My goal in life

Since I came back from working (& resigning from the company I’ve been with for 21 years…) in France a month ago, things have not been quite right and I’ve been in a personal slump. I’ve managed to get back into my crafting and painting, but it doesn’t fulfil me as much as it did, before I took that month long working break in France. Being me, I’ve been doing some soul searching into what the problem might be, and here are my thoughts… that is if I can manage to straighten them out as they fall out of my muddled head.

I mentioned in one of my blog posts, that I couldn’t help but compare the work I use to do in my company, which was so easy for the large salary I got, compared to the endless hours I put into my crafting and painting, resulting with zilch money in the end. I spent max 2h on my crafting/painting and the rest of the 6h editing, making videos, posting on social media, and called what I was doing “work”. I said that this was part of my marketing strategy, to build my customer base…except I didn’t even have a shop on my blog, I didn’t mention anywhere that my products were for sale, and I didn’t renew my listings in my Etsy store. So I know why I got zilch in the end after so much work, cause I wasn’t really interested in selling! So why do I try to justify what I do by calling it “work”?

After working again after a break of 5 long years, I came back and knew I was fooling myself by saying what I was spending all my time on was actually “work”. Work is something you do with a financial goal at the end. (Or something you don’t like doing, like cleaning the house…) And since deep down I’m not really interested in making money out of what I do at the moment, that realisation just emptied all the passion for what I was doing and I’m left feeling like a deflated balloon.

So why is that? Why do I have to tie myself to a financial goal to feel what I do is worth something? Especially now that painting, self expression and personal fulfilment is so “trending. Its now ok to take time for yourself. In fact, if you’re not meditating, doing yoga or doing something creative, you’re not “with it” and oh so old school! ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  So why do I not rejoice that not only am I doing what I love 100% of my time (well, ok 70% as i still have to clean my house…), but I’m also “trendy” at the moment ๐Ÿ˜‰ I guess because you’re supposed to do all that once you’ve earned your right to live on this earth. Give everything up to do it full-time and you better be good at it and build a dynasty around it, if not, its just wasting time. At 53, I’m not close to the age of retirement (altho in Singapore, I will be in 2 years…) and my teenage kids are not young enough to even justify being a stay at home mum.

A very close friend said to me “taking care of myself and doing what I love to do everyday, just for myself, is so pointless” and she personally couldn’t do it. Another friend remarked that my husband might respect me more if I earned some money. (Luckily my hubby does not tie my self worth to a financial number… and has always treated me the same way whether I worked or not). Another friend who has followed my venture into painting, said in a very dubious voice “So you’re an artist now?”, when I came out of the closet & started to say I paint, when people ask what I do. And those that don’t know me, ask me where I exhibit, because obviously if you say you paint, you should have something to show for it.

Its obviously not what others say that make me feel this way. Its in my very nature, my core values, that push me to be “productive”. Its why we tell our kids to study hard so they can get a job doing what they want to do. Its an improvement, yes, from when we used to tell them to get a good job, whether they liked it or not, but we’re not telling them to go out into the world and just do what makes them happy, whether they earn anything or not. It would be such a waste wouldn’t it? If they spent they’re lives just being happy, without being productive; aka earning something.

So that’s where I am, thinking I’m wasting my life if I just want to paint for me. Cause where’s the goal in that? And we need to have goals in life. So is “I want to be a good painter”, “Why?” “Because I want to be good at what I love doing” enough of a goal? And what does a “good” painter mean anyway? Good for whom? Most of the great painters were never appreciated when they were alive. So, was it good for them that their paintings are now considered masterpieces. That they never knew all their blood sweat and drunken tears were worth it in the end?

Do we live our lives for others or for ourselves. Obviously the answer is so easy, yet so hard to live by. And for once, by the end of my (long) post, I didn’t have a “eureka” moment. Because I already know how I should live my life, I just have to be brave and do it…and be happy doing it…or wait till this menopause moment to pass and the dark clouds will be lifted…

ย 0aablog-signature2-1-e1541513881572.pngis figuring her life out

8 thoughts on “My goal in life

  1. Thank you for your heartfelt post. I am sorry you are going through the lack of fulfillment and dissatisfaction.

    Does a happy life mean we have to be productive? That we have to earn money? If we aren’t earning money – does that mean we can’t be happy or fulfilled?
    I must admit your posting has raised some thoughts and feelings in my own head – 54 years of age and 35 years in Health Service.

    I hope you come to rise from the slump. We think we can judge our own worth – and we often judge ourselves very harshly – don’t we?

