Tonight, as I sat on the train waiting for it to leave Penn Station in Newark, I looked out the window and watched the people on the platform.  There is always such an interesting mix of people – trains from NY and other states going to and from, people coming from work, tourists coming from the city, people rushing home to all parts of the state to be with family.   There was a man in a suit reading a paper standing next to a teenage girl in flip flops talking on a cell phone.  A man in baggy jeans and a basketball tee standing next to a woman in a suit with a briefcase looking impatiently at her watch as she stared down the track. 

As I sat there staring, I noticed

a young couple….talking, laughing and completely oblivious to the people around them.

a mother with a small boy – holding his hand, and looking distracted and tired – but who looked down and smiled this amazing smile at her child when he said something to her.

a young woman talking to another – excited about whatever they were talking about.

And I started feeling old.   I remember when all of these people were me.   But not anymore. I feel …middle aged.  Tired.  Adrift.  I feel like I’m at a complete crossroad in my life.  I’ve been feeling this way for a while, but it’s starting to ….weigh on my mind.  I think it started when I had to fill out an online form at work saying what I wanted to do in my next job at the company.  One of the fields on the form was my anticipated retirement date – and it was in 20 years.  Another 20 years to work?  At this type of job?  I just can’t see that.

So I think about my …

Job – I like my job.  I like the money.  And I like the life it gives me.  But I just can’t see doing this for another 20 years.  How boring.  If I think back 20 years, I realize how much my work life has changed.  I want to be able to do the same thing in 20 years – look back and realize how different it is.    I want to do something a little more meaningful.  Something that I’m just completely passionate about.  And while I like writing contracts – it’s a bit hard to be passionate about termination clauses.  Even good ones.  And come on, didn’t your eyes glaze over a bit just reading “termination clauses”?

Kids – growing up, moving on.  Which is good – really.  I’m so proud and happy that they are becoming independent.  But I need to learn how to have a new relationship with them.  Mom but yet….adult child mom.  Just sort of a relevant irrelevance…does that make sense?  Love me because I’m their mom, but just not central to them anymore.

Marriage – good marriage.  Larry is my best friend, and I love spending time with him – except now we seem to be busy with our own hobbies/lives more and more.  We used to do everything together.  And now it’s different.  I miss those days where the world faded to the background when I was with him.  Where I couldn’t wait to be with him, and didn’t want to do anything else.  I know things change – but at the same time, I can’t help but feel they shouldn’t have changed this much.

Age –I’m 45 – and that is more than half way through my life (how depressing is this blog tonight?)  I mean what are the chances that I’ll live to 90?  I did smoke for almost 30 years (I know, amazingly stupid right  – started at 16 and just quit this year…sigh…) so there isn’t a huge chance I’ll live to be a ripe old age.  So I look at people in their 20’s and 30’s and I’m a little envious of where they are – so much ahead of them.  And yet…I think that I still have a lot ahead of me.  I mean – 20 years ago I was 25, had a baby and was just starting out.  And here I am today.  So it’s possible that the same level of massive change is possible in the next 20 years.  I just need to get over this feeling that my life is behind me. 

So I realize more and more that I need to make a change.  Or some changes.  Big changes.  That I need to do something different.  That I can’t see myself working in a corporate life forever.  That I need to do something that I’m excited about.   Something I’m passionate about.  Live somewhere different.  Be someone different.  And that change is good – and that its not crazy to completely redefine my life and change direction. 

But what?

Tonight its socks.  Lisa Souza yarn.  More on this later.

But I think soon, it’s going to be a lot more.  Not sure what …still planning some things.  I need to really decide what I want to do next – all I can say – I want it to be different than what I do now.  I need to be something different.


16 Responses to Drifting

  1. Opal says:

    i think you’ve made a good life for yourself, but i do understand your need for change. i’ve been rather introspective as well of late and i’ve come to realize that i need to make some changes. after all, isn’t that what life is all about?

  2. tiennie says:

    I think maybe it’s just the way you look at things? Good hubby, good kids, good job, good hobbies – you are blessed! I hope you find what you’re looking for to make it all that much better for you!

  3. Jen says:

    I hear ya. The breaking point for me was the job. I didn’t realize how much I didn’t want to do what I was doing until I had some time off between jobs. Good luck!

  4. lobstah says:

    I’m rapidly closing in on 30, but having similar thoughts especially about work. When I think that I have 35 more years before retirement, it just boggles my mind. Especially thinking about doing similar work that I do now, ugh! But it’s so scary thinking about making that leap into something new…

  5. Annie says:

    I think it’s always a good thing to be introspective about one’s life. Good luck to you!

  6. hakucho says:

    Gosh…you are not the only one with all those feelings. Time is passing faster and faster every day for me. It is important to find things that make you happy. Life is just too short 🙂

    Good luck finding the right change for you and then you can pass the secret on to me 😉

    happy 4th of July!

  7. susan says:

    I hear ya. In the evenings on my way home from work I think I could easily give up my wordly possesions and live in a cabin up in the mountains. Then I stop and by a lottery ticket thinking maybe those mountains could be in anonther country!

  8. stitch-dom says:

    I was in a meeting with a bunch of other women recently – we had finished up the business at hand and for some reason started talking about what we’d rather be doing – me as a midwife, our publishing coordinator wants to be in palliative care, and our internal comms person wants to provide home care. We were wondering what we were doing there and realized its all about paying the mortgage sometimes.

    I can see where having Dan move out makes you start thinking about what’s next. I think its better to realize you need to change things up than get stuck in a rut. Whatever you decide, I can’t imagine you won’t succeed at it.

  9. kitkatknit says:

    Oh crap, now I am feeling old. thank goodness you ended your post with the wonderful sock picture!!! 😉

  10. Rebekah says:

    What good thoughts, I think it’s good every now and then to stop and think about everything. I imagine riding the train might be quite entertaining people watching. Working in the “city” now (St. Louis) I get to do a lot more people watching. It can be quite interesting.

  11. Laurie says:

    Sometimes we sit back and do this kind of thinking. Don’t let it get you down. There are people older than you (ME!) that feel the same way. DAMN I need a change.

    Maybe it’s the gloom of the weather along with Dan moving out.

    Cheer up and realize that you wouldn’t want to be 20 again. But to be able to wear some of the shoes….YEAH!

    Pretty new sockage. Call if you need to talk.

  12. donyale says:

    Good thoughts – thoughts are good – they make you realize things – make you look at things in a new light – make you search for something else – keep you moving forward – rather than sitting and letting life go by. Don’t be afraid to take a good look at your life. Sometimes that’s when the inspiration for something new and exciting hits.

  13. Asa says:

    Wow, you have hit the nail on the head. I frequently think about living my dream – spending more time knitting and being creative… but then life takes over, duties, the need to earn money, help support the family… I hope you take that leap!

  14. Larjmarj says:

    Sounds familiar, I don’t have kids but the marriage and turning 45, I’m right there with ya. It’s a strange realization isn’t it?

  15. I know what you mean – and I’m turning 45 very soon – and have the same kinds of thoughts go through my head. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to think about what’s past and what you want to see for the future – at the very least, it gives us something to strive for.

  16. victoria says:

    Strange to be here and yet not feel like you’re old enough to be this age, at this stage of life…it’s good to be aware–after all it is a great big journey and being present in it is what its all about.
    You’re in good company…..

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