I will admit that I’m often a bit bored – to be honest, I’m often very bored and that feels quite bleak. I know you don’t have to be middle aged to be bored but I reckon it’s a fair bet that most middle agers will admit to being bored with some aspect of their lives. I mean, by the time you hit 50+ you’ve probably been doing some things for a very long time, the same line of work, the same journey to work, the same routines, the same partner, house, street, habits, etc…..
Before you worry that my whole life is a round of tedium – there are many aspects that I thoroughly enjoy, my fitness, sports and social life are great. I’ve discovered new hobbies this year (sea swimming and hot yoga) and even went on a proper holiday. But my work life – well that is the source of all boredom and I find that because work is such a defining feature of who I am – it is casting a dark shadow over everything else.
I’ve been in the same business since 1989 and for many of those years I’ve been pretty chirpy about my work. 10 years ago I became self-employed which was a peak of excitement, and I do get the occasional days where I still quite like my work. But more and more frequently I find that I have days where I am bored beyond belief with what I do and this in turn impacts on the rest of my life and I will admit it can bring about a malaise of slothfulness and despair.
I don’t like this, I don’t like feeling this, particular with my new anxiety about making the most of my years now I’ve hit the big 50, being bored does not match my search for the zest of middle aged life.
I’m not writing this to get a barrage of advice about retraining, finding a new business idea, mindfulness etc. etc. – I’m just writing this as a fact of life – doing the same thing for a long time can be boring – period. There must be many middle agers out there who secretly admit to boredom. So as I notice my increasing boredom with my working life I can feel a change a coming. The end of year and the prospect of a new year is usually a good time to reflect and I accept that I am in the middle of a major midlife panic which I am attempting to address. I am also trying to be realistic – limited resources (mortgage, no savings) obviously place some limitations on possible solutions. Also a fundamental question might be ‘is it possible to NOT be bored of some aspect of your life?’ Can we really lead a life at any age where we are never bored of any part of it?
My quest has already partly begun due to finding the wonderful The School of Life . In the past few months I’ve attended a few of their courses on Writing for Therapy, Being Creative and How to change the World. And their Toolkit for Life books are amazing. These have all helped to spark some element of hope and renewal and have certainly encouraged me start thinking more broadly about my current state of boredom in my working life and ideas for change.
So onwards to 2015 and resolutions of change. If I am to be the middle aged role model I hope to be and to make a difference in my world then I need to resolve to nip this boredom in the bud. No one wants a role model who is bored of their own life!
So I hereby state my BIG resolution for 2015 – To Stop the Boredom – any takers out there?