Conversations with Leonie: Curse of Living in the Mean Time
I am at a very unsettled time in my life at the moment.
My marriage ended early last year and the settlement has been done but I am still sad but not as heartbroken as I was. I have a 2 year old boy. I plan to start studying when he starts prep because I want to eventually have my own career. I have made lots of goals for the future but I don’t have much money. I know that I need to take better care of myself and one of my future goals is to lose about 30 kilos. I know that I will feel better when I lose some weight, meet some new people and start a new career.
I am very lonely and plan to make friends when I get my weight under control. I can’t wait to get my career so that I can buy and own my own home. I am on Centrelink payments and my Mum helps out where she can.
I just feel stuck as one day becomes the next and each day seems to be pretty much the same. I feel down a lot of the time and wonder when things will get easier.
You always seem to suggest such great strategies, do you have any that someone in my situation could use.
Please don’t publish my name as I don’t want people to know how unhappy I am.
Single Mum/Deception Bay
Hi Single Mum,
When reading your email, I am hearing a lot of “when I’s” for example, “When I lose weight…….”, “When my son starts Prep…..”, “When I meet new people and have a career…..”
I call this the “Curse of living in the Mean Time”. While you are waiting for life to begin, you are stuck in a place called the Mean Time. Some people spend years in The Mean Time. It’s like a kind of suspended animation where you put your life on ice til things getter better. You ask if I have some strategies for someone in your situation and I will tell you as a very solution focused counsellor that the biggest strategy in this situation is to start living in the NOW. What can you do to make your dreams a reality right now? What steps can you take to move towards the life you want now?
Here are some things that you might choose to do NOW. See Centrelink and find out what courses or grants you are entitled to such as New Start or Job Start. Why wait till your son starts Prep to begin study? Doesn’t it make more sense to get started now while you have support from your mother and the Government?
Start your weight loss journey NOW. Get a check up, join a weight loss club and start exercising NOW. The strategy of setting small goals as well as long term goals will help you get a sense of achievement and keep you motivated to keep going. One goal might be to lose 10% of your weight by the time the Exhibition comes in August. Or your short term goal might be something as simple as one kilo a fortnight. Study and weight loss groups will also offer you a chance to make new friends and reduce your sense of loneliness.
Perhaps you could visit a counsellor and go through some career analyses to help you decide what type of vocation suits your interests and your skills. You could research your entitlements with Centrelink from there. Libraries are free so start learning about good nutrition, exercise and your chosen vocation now.
If you want a makeover, approach some hairdressing colleges and look at getting some treatments, haircuts and ideas from students. You can also find some great gear from Opportunity shops and I have helped clients put together some great work and uni outfits using these outlets.
So to sum up, I would encourage you to start living NOW instead of living in the MEAN TIME. The sense of excitement, achievement and pride that comes from being proactive in securing the future that you want for yourself and your child will be very different to the feeling of despair that you currently describe.
Til next week
Counsellor | Author | Columnist | Radio Commentator | Trainer | Mediator
Leonie is a Qualified Counsellor, Trainer, Mediator and Early childhood Educator who is also a Justice of the Peace.
Specialising in Relationship Counselling, Personal Counselling and Employment Coaching.
Relationship INTENSIVE CARE
by Leonie Schilling
A Practical Guide to Saving and Maintaining Your Relationship.
This book is a must have for people looking for a practical and easy to understand plan to repair their relationship.