Are you afraid to settle for a mediocre life? How do you find your mojo, if you think you’ve lost it?


When have you lost the feeling of joy?

And I don’t mean in the Marie Kondo way!

I crossed something off my Retirement To-Do list recently, not because I’d completed it, as you might expect, but because I’d lost interest in it. I’d lost my drive, my passion, my joy for it. Where did it go and is this cause for concern?

What does ‘finding your mojo’ mean?

Find your mojo
to be able to find something you like doing, and to do it with passion, zeal, energy and enthusiasm

Source Urban Dictionary

I do most things with enthusiasm and feel as if I’m reasonably energetic, so I’m not overly worried, but like most people, there are times when the battery runs low.

Battery low

How do you know if you’ve lost it?

Lately I’ve been worried that I’m not firing on all cylinders, that I’ve lost a bit of my spark.

I’ve been retired for a few years now and am contented; busy when I want to be; lazy when I feel like it; relaxed; and maybe just a bit complacent. Is that a bad thing?

An example of things I think to myself:

  • I could take further courses to improve some of my skills – like photography or writing
  • I could push myself to do more
  • I could join the gym to do proper workouts
  • I could train to run properly

but I’m quite happy doing things my way, and more importantly, in my own time. Should I be pushing myself to do more or be more?

Am I just over thinking all of this?????

Have I lost my mojo, or am I finally working out what I want to do, and maybe more to the point, what I don’t want to do?

Debbie

Times change

When I was working full time, I was very busy with my family as well as a variety of volunteer positions and fun/not so fun commitments. Things like bookclub, movie club, Rotary, Rail Trail committee, Discussion group, some gym classes, blogging – just to name a few.

Now that I’m no longer working I still do all these same things but the time available for them is more evenly spread, as in not all crammed into the hours outside of a working day. I still enjoy these activities but some have lost their ‘thrill’ if I’m honest. Should I move on?

For instance I was encouraged and expected by some to carry on to a BIGGER leadership role in one of my volunteering committees, but after a while I just didn’t seem to have the same drive. I’m still involved and work hard in a voluntary capacity, but I don’t have the desire to go any further than what I’m doing now. And that’s OK.

In fact I’ve found myself pulling back in some areas, as I feel I need a break. I feel sad, as do others, about this lack of spark, but I think I recognise it for what it is.

I saw this on Leanne’s Cresting the Hill Facebook page and thought it suited my current thinking perfectly.

Commitment
Commitment

A Mediocre Life?

My worry is – am I settling for a mediocre life instead of a grand life? Should I be doing more, thinking more, doing more, improving more…

Mediocre 
Not good, not bad, but a negative term nonetheless. Often used to describe something that is average, but was expected to be much better.

Source Urban Dictionary

If I’m happy with my lifestyle shouldn’t that count for something?

Don’t worry, I think I’ve answered my own questions!!!

Debbie selfie
Debbie selfie

Does this look like the face of someone who is having issues with their mojo? The thing is you can’t always tell by looking at someone what they’re going through or thinking – you can’t judge a book by its cover 🙂

Six helpful tips

In reading lots of articles on this subject over the past few weeks, I’ve found I agreed with these six points the most.

  • Find a way to have fun or a good belly laugh – what gets you laughing?
  • Do something physical – fresh air and exercise are known to help improve your mood.
  • Have a break from social media – it can be very draining.
  • Take note of who you’re mixing with, are they bringing you down in some way?
  • Don’t isolate yourself. Get out there and mix with others, even though it can be hard to do.
  • Talk to others or write your thoughts down – even if it’s on your blog, it can help just to get your thoughts out there.

What to do next?

My blogging buddy Sue wrote a post recently about Motivation, and she had asked some friends for their tips for when they feel they need a boost. It was interesting to read from others how they cope when they seem to have lost their motivation. Taking a break and walking away for a while before going back to it, was my observation.

