Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When that mystery feeling pops up, how am I supposed to answer?

Do you ever have feelings that you don't know how to express? In the pit of my stomach, I feel like there is something missing for me. I'm blessed to have a wonderful happy and healthy family. There are many great moments of joy in my life. But there is a huge part of me that feels stuck or frozen in my day to day. I go through my routine motions of getting everything done to keep the household moving. Then I'll have a feeling of uneasiness which will sneak up on me during the day. I have this sense that I'm incomplete. It's probably a good feeling for me when it comes to writing my poetry. I can use that need to fill an emptiness by getting my feelings out in a poem. But I do wonder if something inside of me is calling me to add a dimension to my life. I'm clueless about knowing what it may be.

I'm curious to know if any of my blogging friends also feel sort of unsettled or empty at times. I know my hubby would say that I'm probably finally "losing it" after 13 years home with kids. I do try to fill up my life with my interests and hobbies here and there. It's just funny that this nagging feeling likes to come to the surface often these days.

Probably, one trip to the spa and I'll be right on track. Are you listening, hubby???

Thanks for listening to my ramblings today.

38 comments:

Peach said...

it might sound weird, but i've always felt similar feelings during the change of seasons...specifically fall and spring...
i call them mid-youth crises

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

I find I'll feel that way if I'm ever alone and not busy. Thankfully, I'm never alone and I'm always busy!

Dani said...

I think I know exactly how you feel. I've only been married just over 4 years, let alone a mom that long, so I don't think it has to do with being a mom for so long (at least on my part) because I feel the same way. I never can put a finger on what it is and it gets to be really frustrating at times. Then I finally seem to get past it somehow and can be happy with the way things are - but it never lasts long and that nagging unfulfilled feeling comes back. I always ask myself what more do I want in my life and I can't think what. The only thing that comes to mind is that I miss school - I miss learning something every day and not just cleaning, keeping house, cooking, and taking care of kids. It feels sorta like I'm not progressing anymore. Perhaps that's what it is for you too... perhaps it's that you miss learning. Would you want to take classes again? I think about it, and I don't know if I'd really be going for something like a degree, but it would be so nice to give my brain some more exercise. :)

Joanne said...

I agree with Dani, and speak from experience. For the first time in many years, I'm taking a night class at a local college. It feels good to be in that community of students, and to open my mind to the subject at hand. Of course the subject is my passion, too, The Social History of Rock & Roll. It's a fun class that serves to deepen my understanding of the music. So, I vote to consider school, even one class here and there.

Caroline said...

Dani pretty much took the words out of my mouth. It's so hard to stay home. For awhile I felt like a part of me died. But actually, it was a part of myself that went to sleep. And I am now slowly waking up. Blogging and my photography has helped me so much. It has put more meaning in my life. I think any creative endeavors help. Listen to your heart and allow these feelings to present themselves....they will lead you to a new door.

H.K. said...

I go through those feelings every couple of weeks. First I think its because I should go back to school and then some days I think I should go back to work and then there are other days that I think it's because I haven't pursued my writing career more aggressively.

It's frustrating not knowing where to pin point those feelings so I understand completely.

T Rex Mom said...

I think many of us go through this from time to time. Along with my family, I've found filling my days with school and projects helps.

For me, it's about keeping my mind busy. Reading "Brown Bear" doesn't challenge me but taking grad school courses is challenging. Maybe you need to challenge your brain? Maybe take a class of some sort?

Vicky said...

Isn't it funny I feel so alone in some of my inner thoughts and feelings and then you mention you feel the same way? And your readers do too!

I absolutely feel sometimes I am meant to do something "more" in my life and I don't have a feel for what that is. Most days I hum along and life it good, but on those days... I wonder. Blogging/ writing has helped with some of that but ... if you find an answer will you let us know?

Warren Baldwin said...

Know the feeling. Don't know the answer to it. Don't know if it is the Lord telling me to plod along under any circumstance, or the evil one trying to tempt me to be dissatisfied. I opt for the first one - plot along, trusting and praying I'm pleasing him. And I often add a prayer - "Lord, lead me to some sould today" that I can help in some way. That often refocuses my purpose.

LizE said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and found myself nodding along to your words. I love your use of the word "stuck" because that's how I feel right now though I haven't been able to express it. I think there is something in autumn that prompts introspection :-)

Susan Fobes said...

