My mother had a saying: “My get up and go has got up and gone.” It’s something I’ve lately come to understand all too well. After the past year with its ups, downs, and all arounds I’m finding it nearly impossible to motivate myself to do anything about anything for anything. Even getting it up to write this has taken a huge amount of mental effort over the past week.
I’m not fatigued, not tired, not depressed, I’m simply unmotivated. When I was younger, I mean up until 2008, I bounded out of bed the minute I opened my eyes.
I’ve done a lot of Googling the subject, but most of the articles are geared toward young people, who can’t seem to care about exercise or work. I only wish! I’d just like to do some yard work! I did find one article that explained that motivation naturally subsides as we get older, due to no fault of our own. That was in turns good news and bad. Good because I no longer have to berate myself or try to live up to the impossible standard I set when I was in my 20s and 30s, and bad because this may be my new normal. There’s been way too much adapting to new normals lately.
Some days it’s impossible for me to even get dressed, much less to trim the hedge under our windows so that the cat can more easily access his pet door. Most of the well-meaning advice comes down to just getting up and doing shite, but it’s not easy, is it. Not when natural aging is at the helm. Fortunately, I have great whopping loads of motivation where my brain is concerned. Puzzles, reading non-fiction and keeping up with current events keeps my mind young. It’s just the biological stuff, and all the motivational quotes in the world aren’t going to change anything, thank you very much.
I can’t say I have a firm understanding of all this—there just aren’t enough articles on the web about it for my age group. But now that Nettl is cancer-free and my knee is nearly back to normal, I have hope that some motivation will return. I’ll trim that hedge! I’ll clean out the flower beds! I’ll get back to cleaning the house every Friday! Just do it! will be my new mantra…
…when I find the motivation to chant it to myself.
SK Waller is an author and composer. Books One and Two (With A Dream and With A Bullet) of her rock and roll series, Beyond The Bridge, takes places in late 70s London. Read more at SK Waller SKWaller.com.