I've read a few other posters on here who mentioned feeling unmotivated, unable to get energized. Jessiebelle referred to it as "feeling frozen inside" and a sense of "inertia". It struck a chord with me because I've been feeling that way for quite a while now but I thought it was just me. I'm curious to know how many others have found themselves feeling this way.
Here's my story....
I can't seem to get motivated to do anything beyond caregiving anymore. I've reached a point where I'm so fixated on my MIL and every aspect of her health and well being that I can't shift my concentration or lagging energy onto anything else. I think part of it is I'm afraid to let my guard down - if I lose focus I might forget to pay a bill or miss something else important because I wasn't paying attention. I've also convinced myself there's no point in getting involved in anything like a creative project, or gardening, or even a day of spring cleaning (which my house desperately needs) because I know I won't be able to finish whatever I started. Even if I don't get interrupted in the middle of it for some reason, I know I'll still have to stop anyway when the time comes to go fix MIL's supper and get her ready for bed. EVERY day at 4:30, without fail, hubs and I must go tend to those needs, at which point I have to put everything I was doing away, and who knows when I'll be able to get back to it again? So why even start?
It's not that I've lost interest in doing these things - just the opposite. I'd love to break out my sewing machine and get back into learning to quilt. I'd relish an opportunity to dust off my watercolor paints, or revisit some design ideas I abandoned in the computer, or even work in the yard for a while now that spring is here! But all those things turned into sources of frustration rather than pleasure a long time ago because I had to keep stopping when I didn't want to. Maybe it's just me, idk. But when I get really, deeply involved in something, or I'm in the midst of a good creative flow, I just hate being told I have to stop before I'm ready to. I used to try working on art designs on the computer...until it got so I'd cringe and groan and roll my eyes every time I heard hubs start "the countdown" (he'd let me know when there was only 15 minutes left until we had to leave for MIL's...then 10...then 5...then "time to shut it down. We have to go." I realize he was only trying to be helpful because he knows how easily time can get away from me when I'm absorbed in something. But it ANNOYED me to no end every time he did it!! I found myself getting snippy and feeling resentful toward him, which was totally unfair because the fault lies with the situation, not him, and he's under just as much stress as I am.
I want to be able to work (or"play") unfettered by any time constraints, the way I used to. Before I was a caregiver I was able to keep going on a project for as long I as wanted. I'd stop or take a break when I CHOSE to, not when I HAD to. I've had friends tell me, "well just pick something and work on it a little each day." Sure, seems simple enough. But they're not taking into account the time involved in setting up before and cleaning up after. If I try to invest a couple of hours each day in an activity like sewing or painting I end up with only an hour and a half to actually DO anything. Heck, at that point I'm just getting the real creative juices flowing! So again, why bother? Maybe if I was fortunate enough to have a room, a studio of sorts with a door on it, where I could spread my s**t out and leave it there indefinitely without worrying that the cat might get into it, then the set up/clean up time could be cut down a bit....but I don't. And that still doesn't solve the whole interruption issue.
I consider myself a decent multi-tasker. I can stir a sauce on the stove, talk on the phone, keep an eye on the time, load the dishwasher, chop onions, and toss kibbles into the cat's dish all at the same time without batting an eye. But when I decide to get involved in a project, whether it's sewing, or gardening, or just cleaning out/reorganizing a bookshelf I don't want be distracted or pulled away from it until it's done, or *I* decide I've accomplished enough for one day. If 4:30 rolls around and I'm not done, then I want to keep going until it is. I don't like living things unfinished.
So I've given up...resigned myself to reserving such projects until that elusive unknown future date when my time is all mine once again. Meanwhile I fill the time in between visits to MIL's with stuff I don't mind setting aside..like games of Solitaire and the smaller, day to day household chores that can be done quickly, like laundry and dishes and scrubbing the inside of the microwave. It's a boring, repetitive, monotonous existence that leaves me feeling unfulfilled and only minimally productive....frozen in a state of inertia.