I'm late joining in on this discussion, but you've echoed so much of the same things I that I feel. I'm fifty-three and haven't worked for about eight years. (Rheumatoid arthritis is actually why I had to quit working, but now fibro adds to the fun!)
I love animals, and wanted to volunteer at a local shelter, but they want a commitment of certain days/hours in advance, and as we all know, planning and the ebb and flow of chronic conditions do not mesh too well.
I often feel like a burden to my husband, even though he's supportive, and I'm very grateful for that, so I hear where you're coming from there, too.
I also occasionally entertain the (fanciful) idea that I could get a part-time job, but a flare of one thing or another brings me back to reality in a hurry. In short, I don't really have any answers, but I definitely understand.
I don't have much of a circle of friends outside of my family, either, and I miss having some social interaction. I actually end up avoiding some of the opportunities I do have for spending time around people, because invariably someone will ask me what I "do", and I've yet to find an answer that doesn't put me and/or the asker of the question in an awkward position, so I just tend to avoid the situation.
A few people have been rude...when they find out that my husband and I don't have children, and that I don't work, they've said "What do you do all day?!", and I just don't know how to answer. Once my husband and I were having lunch with some distant relatives of his, and one of the women asked me what I do, and I said (it was wintertime, and we have a woodstove in our home that we use for supplemental heating), that I stay home and "feed" the woodstove to help cut our heating costs. (My answer was not well thought out, but I stupidly wasn't prepared for the question.) Anyway, one of the men leaned over to his wife, and I heard him whisper to her "She doesn't work so she can save $200 a month?!) That really hurt my feelings, and it made me a little mad...I could have explained in detail then and there and made him feel like a schmuck, but I just kept quiet, because I didn't want to spoil the visit.
Anyway, I got a bit off-track from the sentiment you expressed about feeling unfulfilled...I'm sorry that I really don't have answers for you, but I do share your pain. Like you, I don't think I'm depressed or unhappy, but there's definitely something missing. It's tough, and I feel for you. Thanks for a great thread--I think you've brought something up that many of us struggle with.
"Life is not about
waiting for the storm to pass; it's about
learning to dance in the rain."
Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes, Grave's Disease, GAD, migraines, panic attacks, chronic hangnails (just seeing if you're paying attention!) : )
Post Edited (kimliz59) : 4/14/2012 9:25:07 PM (GMT-6)