a first world problem - too much time and too many choices, things could always be worse.
As for how I get over my periods, I try to take each day as it comes. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. At some point you will look back and see how far you have travelled and that in itself is a reward to look forward to.

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 07:40 AM
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

Hope, you are a physician. There is a tremendous need for Physicians all over the world. If you really love helping people, third world countries are in desperate need of adequate medical care.

One way you could sort of test drive whether or not this would work for you would be to take a mission trip. Larger churches do them pretty regularly. I wouldn't think it would be too hard to find one who would love to have a physician attend one.

Or maybe you can even find a way to give back to the underprivileged in your immediate area. Either way, you have a highly desirable skill for the underprivileged.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 08:01 AM
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

Dear Hope,
I get it, at least I think I do. You tried to focus you life and energy around your life and energy around a man, and it failed twice leaving you empty and unfocused. You are cerebral and highly educated but you have moved your career into a place where you don't feel needed. Mostly you are doing non urgent work. Your children and family are moving on and there is little to hold you down. And on top of all that you are at that point in your life where you want it to mean something. You want to focus your energy on leaving a mark on the world. Something to be remembered by.

I think you need a Sabbatical. A year working in a different focus. Away from consulting, and long term care. Either towards working more hands on, or in the opposite direction, in Teaching and / or research.

If I had your level of freedom. I think I know where I would go this summer. There is a local Camp that needs a Rifle instructor. I could get enough training between now and June to take that post. Of course it is easy to say what you would do when you don't actually have to put it on the line and take that leap. To me Working with a big group of teens is the most important thing I could do because it influences their lives which influences the Future. They also have so much energy and Fun about them. You wake up every morning and put on your best attitude, just so you can keep up with them.

On the other hand My high School Chemistry teacher took a year Sabbatical and went to industry, to get a break from us kids and all of our Drama. I guess.

I really think you need to start looking into something you could do for a limited term 1 - 3 years that would be different, That would shake you up and stretch you. You don't want to sink into a sedentary existence.

The happy people I know have projects and interests. In my religion there are groups of Seniors who work long hours in simple service to others. Some work with youth, some do research or teach others to research. Some are just there to fill a spiritual need. I know a woman who is very active in following sports. She holds season tickets at her alma mater. She follows the careers of the athletes. She volunteers to keep the program going. Her husband goes with her to support her but his real interest is Fishing. He reads about it, plans trips and vacations around it. has friends that share his passion. a few years ago he launched a side business building custom fishing rods. He has something to look forward to every day. I'm 51 my kids have their own lives. I pop in to offer support from time to time. But now it is time for me to develop my own interest. Take one of my hobbies and make it the thing I get up to do. I still have to work, but it is just what I do to keep the cash flow stable. But enough about my search, you need to find a passion for you.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 08:22 AM
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

Maybe you just need some chill time. There's always a purpose for your life even if you don't see it all the time. It's ok to just be and smell the roses. I have horses in my life and just being around them balances me. When it's quiet that's the time when God and the universe gives me strength.

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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 08:27 AM
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

Hope,

I was where you are once upon a time, thou not divorce, i felt lost in the sense that, i looked at my life less as who i was, as opposed to the roles i played in life....husband, son, father, boss, employee....and one day i realized that yeah i could continue to play the parts that people saw me in, and most of us do or I could stop defining myself as those parts, and define who i wanted to be. I could start to change what i wanted to be, i saw this as my second act in life.....I always loved education, i love photography, i enjoy writing for me not anyone else, i enjoy working out, hiking and so on....i made a plan, a plan of the things i told myself i would do over the years if only i had enough time, energy or money...and you know what i discovered that you never have enough time, energy nor money that match your thoughts....that the real culprit was the lack of drive....that spark you needed to get your ass off the chair.
I wrote my personal bucket list cliche i know but call it what you want....a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish in my life... there is the important thing, not to make money, or get a better job, or to win an award, but to go right to top of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - Self-Actualization, and if what i learned i could share with others then that to me was just the cherry on a sundae. So i made a 5 year plan, i expect your plan to be different than mine, and well it should be but make it flexible to move things around, and the beauty of it was that it relied just on me, no one else. here a couple things on mine, and what i have discovered is that I keep a personal log book of the stuff i want to further explore and do off shoots of things i want to learn

1. I always loved computers, i decided to learn linux, then i decided i liked it so i decided to learn python, then java scripting, which learn to an interest in cyber security which lead to going back to school and getting another undergraduate degree in cyber security, and now going after a another masters in cyber security
2. I loved photography so i decided to travel and just take a camera and book and take pictures...i even post them on flicker
3. i volunteer at a food bank and i enjoy every moment of it
4. I am learning Spanish because i have always wanted to learn more languages
5. every year for the past 5 years, i have taken author and read 5 of their books...Hemingway, Somerset Maugham, Joyce, Miller, this year i am reading mexican authors
6. I write everyday, may short stories or poetry or just my thoughts
7. I do one random act of kindness everyday
8. i Challenge myself to run 5ks, 10ks
9. I challenge myself to take an opposite view and investigate why someone may think that way

my list is longer but still manageable and i add and subtract based on how i feel....all of this started with mind mapping, throwing everything up on a wall and see the patterns of my wants and my passion. But none of this will start until your really ready, what would it hurt to do a simple mind map and see where your passion lies or make a simple bucket list. good luck.
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 08:54 AM
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

You're suffering from burnout. I've had that happen to me once or twice.

You get into the same routine and after a while you go crazy bored.

Luckily for us, in January, me and 3/4ths of my team were reorganized into corporate R&D rather than be stuck in product engineering. My team has worked very hard the last two months to come up to speed but nobody is bored, burned out, and so on. A lot of new things to learn, new direction, a really cool new manager, etc.

You can teach an old dog new tricks. With that attitude you should be good to go. One of my kids' chem teachers in high school was an MD who decided to change her career. The sky's the limit.

(Matlab at my age? Ouch)
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 08:55 AM
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

Sounds like you have might some mild depression. Keeping busy is the best cure, short of meds. If you don't know what you like to do now, think about the things that brought you joy when you were younger and do those things. Also, make a bucket list and start working on crossing things off of it. That's what I've done and I'm loving every minute of life.
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 09:12 AM
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

Hope, you're clearly in a funk.

The good news is that it does not have to be permanent.

I've definitely gone through a similar phase. I was kind of "meh" about most everything and had the occasional bout of depression or anger come over me. I just kept plugging away at things that helped to keep me feeling happy and fulfilled. That, in combination with some therapy once every two weeks (to make sure I had an objective party keeping my progress and best interests in mind) helped me immensely.

It's not an instant turnaround, it takes some time, but you can overcome these feelings. I'd be less apt to recommend anything prescription strength if you can avoid it, but sometimes we all need something to give us a leg up, even if just temporarily so we can see how different a more balanced mind can be. It's very easy to become unbalanced.

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."

~ Abraham Maslow
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 09:18 AM
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Re: What To Look Forward To?

Quote:
Originally Posted by emerging buddhist View Post
what brings you happiness?
fedex?
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