Feeling Out of Sorts

There seem to be a lot of things that are just getting to me a bit at the moment. And I’m sure that any one of them, on their own, wouldn’t faze me. Even a handful of them wouldn’t faze me. Indeed haven’t fazed me, until now.

Here’s the list!!

My parents are slowly beginning to not be able to cope, and I can’t decide what’s best to do to help them. They’re coming to stay with me for a few days next month – this is a sort of test for me to see if I could actually cope with having them live with me. That sounds so hard hearted, and I would love to be the sort of daughter who could welcome her parents with open arms – but there’s a history there that I need to be able to get past. And with no downstairs loo, and nowhere to potentially put one, there are practical difficulties too!

My ex is ill, and I know that in theory I shouldn’t care. But it’s not that simple, is it? It turns out that caring isn’t something you can turn off like a tap.

I used to volunteer with the National Trust. Due to Covid 19, the House I used to volunteer at is now closed indefinitely, the services of all the lovely volunteers that I used to work with are no longer required, and staff are being made redundant. It’s all just so sad. Sad for the people, and sad for the property that we loved. And saddest of all, no chance to say goodbye.

I’d always planned to travel when I retired. After my husband left, the idea of having to travel on my own didn’t bother me in the slightest. But now I’m faced with the possibility of not being able to travel at all. Or, more to the point, the possibility of not being able to do what I want to do when I get there – there’s no point in travelling if you can’t visit places and do stuff when you’re there. Probably this will all sort itself out, and by the time I retire everything will be back to some sort of normal – but we don’t know for sure that it will.

The whole Covid 19 thing is getting to me now. I’m not particularly worried that I might catch it, or that I would be very poorly if I did – but of course I could be very very wrong about that! What’s bothering me more is the long-term effect on the economy, people’s jobs, house prices, pensions, and the life I used to live. I know that we can go to the pub now, go out for meals, shops have re-opened and lots of places of interest are open again – but somehow the joy has gone out of it.

And last but not least, with my 60th birthday trotting along towards me at an alarming rate, I’m worried about retirement. A retirement that is beginning to look like it won’t involve volunteering with the Trust or travelling, but might involve caring for my parents long-term. I won’t be retiring at 60 – that was the expectation when I started work, and indeed was the expectation until ten years ago – I’ll get my State Pension at 66. But still, subconsciously, 60 is a milestone.

So there we are. Lots to think about, and not a lot of control over any of it – and I think that’s probably why I’m feeling out of sorts. I prefer to meet problems head-on, sort things out – and with these, I can’t.

I feel like I’m at some sort of crossroads, but I don’t have any choice about where I go from here. There’s nothing I can do about any of it.

And that’s tough.

Edited to add – I found out this morning, just after I’d posted this, that the area I live in is now under a new Lockdown. Apparently it was announced at 9:30 last night via Twitter. With effect from midnight. Total confusion, no-one knows who’s allowed to do what and with whom. Fucking shambles.

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. I think putting your thoughts onto paper / screen was a good idea. Getting the negativity out of your head. It sounds like a tough time for you and I hope you can find some solutions soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I really do find that writing things down helps me.


  2. Kath Cole says:

    Oh Shelagh I feel the same as you. I’m waking really early and worrying about all this stuff. I think your statement “the joy has gone out of it” resonates with me the most.

    What did Churchill say? “When you’re going through hell, keep going!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He also said ‘Just keep buggering on’, which is one of my Mum’s favourite sayings!! I was going to come and visit you in the shop today, but I wasn’t sure if you’d be open. Will drive over anyway this afternoon, just on the off-chance. xx


  3. Sheila says:

    Sorry you are feeling like this. You have lots to consider. Sometimes things unfold bit by bit and the fog clears. The idea of writing it all down is a useful tool.
    Mindfulness might help, if you are a person who takes that on board.
    I hope you can settle your thoughts, and take each day as it comes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I ‘get’ the idea of mindfulness. Trouble is, I’m very mindful of the fact that I’ve got a lot going on!! It looks like today is going to be lovely, so after doing a few things that need to be done this morning, I’m going OUT this afternoon. the change of scene will do me good!


  4. gosforthgirl says:

    It eould br crazy to offet any ‘solutions’ but a virtual hug might help!

    Life feels pretty overwhelming and you are always very chipper with a great can – do approach.

    Bluntly it will appear clear ‘ what to do next’ if not straightaway…..

    Sending love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Yes, I’ll bounce. But sometimes it takes a little longer. xx


  5. Sarah says:

    We too are in the new lockdown zone, it is a complete shambles. My friend doesn’t even know if they need to keep shielding as for our area they are going to clarify next week.

    Is your gym affected by the closure of gyms in certain areas?


    1. It’s a total mess isn’t it!! Yes, after being open a week, the gym has now had to re-close. I have many friends and colleagues who will be celebrating Eid al-Adha this weekend, and will now have to change their plans. And yet the local Wetherspoons was able to be open, not a mask in sight and no social distancing at all. I think it’s the inconsistency that people are finding most frustrating.


  6. Sarah says:

    My mother is 94 and until last year was living on her own in our family home from my childhood, a good three and a half hour drive away from where we live. She was not coping and had various health issues so she took the decision herself to move to be near us. I did not offer to have her live with us so she now lives in a flat in an assisted living facility nearby and is extremely happy. Much as I love my mum I could not live with her, we clash too much and I still feel awful for saying that but it’s the truth. I do hope you find a solution for your parents that still enables you to enjoy your retirement and your independence.


    1. I needed to hear someone say that!! So it’s not just me who struggles with the idea!! They were building McCarthy and Stone retirement flats near me, which would have been perfect – but it’s all ground to a halt due to Covid, with only the footings in. One step at a time I think – they ARE coping at the moment, but I fear may not do so for much longer. Let’s not go looking for bridges to cross until we have to!!! Thank you. xx


    2. Sarah says:

      I think you are brave and honest to admit that.

      It is better for all parties involved, if all living together would not work for whatever reason.

      I think living nearby is often better as everybody has the chance for their own life.

      Are your parents in a position to buy in support if when they need it? I’m thinking housework, gardening, cooking or a housekeeper which might live in or live out. These are all ideas my parents are considering for their future.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. They could certainly buy in services – but the issue I suspect might be more a question of pride (not wanting to admit they can’t manage) and also being uneasy with having strangers coming to the house. But I’m second-guessing them there – it’s a conversation that needs to be had.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Sarah says:

    You would think that the powers that be would have decided in advance what the possible restrictions are and what criteria triggers each one as opposed to the current conflicting advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With any other government, of any party, in the past, I would have agreed with you – but this one? I’m amazed they even manage to dress themselves…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Rachy T says:

    Absolutely nothing wrong with saying you don’t want them to live with you if it will make you miserable! Better that they live close by in a retirement flat 🙂.

    Sometimes life throws a whole heap of …… at us but I would say – only focus on what you can control!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I think first off we need to keep them in their own home for as long as possible, and when that’s no longer an option, sort that out then.
      If only I could find one thing to control!!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

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