But if you ever get worried that it’s not just a passing mood or a phase, then talk to someone or check in with a friend if you think they’re struggling a bit. I like this graphic from R U OK?

R U OK?
R U OK?

It’s OK too, to spend time reflecting and ‘being‘ rather than ‘doing‘ all the time. We all seem to go through ups and downs. I was told recently I needed to have some belief in myself and maybe that’s a good place for me to start. (Hence my graphic of the pelican reflecting).

We all see things from different perspectives, and listening to ourselves is an important part of taking care of ourselves.

One minute I’m content and the next I’m all over the place. I’m starting to think this is a part of early retirement or even just getting older, questioning our purpose, moving through the various stages, finding the balance that suits us and trying not to overthink things. I’ve taken ages to actually write this post so I’m glad to finally put it to bed now. I hope it makes some sort of sense to you 🙂

What are your thoughts? Have you had similar thoughts and if so how have you coped? It’s always good to read some of my favourite midlife bloggers, just to see that I’m not alone in some of these thoughts.

By the way I’m fine and feel better for finally having written this post. I hope it’s been of some use to others too.

The thing I crossed off my retirement list? I thought I wanted to become a Marriage Celebrant once I’d retired, but on thinking and doing more research I decided I didn’t want that after all – it was a lot of effort, money and time to put into something I wasn’t passionate about anymore.

Funnily enough my blogging hasn’t been an issue in all this!

Deb xx

Linking up with Denyse for #Lifethisweek with the theme Self care: share your story Esme’s Senior Salon #21 and Midlife Share the Love #68

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61 Replies to “Are you afraid to settle for a mediocre life? How do you find your mojo, if you think you’ve lost it?”

  1. Hi Deb you could be describing me at the moment. I’m all over the place and although retired for 5 years I’m still not settled. Perhaps I never will be and that is my personality. I will always be striving to do more or try new things but I do want balance. I want to follow my passions but also have quality time with my husband and family and also days where I just read a book. I think the important thing I’ve learned is that everyone is different and what suits one might not be right for someone else. I’m someone who needs to be on the go most of the time – it makes me feel good so I accept that. I also accept that others are the opposite and there is nothing wrong with that. Thank you for the mention and I was interested in the thoughts of the women who contributed. It is good to step away for a while and just do something else. I know for me, if I don’t get my workout or run in I don’t stress because I know that in a few days I’ll be champing at the bit to get back to it. You certainly don’t look like you have lost your mojo at all. Have a great week, my friend. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sue, I think many of us seem to go through these phases from time to time. As you know there’s been a lot happening for me and you have also been through a lot recently so it’s hardly surprising we’re all over the place. Blogging seems to keep me grounded so I’m happy to continue for as long as I feel like it! You are right everyone is so different and we all need to accept how we operate. I’m so glad to have you and the others in our midlife tribe to hang out with, as I know you understand exactly what I’m talking about. You always impress me with your vigour and I think you’re awesome xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Deb – First, let me say I like your new blog design. Second, I’m glad you found the answers to your own questions. Writing our thoughts down kind of empties our mind and usually gives us some clarity. Time is precious so choose to do what brings you joy. Have a beautiful day! #lifethisweek

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for noticing the new blog design Natalie, I wondered if anyone would see it! It’s a big thing changing themes but this looks quite ok so far.

      I agree that writing things down helps clear the mind and I always feel better after letting the words out. Yes we should always do what brings us joy!! Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement 😊

