Hi, I'm old and my dreams are all ashes

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laurenipsum
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:19 pm

Hi, I'm old and my dreams are all ashes

Postby laurenipsum » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:14 pm

So, if you're 18 or 22 or 34 and thinking, "I've ruined my life with my bad decisions," imagine how much more that would suck if you were 58 and you realize at this point that it's ... well ... objectively true. That's where I'm at.

I've really made a series of the most boneheaded, immature, stupid decisions, over and over, and have nothing now. No kids. A bad relationship that I'm ending. Career? I have a job and I know I'm lucky to have one, but I really did have talent for another field. I really did, but few people make it in that field and I'm too old now, but I never wanted to do anything else, and when I go to my "regular job" I feel so bitter that I didn't get to have a life doing the work I wanted, and I can't blame anyone but myself, I could have tried harder, I could have been smarter about it.

My money situation is horrible because of some investments I got talked into making. I should not be in the financial straits I'm in at my age, but I am and don't know how I'm going to get out of it.

I wake at 3 a.m. and stare at the ceiling and wonder what the hell happened to the years and how I will make it through the next years. I have a few people I can confide in but I feel like they're getting tired of my same old song.

Thanks for reading.

Eboni
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:07 am

Re: Hi, I'm old and my dreams are all ashes

Postby Eboni » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:27 am

Hi, I hear you, the title of your thread caught my attention, as I too am old, I'm almost 70, and my dreams are all ashes as well.....we are not alone in this though. Although it may feel that we are, that is why I've joined this forum because I too am looking for comfort with hopefully like minded people. I too have made terrible decisions in my life, with dreadful repercussions. Please though, understand that I understand how you are feeling. And like you, I have no one to blame but myself for the choices and decisions that I have made, nevertheless, it's still hard. And, I've had years upon years of counselling, without which I don't think I would have coped. And, I'm still in need of counselling, although, I'm not actually in crisis at the moment, but this time last year I was. Anyway, I'm just reaching out to you to see if you'd like to talk with me here in the forums, kind thoughts to you.

lifegetsbetter
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:18 pm

Re: Hi, I'm old and my dreams are all ashes

Postby lifegetsbetter » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:34 pm

I am in my 50s, looking at a divorce soon, have children that I don't want to see hurt, and I, too, realize that my life wasn't the stellar explosion I was expecting it to be from my youth. But I can honestly tell you I am happy. No, there isn't a new relationship that is making me feel great. The fact is I am looking at facing the later days of my life alone. But I am still happy. I wasn't always happy. I suffered from depression very much up until my early 30s. Then I became a born again Christian. Now I am not going to preach because I don't think that is what you want to hear. And to be honest, it was still a long time after my 30s and 40s before I got over some major stuff. As for the depression, I was always attached to other people. I needed to be accepted. I used to look in the mirror and think you are a loser. But I am not a loser. I stuck it through, and I saw that life is worth living. It really does get better. And sometimes we face hard realities in our older days because we made poor choice in our early days. But I am still happy. I am so happy. I got something that I will never let go. Just know you need to keep looking. You need to not give up. You will find it. And if it isn't against the forum rules, I will say prayer for you that you do make that find.
By the way, I got my bucket list. Can't say I really marked off a lot. One thing I did do was run a triathlon a couple years back. That felt really good. Stick with it. Life will get better.

laurenipsum
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:19 pm

Re: Hi, I'm old and my dreams are all ashes

Postby laurenipsum » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:44 am

Hi Eboni, thank you so much for responding! It certainly does help to feel that I am not alone in my feelings. I would love to talk.

I am not seeing a therapist right now but I would like to. As you probably know, it's hard to find the right one. I don't think I'm too picky but I want to talk to someone who "gets" me and I haven't always found that. Also, I don't know what I can afford, what my insurance will cover if anything, etc., so the whole thing feels quite overwhelming, but I definitely need to figure it out.

Kind thoughts to you, and I hope you are feeling well!

Eboni wrote:Hi, I hear you, the title of your thread caught my attention, as I too am old, I'm almost 70, and my dreams are all ashes as well.....we are not alone in this though. Although it may feel that we are, that is why I've joined this forum because I too am looking for comfort with hopefully like minded people. I too have made terrible decisions in my life, with dreadful repercussions. Please though, understand that I understand how you are feeling. And like you, I have no one to blame but myself for the choices and decisions that I have made, nevertheless, it's still hard. And, I've had years upon years of counselling, without which I don't think I would have coped. And, I'm still in need of counselling, although, I'm not actually in crisis at the moment, but this time last year I was. Anyway, I'm just reaching out to you to see if you'd like to talk with me here in the forums, kind thoughts to you.

laurenipsum
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:19 pm

Re: Hi, I'm old and my dreams are all ashes

Postby laurenipsum » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:52 am

Hi, thank you so much for responding. I really appreciate it.

It is great to hear that you came to feel that life is worth living despite disappointments. I also love to hear that you ran a triathlon -- that's awesome, and inspiring.

