You know? I’m 43 this year. Using the old “three score years and ten” method, this puts me firmly into the realms of the middle-aged. It also makes me wonder about my life direction.
I have a good, well-paid job. I work in social housing, which actually really gives me a sense of well-being, of putting something back, of helping people.
But it’s not enough…….
There is something missing in my life. I’m not sure I can put my finger on it. Is it about working for someone else? Is it about being constrained? Is it about the “9 – 5” experience? Is it one or all of these things, or is it something else, something more? I’m no psychiatrist, I really don’t know. I just know that I feel personally unfulfilled the way it is.
So ……. Million dollar question. What can I do about it? What do I want to do with the rest of my (working) life? Truth to be told? I really don’t know.
Part of me (actually a BIG part of me) just wants to get out of the “rat race”, to get away from the regimented existence of the dull, repetitive commute to work. The endless drudgery of meetings, the feeling of a decision-less existence, the 5-day week, the constant battle to make things happen in an arena where innovation is regarded at best suspiciously.
The obvious next question is “Well what are you good at?” And my answer, almost ridiculously as it seems, is “Not a lot!” I can bore you to death with where IT can help in social housing maintenance, and where it can hinder. I can discuss at length the relative merits of appointment-led repairs; or the value of cyclical preventative maintenance. I can wax lyrical on the value of getting a repair done “right first time” and the difficulties of so doing. How a fully up-to-date asset management system can improve the above. How blah blah you get the idea. But how can these “skills” be transferred into an arena where I can escape the tedium mentioned above?
So you may well ask “What do you like doing?” And I will say “Music and beer” but I wonder if these are actually passions (I certainly know plenty of people passionate about both) or are they escapes from reality for me? And would/could they provide an income? There is a real fashion at the moment in opening a brewery, and some seriously amazing beers are becoming available in this country. Could I do that? I’m not certain that I could. I’d certainly enjoy the work content of the brewer, but am I knowledgable enough to come up with recipes for beers? I really don’t think that I am. I certainly want to get involved in brewing in some way though. Maybe experience would help. Could I run a pub? Well, I’ve done it before, albeit unsuccessfully (for many reasons) and I’m sure that I could do it again. However, unless I find a sugar mommy (!) I’m never going to have the money to do so. As for music? Well, I’m probably seriously too old to become a music mogul, and all the record stores seems to be closing down, so unless I manage to secure a job as a roadie I’m not likely to get much joy there.
Is this a mid-life crisis? I have been asking myself these questions for two or three years now. I haven’t got any answers. I need to change things, but haven’t got a clue how. Answers on a postcard, I guess!