You need to be challenged mentally, and maybe this is your subconscious trying to tell you this. You already have one purpose mastered-being a mother-now you need to stretch a little more. What did you always want to do or be? Maybe when all the kids are older and in school you will have some time to find that out...

Ginger Jasper said...

I know just how you feel and it is perfectly normal. You have an outlet with your poetry which is good. I also get that sinking in the stomach feeling and then feel guity when I have so much.. It cant be helped. Just ride it out and it does lift.. Luv Carol and GJ x

Becca said...

I feel like that sometimes. For me it has a lot to do with being at home with the kids every single day. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE staying at home with them but I get bored with the same routine. I am with you though, a trip to the spa might kick that feeling right out the door!

The Writing Instinct said...

You post was so honestly written; no rambling here.

I know that feeling and have had it since I have been at home full-time. As much as I love running our household during school hours I know I need something to keep me mentally occupied. Getting seriously started on my book has helped me immensely and given me something to look forward to, that involves me wholly, for an hour or two a day. I hope this helps in some way.

xo

Q said...

I'm usually unsettled in some way, but very rarely do I feel empty.

My suggestion is to do something to help someone else every single day, do it consciously. Make it a different thing every day if you want variety.

I find that it's hard to feel unfulfilled when I'm helping to fulfill the needs of others.

K said...

I'm pretty happy day to day, but occasionally I start thinking too much about the big picture. I wonder where I'll be in 10 years and if I'll regret giving up my career or just starting wondering a little too much about everything.

I fine having a few dreams is helpful. Like maybe I'll try to write something "real" when I have more time. And my little part time job helps me feel less like I'm "just a mom" - whatever the hell that means.

Hang in there.

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

I think everyone has those feelings creep up from time to time. We often wonder what else is out there, what more is there for us? I think that's normal, even for the happiest, most content families. I hope you can do something fun for yourself, something to cheer you up (Spa treatment, chocolate binge, date out with gal pals, etc.) Or perhaps making a daily/weekly gratitude list and a wish list (things you hope for) would help you. Your gratitude list would be things you are grateful to have now. Your wish list is things you want or aspire to achieve. I bet you'll be crossing those off your list soon enough. Hugs and get up and dance in the mean time!

Analisa said...

I have so felt that way, the feeling of is that all there is? Not that things are bad, just not quite full in the sense of purpose.

Might I suggest prayer. Not spending enough time just seeking God can make this feeling come. I think it is a little nudge from him to get us to find out what our purpose is, not that it is not family because raising kids and being home is high on God's list. Yet maybe as the kids get older he is preparing you for the next thing. So you start feeling a little uneasy or restless. Sometimes it is like a feeling of forgeting to do something but you can't quite figure out what it is. Ask God he will give you direction and a sense of peace.

Beverley Baird said...

There are days when I question why I am feeling down, when thing s seem to overwhelm me. But I do try to look at the positive, try to hold on to what is good in my life.
Grief, anger, pain, fear even - they are such negative emotions. But sometimes, they can make the good seem so much better.
Creating art is realing helping me, Getting involved with others helps too. Your writing seems a great outlet.
I want to thank you for stopping by to leave such kind comments. I appreciate it. I have been not as much into visiting blogs as I was - I will be back!

Vickie said...

Yeah. I get that feeling a lot. I will just sit there and think...I got work to do...why am I not moving??

Usually after Halloween I start feeling all warm and festive but this time around I am not.

Hoping it passes soon for you.

Janna Qualman said...

I feel this way, too, Kelly. And I can only (thus far) attribute it to the doldrums of realizing there are things we have to do, day in, day out, for the rest of our lives. Laundry? Shampoo my hair? Tend those I love most? Etc. Sometimes I get so discouraged and worn out, I don't know what to do with myself. And so I reach out into those other parts of my life; the writing, reading, friends, going out on my own, just to gain some rejuvenation, some renewed perspective. I suppose we all have to deal with similar feelings, it's just what we do with them that's important.

I'd back you up on the spa idea. ;)

Ms Perfect said...

Thanks for your sweet comment! I know exactly what you mean. I found that doing something for others makes fills that void. I wish I worked in the medical field so that I could give back everyday and feel like I truly accomplished something. Good luck finding your "thing" and I know you'll be great at whatever it is!