I agree that depending on other people's opinions for a sense of self-worth is a recipe for depression ... but it's a hard thing to stop doing, and I guess there was something in my childhood and younger years that set me on that path. Or perhaps everyone is hardwired to do that to a greater or lesser extent.

All the best to you and thank you again for responding.

lifegetsbetter wrote:I am in my 50s, looking at a divorce soon, have children that I don't want to see hurt, and I, too, realize that my life wasn't the stellar explosion I was expecting it to be from my youth. But I can honestly tell you I am happy. No, there isn't a new relationship that is making me feel great. The fact is I am looking at facing the later days of my life alone. But I am still happy. I wasn't always happy. I suffered from depression very much up until my early 30s. Then I became a born again Christian. Now I am not going to preach because I don't think that is what you want to hear. And to be honest, it was still a long time after my 30s and 40s before I got over some major stuff. As for the depression, I was always attached to other people. I needed to be accepted. I used to look in the mirror and think you are a loser. But I am not a loser. I stuck it through, and I saw that life is worth living. It really does get better. And sometimes we face hard realities in our older days because we made poor choice in our early days. But I am still happy. I am so happy. I got something that I will never let go. Just know you need to keep looking. You need to not give up. You will find it. And if it isn't against the forum rules, I will say prayer for you that you do make that find.
By the way, I got my bucket list. Can't say I really marked off a lot. One thing I did do was run a triathlon a couple years back. That felt really good. Stick with it. Life will get better.

FLGuy
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:23 pm

Re: Hi, I'm old and my dreams are all ashes

Postby FLGuy » Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:32 pm

Hi Lauren,

It's been seven months since you first posted. Have you abandoned this thread?

I just wanted to say that I am in the same boat as you and therefore understand what you are going through. Did you want to talk further?

Spleefy
Posts: 131
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Hi, I'm old and my dreams are all ashes

Postby Spleefy » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:22 am

Hi laurenipsum,

I think most of us (to varying extents) feel unfulfilled with our lives.

So you are 58. That’s okay! That number merely represents how many years you have been on this earth. There are many more years left for you to find fulfillment in your life.

What I find helpful is to not subscribe to social or cultural expectations. We are where we are. There is no financial position, career position, familial position, or social position in life that we need to be at a certain age. We all go at our own pace and to the beat of our own drums. Then, there are times when life throws us a curve ball and we end up going down path unplanned. Then this new path may lead to another path that puts us into a completely different direction that turns out to be better than the original path. This is quite funny in a way--whether funny haha or funny peculiar or a bit of both.

I feel very unfulfilled with my own life, too. It can be downright depressing… but only if I let be. I've spent enough time stressed, anxious, and depressed over the years and I'll be darned if I'll let myself spend another decade or two feeling the same way. Many of us have more problems than one can poke a stick at, but there comes a time in person's life when we need to snap that stick and set it on fire.

Naturally, our dreams, desires, realities, and the challenges we face in life are our own. Perhaps if I share how I am dealing with my own lack of perceived fulfillment in life, it may help you to redefine yours.

I have a void because of the perceived unfulfillment in my life. I used to feel ashamed and upset with myself and how my life turned out.

I blamed myself.

I blamed my upbringing.

I blamed life!

I spent years trying to figure out how to get fulfillment in my life. I have spent more adult years with depression than without it. I felt that all those years were just wasted and lost, something I could never again reclaim.

I recognized that there are some things I can change and some things I cannot. I found comfort in accepting what I cannot change and focus on the things that I could.

I have tried to find fulfillment in life--to pick one dream and make it reality. My biggest dream was to have a family of my own to love, provide for, to help thrive in life and to bring out the best in them. I wanted to create the family that I never had—the family that should have been. This was a dream and a reclamation for me, since I am not close to anyone in my immediately family nor do I have a family of my own.

Alas…

In my thirties and still no family. It leaves a man lonely and full of despair when creating a loving, unified family has been his life mission only to wind up completely single and alone for more years than not. And, yet, there are deadbeat husbands and parents out there having relationships and children left, right and center. The irony.

Of course, it can be argued that there is still time to have a family of my own "one day". I've been saying this ever since I can remember and here I am. Then to rub salt into the wound, in reality—and statistically speaking—the chances are next to nothing.

Coming to know Jehovah God saved me.

I exercise faith in God and put my complete trust in him that he will find a way out for me. He will either set a course for me where I meet the right woman when and where I least expect it. Or he will set me on a path of acceptance, fulfillment and inner peace in other areas of life. I just have faith and trust in him, so I don’t stress too much about it.

Meanwhile, while Jehovah God is doing what he is doing, I accept what is and get to work just focusing on other areas of my life that I do have more control over to find meaning and purpose.

The turning point came when I made the decision to work towards being spiritual and to set myself spiritual goals. I am learning to detach myself from and to be “no part of the world.”—John 17:16. What I like about this scripture is that it encourages me to think about what is really important in this life. Is it money? Is it a career? Is it a higher education? Is it material possessions that cost loads of money just to impress other people? Is it my social standing? Is it what I can do for myself or is it what I can do for others?

