Author: Mike Clough

Date Posted: Wednesday 5th February 2020

When you reach my age (58) you tend to have a whole series of… ‘commitments’… that you just can’t get out of. I’m not just meaning the obvious financial obligations like mortgage and car payments ….it’s all the other stuff that I’m talking about.

Family commitments. Work commitments. House commitments. Friend commitments.

My mother, for example – 92 years of age and an absolute legend…but…she doesn’t half encroach on my time. She has a technique of making me feel guilty about everything. If I don’t see her for a couple of days she makes out that I haven’t seen her in months and that she’s been completely alone.

If I ask what she’s been up to – she says …”nothing” …. “nothing at all”….

She manipulates and controls me by pushing my buttons to ensure she gets exactly what she wants. What she wants is me …. there all the time and providing her with both a taxi and a gardening service…. with the associated benefit of providing her some company.

Work somehow still manages to take up a lot of my mental energy – even though I’ve actually taken a step back and am supposedly ‘working less’. My years of running my own business have left a weight of duty in me which is hard to shake. What’s the bank balance? What are the debtors? and the creditor situation? …how much work do we have on?

Family – I still can’t shake the feeling that I’ve got two daughters who need my support. The reality is very different with two daughters who actually require nothing and need zero support. Mentally, I’m still thinking about them all the time.

Houses – are simply a pain in the ass. Houses just never end; they are just a drain on your resources. Painting, decorating, window replacements, plumbing issues, electrical issues… then you start all over again …

My marriage requires my attention at the moment as, due to me having dropped the marital ‘ball’ – Mrs. C has departed. Thus… much of my time is currently spent trying to be a better man and to prove to her that our marriage is still worth fighting for. I wake up thinking about her and I go to bed thinking about her. I’m constantly trying to improve myself…and constantly thinking about where I’ve gone wrong.

One of the results of the ‘marital issues’ is me ending up in therapy. It’s not something I’ve ever done but it’s helped and has opened my mind to a whole series of new thoughts.

One of my therapist’s main questions to me has stumped me a bit though?

She has asked me to write down – … “what do you want out of life …?”

What do …. ‘I’ …want?

Hmmmm, I think maybe I’ve lost track somewhere along the way? …

When I first started out in my working life, I used to want my own business, a lovely wife, a couple of kids, a nice house, a nice car….and a bit of money in the bank.

I’ve had all those things …but what do ‘I’ want now …? …

I currently seem to spend most of my time doing things for others?

Where do ‘I’ fit in …?

It’s a bit like pushing yourself to climb a mountain – then you manage to climb it…you get to the summit ….what do you do next?

The only way is down – unless you pick another mountain to climb?

Mike C

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Mike Clough

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