The Write Girl said...

Hi Septembermom,

I understand how you feel although I'm not a stay at home mom...I think when you do the day to day it can become a bit mundane. Perhaps you should jot down some things you'd like to do or an awesome activity to take up like a book club or maybe even an awesome writing job from home. You have a lot of talent and you can certainly do anything!! Hope you get the spa you so deserve.

Corrie Howe said...

Hope you are able to figure out what you are feeling. I'm sorry I have no thoughts or wisdom for you.

Randi said...

Kelly, I know exactly how you feel! (I think!) I have had periods in my life when a nameless anxiety creeps up on me and makes me feel like something is out there, hiding from me, and I am supposed to find it without being given any clues.

I have learned over the years, that when that feeling comes upon me, it's usually because a part of me is longing to come to the surface, to be fully expressed. The problem is, each time it's a different part of me, so the anxiety or restlessness comes from trying to figure out what that part is. So how DO you figure it out? How do you add that dimension to your life when you're "clueless" as to what that might be?

I usually use what I call my "obituary" method! Sounds bizarre, but it works for me! I'll ask myself, if others were to describe me at my funeral, what would I want them saying about me? What about me would make me happy if someone said, "I never knew Randi could_________."

To give you an example, one time when I was having this anxiety, I used the above method and realized that I would love to be known as a dancer. But dancers DANCE and I was no longer dancing at the time. So, I joined an Irish Hardshoe class after I realized it would be satisfying to me to hear someone say, "Wow! I didn't know Randi could Irish dance!" Not to mention the utter joy I got from being involved in a Riverdance type numbe! (Unfortunately I ripped my knees apart and can't do it anymore.)

Or maybe your cool secret thing is playing the piano, or learning to speak Spanish, or PUBLISHING THAT BOOK OF POETRY, or knowing how to break codes, or stepping onto the ice rink and being able to do a spin. Don't you love a TV show where the character, unbeknown to all of her friends, begins chatting with someone in Russian and the other characters just look at her and say, "Holy Crikey, Kelly! When did you learn to do that?" What's that secret part of you that's dying to get out? Is she a dancer? Someone who knows sign language? A marathon runner?

Think about how you describe your children to other people. Do you describe them in terms of what chores they accomplish? I'll bet not. Instead, when describing them, you probably tell people about their funny little quirks, or their favorite activities, or their hilarious laugh, or how much they love to race their bikes. But yet as women, especially if we are stay at home moms, we define ourselves in terms of what chores we do. We say, "Well today I made the beds and did the dishes and went grocery shopping and did the laundry and paid the bills and vacuumed. Is that all there is to me?" Heck no!

Just like we would never describe our children by saying, "Well he makes his bed and takes out the garbage and dusts the tables..." we shouldn't see ourselves as choremasters only.

An interesting thought: Although this has not happened to me, I have had a few friends who have experienced this restlessness not when SOMETHING is missing from their lives, but SOMEONE. They feel this same uneasiness and incompleteness, but feel like there is someone who is supposed to come to complete their family.

Sorry this is so long!

Jenners said...

I know that feeling....I used to have it alot but I haven't lately. I think it is a restlessness. You probably need to feed some part of your soul that isn't getting fed some way. As much as you do for others, I wonder if you do enough for yourself. Perhaps if you do some journaling about this, you'll discover what is missing. Of course, the spa may do the trick too ... never hurts to try it.

Jillien said...

I am in a constant state of THAT very feeling. I have my fillers. Some help fill me up and others leave me empty more.

He & Me + 3 said...

Yep...I feel like that often and most of the time in my case it is because i have missed my devotions and prayer time.
Then other times I just feel sad and I can't pinpoint why. I think that may be the absence of my thyroid and hormones...
Hope you are feeling like yourself again soon.
MImi

Don said...

From time to time across the decades I've faced the feelings before... and then I had an epiphany as I "heard" a still small voice say to me, "Don, is it enough that I'm your Friend?"

St. Augustine said "Our souls are restless until they rest in You."

David said, "Deep calls to deep..."

Solomon said, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men..."

Blaise Pascal said, "There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus”

There have been other times, when in all honesty... what I really needed... was a nap.

From the sublime to the simple. That's my breadth.