It makes me ask such questions, reevaluate my attitudes of the world and self, view of money, how I define success, and to put things into their proper perspective. For me, it turns out that helping to improve the quality of other people's lives and spiritual riches is fulfilling beyond anything else that I ever imagined. I wish I figured this out years ago. But the main thing is that I did. God's timing is perfect, even if we don't yet know it ourselves.

What I do know is that the things belonging to this world (money, materialistic pursuits, secular ambitions, etc.,) won’t make me truly happy or fulfilled—not to mention, all these things are only temporary, just like everything else that belong to this world.

As for family… well, I have a spiritual family—millions of Christians around the world that are my brothers and sisters. This doesn’t include the massive angelic family in Heaven—the angels, Jesus and, of course, Jehovah himself.

As it says in Psalm 27:10, “Even if my own father and mother abandon me, Jehovah himself will take me in.”

Whether in this life or the next, I have faith in Jehovah God that my heart's desires will be filled beyond anything I could have imagined.

So you’ve made a number of bad choices in the past. That’s okay, Laurenipsum. We all make unwise choices, especially when we are devoid of proper guidance or exposed to bad influences and associations. Try not to blame yourself because blame is you punishing yourself and it is counterproductive, and it will continue to stagnate you. Rise above it. Don't spend the remainder of your life regretting what could or should have been, but instead spend it on what CAN be.

Perhaps you need to give yourself permission to forgive yourself and to be kind to yourself. Then take small steps forwards to create the life that you feel you need or want. Yes, it is “easier said than done”. But it needs to be done, regardless—hard or not. It will be the only way for you free yourself from your current situation.

You still can flip the script. Just have faith and believe in it.

Why not try focusing your energies, not on what mistakes you made in your past, but what you can do flip the script and make a brighter future? This can include not only yourself, but other people, too. Perhaps it includes viewing how you define what your life should and should not look like. For me, what really helps is to let go of the past, and to focus on the here and now and what I want the rest of my future (however long that may be) to look like. Whether I have five years left or several decades, the same thinking applies.

Sure, from time to time I naturally will get self-doubts, anxiety, feel disheartened, and dwell on the past. But whenever these self-defeating thoughts enter your mind, you need to fish slap it and slam the door in its face... FAST! If you don't, it will enter your heart and consume you, making life all the more harder than it needs to be. And we can't move forward if we keep living in the past. As it says in Matthew 6:34:

"So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles."

Perhaps you can be a mentor to younger people following the same path as yourself. You could give encouragement to protect them from making the same mistakes you made in your earlier years of life. What about other people in need? Are there people you know or know of that could benefit from your help?

Many young people often think they will live forever or never get older. And many people spend time wasting their lives on trivial pursuits instead of what really matters or the bigger picture. With your years and experience, you could share these experiences with younger people to help them to think about what they want out of their life. Serving other people are one of the great joys in life.

As it says in 2 Corinthians 9:7, "God loves a cheerful giver." And in Acts 20:35, Jesus lovingly reminds us that, "there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving."

What about building a good support network?

In my case, turning to Jehovah God has given me the family I never thought or ever dreamed was possible. I have both Christian and a few good non-Christian friends. Whenever we need each other, to talk, for comfort, for guidance, for strength, for enjoyment and laughter, for assistance when unwell, and for anything—we are always there for each other!

I hope this will give you a few things to mediate on, and that something I said will be of some help or comfort to you.

Please keep us posted. This forum is full of friendly, non-judgmental, caring and loving people, so share your troubles with us as often as you feel you need to. You will always have a friend and someone here that will listen to you. And, for the record, I personally listen to the same songs over and over, so talk about it as much as you want :D

I will leave you with one more thought…

We are creatures of habit and thus we become what we habitualize.
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18

Spleefy
Posts: 131
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Hi, I'm old and my dreams are all ashes

Postby Spleefy » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:54 pm

Hi laurenipsum,

I found an article that I thought you may find useful. It is about making wiser choices in life. It answers such questions as:

1. Why should we accept that make decisions is part of life?
2. Why should others not make decisions for us?
3. Why might we sometimes have to change a decision already made?

I figured if many of your concerns originates from the choices you made, then this article (and the many others on the site) could be a good starting place for you. We all need guidance, and what better source than from the Bible--God's Word?

It is actually a really great article. It covers the importance of choosing wisely and gives practical guidelines on how to achieve this. It uses some Bible examples to illustrate our choices and the impact it can have. For example, the impact of Adam's choice when he chose to listen to his wife Eve instead of Jehovah. Not only did it cause consequences for him and his wife, but for all of us!

https://www.jw.org/en/publications/maga ... /#?insight[search_id]=9005134b-f0d3-4978-8d4b-4db98014bf2a&insight[search_result_index]=4
Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18


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