    I try not to judge myself harshly by how many followers I have – or don’t have – or by how many’likes’ I get on Instagram or on my blog – but it is hard to do that. When we publish our projects – I won’t say ‘work’ – we are putting our heart and soul out there in the public arena. It is far easier to think we have fallen short, than to think we are actually the opposite – We are brave enough to put a part of ourselves out there; we are brave enough to take that step into the public arena – and we are brave enough to continue to do so.

    I certainly hope you continue to create and publish your projects. I find you an inspiration, and I always look forward to seeing your projects, and reading your thought process.

    Best wishes

    Lynda ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Lynda for your encouragement. Its true about the social media thing. I see people after only 2yrs painting and they have like thousands of followers, bringing out books… & after a year i’m no where near that, and that’s discouraging of course, even though i know i haven’t really been constant with my painting. You’re right, we are our worst critic, so thanks for the reminder that we are just brave to put ourselves out there. I think also being a people person, i’ve stayed too much in the house painting & creating the last few weeks & not go out & when i did, i felt guilty i’m not painting & improving my art. But i had a good day out today without any guilt, so i feel better! I really appreciate your support & kind words, thanks so much! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Finding the meaning of life is the eternal question of the human being.

    A tough one to seriously dig into, as every individual is basically alone in that quest.

    Many of us choose (knowingly or not) to avoid doing such key research and just be satisfied in finding the meaning in the basic mechanism of our capitalist society: “I earn a salary therefore I exist”, “I am successful because I drive a premium car everyday and people can see it” or “I have fulfilling vacation time because I spend high money in them, travel a huge distance to have the, and post hundreds of photos in the social media”

    I believe that such choice (And I am the first guilty one there, so I will not throw stones on anyone) can end up, in a quite abrupt manner, in a very frustrating and depressing state for oneself. It is like climbing a huge slope on a bicycle, looking only to your front wheel, as this helps you to cope with the suffering, but then being ignorant of the fact that the slope ends up in an endless cliff.

    I am myself a corporate animal. Measured by the capitalistic society standards, I have an OK successful life: I earn an OK salary, drive a premium car and own a house. Do I feel that my life is full of meaning just because of that?: I used to fell like that before. But it was because I had not dared to ask myself the big question: What is it really important for me? What is my mission in life? What would I like to be reminded for when I pass? What would I regret not having done when I pass?

    I cannot say that I am done with that research yet. But lately (In the last 5 years or so) I have started to realize that my “career” in the corporate is not a goal in itself, but just a simple mean to earn the money and have the free time to achieve something else. I also realized that I needed to start investing time in that fundamental real goal in my life. Otherwise I will fall off the cliff at some point.

    I am starting to want to have my success in life be measured by other parameters rather than how much do I make and how much do I spend.

    I will not make the mistake of trying to answer such a fundamental question as the meaning of life for you. On the other hand I see that you are sharing the topic with some other people who seem to be (Knowingly or not) climbing the slope with their view focused exclusively on their front tire. My humble opinion is that this will not help you.

    On top of that, it may be that there is actually no answer for the question about the meaning of life. For this particular point I choose to believe that, as many other things in life, it is all about the process rather than the ultimate result of it. It is already very good that you are asking yourself the question: Enjoy the process of trying to find an answer and make sure you share such quest with people who can help you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for reading my post and sharing your experience too. You are right, the process is as important as the answer and I do hope you will gain alot from your process too. Meditation with the 21 day free meditation with Deepak Chopra helps alot, if you don’t know about it yet, I recommend it. Good luck in your journey, and check in from time to time to let me know how you’re doing. Hugs, Gwendolyn

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Read your post from start to finish and really understand what you’re saying! I believe since the decision really is a personal one that eventually you’ll make the right choice for yourself. I too have a hard time ‘selling’ [that’s why my website is still not up and running!!!] but I enjoy the pleasure people take in seeing the things I make. As I’m retired now, I have found that this pleasure is really enough for me; I don’t rely on my ‘work’ to support me just feed my ego! And I get to play with supplies to my heart’s content and get so much out of the exploration. Maybe in another life I’ll be a financially successful ‘artist’!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my post Sharon and for taking the time to share your experience too. I think talking about it helps alot and I feel better after having spilt it all out on my blog and seeing others share or understand what I’m going through.


  4. I was just reading your post…and I must say that you are very good at writing. I know you personally so…i got connected to all what you wrote. Ofcourse i feel that .. we should do what we love to do and what gives satisfaction . You are very talented person and hope these dark clouds will be lifted soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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