Miserable? Or just dissatisfied?

I can't tell if my life is far enough off track that I need to do something forceful to right the ship, of if I'm just complaining about things too much.
I think I'm pretty good at my job. I've worked at it hard for 16 years and gotten promotions, raises, and I feel like I do it well. I try to be a good daughter, sister and friend.
I've got a boss who drives people crazy and makes them feel devalued, and a husband who, while basically a decent person, is needy and somewhat self-centered. He rarely gives me positive feedback, but he's never lacking in suggestions about more things I can do for him, to make him feel better, to make him feel loved, to make our marriage better. I used to care about this a lot more. Now basically I just shrug and get on with my day.
I'm 39 and afraid I'll never have a kid, as I've always wanted to. I'm afraid if I do get pregnant that I'm taking an unfair risk of bringing an autistic child into the world because I'm so old. I'm afraid that even if I'm fertile enough and lucky enough to have a perfect child, I'll go insane trying to raise him or her with a useless husband.
I love my parents incredibly much and I worry every day about the wretched time when I will no longer have one or both of them. And I wonder how I can complain about my life now when I know that after they are gone, I would give anything I have to get just one of these days with them back and relive it.
My career is in journalism, an industry that's capsizing and that people hate anyway, plus it's underpaid for a "profession." If I'd gone to law school I'd be employed for the rest of my life and be living in a house twice this size. Instead I'm facing increasingly worse working conditions as my workplace sheds staff and I have to pick up more work, with more night and weekend shifts, fewer holidays off and no prospect for things getting better. Every day I wonder if I should quit a career I've spent decades building, or if I'm just complaining too much, because I'm still making more than $50K a year in a field of my own choosing, where so many have already been laid off.
Each thing feels like a little bit more than I want to take. Most days aren't too bad. Then I look at the whole picture and think, how did I go this far wrong?
Thank you, anonymous Internet people, for reading :)

2 Comments

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  • How about you do one of those stupid 1st person stories journalists love so much about how f***** up your life is? THen people can tell you how full s*** you are and inform you about what real problems are and how your nothing but a big whiny baby.

  • You are 100% normal. You know you could be feeling some anxiety about turning the dreaded 4-0. Looking at your life and taking inventory is normal. We always think the grass is greener on the other side. And take for granted what we have right in front of us. First of all..you need to do what makes you happy. So make a to do list. Tackle what you can one thing at a time; one day at time. If something is missing, get out there and try to find it. Baby..get to it! If that is what you want. There are lots of women having babies well into their 40's. Your aging parents..totally understand that one. It's the cycle of life and that's scary. Call and visit often. Career..what's your passion? Start a blog, write a book, write for magazines, find a new job (mediabistro.com) or become a lawyer. Your hubby, no marriage and no one is perfect..but he's your prince. right? For you.. turning 40 requires a big trip..go somewhere! Treat yourself often to a facial, hair cut whatever. It's okay to get down about life or even complain and our position in it, we all do..but you're where you are for a reason. Overall, it sounds like you're doing okay.

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