Don

PS: Did you enjoy the poetic answer your post some days ago? (Another's Rebuttal)

And I'm always glad when you stop by my blog.

Keep looking up!

Herb of Grace said...

I do have my moments like that :) I think all women (at least) do. Sometimes I can shake it off with a pair of new jeans or a quick facial, but sometimes there really is something deeper to address. Some time in prayer, a conversation with a friend, or sometimes just a good cry. You know? I think it's pretty normal. Too bad you aren't closer by, I'd take you out for coffee! That always helps :)

Life, Uncharted. said...

I think I'm rubbing off on you :) You sound like me. And yes, I feel this way all of the time. Prayer is a great start but you have to get out of the routine of wife and mom to find Kelly and what makes her tick. Writing down goals and dreams, even if they sound bizarre and unreachable is like making a contract with yourself. Putting it in writing is magical in the sense that you see it before then make it real. Sometimes we lose ourselves in the humdrum of life but not truly living it to its fullest. Jump the fence...Explore. Dream. Discover.

Life, Uncharted. said...

The unsettled feeling is your spirit seeking substance and purpose.

Debbie said...

I have certainly felt that at different times in my life. Right now I feel it because my kids have started college. So, at least I know what is missing. It's still hard.

Mon said...

For me, that's the not-following-my-soul-purpose feeling. I've filled that emptiness with everything from food to books to 'hobbies'. But the gap remains because none of it is soulful.

Now, the gap closes when I create, when I write. My personal soul work.

christy rose said...

Hi Kelly! It is interesting to note that even hobbies and interests do not seem to fill that emptiness that you feel. I know your feeling. I have been there many times. There is a sense of purpose and fulfillment that is necessary for us to feel complete in our lives. And it does not come from any outside source at all! Quite a long time ago, God began to show me that my purpose in life has nothing to do with anything that I do with my life in this world as far as activities or chores or a career. It is not even found in raising my children or being the best wife. It is not in finding my giftings and living to develop them. My purpose is to live in union and communion with Him coming to a deeper and deeper fellowship with the One who loves me so unconditionally, filling my heart up with His thoughts and feelings of intense love for me and growing in my understanding of Jesus Christ's finished work on the cross and what He accomplished for me. There is no end to knowing Jesus. Every day, He reveals a new part of Himself to me that rekindles the excitement in me about knowing Him. If my purpose could be found in anything else other than Him, then there could possibly come a time that my purpose could end. For example, if my purpose was to be a mom and for some tragic reason my children all died, my purpose would cease. Or, if my purpose was to sing and develop that gift and I lost my voice to some horrific accident, then I would no longer have purpose.

Truly, our purpose is found only in knowing Jesus Christ in a deep and intimate way and live in a continuous relationship with Him, allowing Him to fill our hearts with His Truth. Everything else that we do in life is given to us for our enjoyment and as a way to reflect our true purpose to the world. If we live in our true purpose and allow God to transform our lives and bring fulfillment to our lives, then when we are raising our children, we will be a better mom and reveal what God has shown us to them. And, when we sing, we will truly have purpose to that gifting, not just show off our talent but reveal the God that we know. What we are given to do each day is the avenue that God gives us to reveal our true purpose.

I am sorry this is so long. But I could so relate to what you were feeling and I wanted to share my experience that God revealed to me and has helped me so much! Hope it helps some! :)

Christy

Sabrina said...

Oh my word.

One, I think until we are with God in eternity we will always have that *sigh* feeling, however small, on some level.

Two, you are an artist, so you'll always be a little discontent. It gives you that edge to create. But, see #1.

Three, you are a thinker. You'll always be a bit empty. But, see #1.

Four, you may need some solitude. Or at least, some kid-free time. Wish I could babysit for you girl! I so would!

Caitlin said...

Ah, yes. I know this feeling well. It is why, many nights, I find myself staying up way to late mindlessly searching the internet. Looking for meaning? Entertainment? What?
I feel you.

Judith Ellis said...

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

--Proverbs 13:12

Even amid your daily things to do, find time to do exactly what you would like to do. Always remember to take care of you. My mom did so raising 12 kids alone and you could not have found a more hands on mom. She understood the scripture above well and through this we came to respect her and ourselves even more. Peace and love to you, my dear friend.