      Like

  3. Definitely over thinking! It’s okay to just be, sit and relax. What about films or photographs where you see older people ( usually blokes! ) just sitting in town or in a village under a shady tree watching life go by and we envy them, but we can all do that. Hopefully there is a happy medium, we met a couple who managed a retirement caravan park and there was a chap who literally did nothing every day. Someone told me of their father-in-law who said as he was going to die soon there was no point in doing anything, he had lost his mojo, or never had it in the first place. Most of us would not want that, but we don’t have to be busy all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A thought-provoking post, Deb. I think sometimes it is good to reassess all of our lists, including our life lists and goals. I find crossing something off my list, when I am no longer interested feels like a weight lifted off of me. Part of the above quote “not the lives expected of us” resonated with me. I also like the six helpful hints. Thank you for your candor discussing your feelings:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Erica, I agree it’s good to reassess where we are up to from time to time and that’s what I seem to be doing. I agree ticking something off a list is a great feeling of relief and maybe I’m waiting for that feeling to hit. Writing this has definitely helped lift some weight and I’m always grateful for all the lovely supportive comments too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Deb we’re definitely walking the same path aren’t we? I shared that great quote on FB because I think we still get caught up in the whole “obligation” thing and not allowing ourselves to slow down and ease off the accelerator pedal a little. If you can’t do that in retirement then things are pretty sad.
    I particularly resonated with this bit you wrote “One minute I’m content and the next I’m all over the place. I’m starting to think this is a part of early retirement or even just getting older, questioning our purpose, moving through the various stages, finding the balance that suits us and trying not to overthink things.” Because I swing from one end of the pendulum to the next regularly – and can’t seem to allow myself the grace to just cruise because I feel guilty and think I should be doing more because I have the time.
    Life is short and maybe our mojo isn’t lost, it’s just in cruise control mode and that’s a very pleasant way to navigate through life. xxx Great post BTW x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Leanne your posts always resonate with me so we are definitely on the same path! I really like the idea of being on cruise control and agree it’s a very pleasant way to navigate. Thanks so much for understanding xx

      Like

      1. Hi Deb – just popping back for MLSTL and to say I’ve shared this. Your post inspired me to start thinking about writing something on living life on cruise control – will mull it over a little longer and then come up with some pearls of “wisdom” to share 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s so good to hear Leanne! I must admit I was tempted not to post this as it is pretty personal but figured I’d worked on it for quite some time so I might as well share. Look forward to your pearls of wisdom, as I always do!

          Like

  6. I just took a week off of work with no plans. It was great. I needed it after a rough year so far dealing with an injury that has taken up most of the space and time and energy that I have.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Deb I really enjoyed reading this thought provoking post. I’ve had many of these thoughts myself. I think we probably all do as we get older and our responsibilities. But I have no answers at all. I’m so happy that you have not crossed blogging off your list. I would have missed you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennifer, it seems we all have a lot in common after all! None of us seem to have the perfect answers but as long as we keep thinking and questioning, I think we’re OK. It’s when we stop thinking that we’re in trouble!! You made me smile with your comment about missing me if I’d crossed blogging off my list 🙂

      Like

  8. Hi Deb, yes, I noticed your new blog design. It looks good and easy on the eye.

    My question is there such a “thing” as retirement??? Overthinking can be a significant problem for us all. Pleased to hear you are continuing to live your life the way you want without feeling the pressure to do something all the time. Just “being” and spending time doing “nothing” is just as important as being busy — all about balance.

    For differing reasons, I have and will continue to have good and bad days. I can very much relate to how you are feeling. Kia Kaha X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Suz, so glad the new design is being well received! I like its simple lines and elegance. Thanks also for your thoughts on my post and you’re right, it’s all about balance. Thinking of you and glad to hear you can relate xx

      Like

  9. Hi Deb, I think you and I have been reading similar articles lately! Yes, I can relate to all of this and I’ve had my share of ups and downs lately too. More recently I’ve felt a loss of some spark and inner mojo. But mostly I’m content so I think these phases pass, as mine is right now. Great post Deb, keep doing what you’re doing and finding joy in whatever brings you joy. There’s no point putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves is there? xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Interesting post Deb. You’ve been very honest and it seems that’s struck a chord with many of your readers.

    The title of your post is also interesting – for a range of reasons. What do you consider to be a ‘mediocre’ life? What does it mean on a daily basis? What does it look like/feel like to live a mediocre life? And who gets to decide on what mediocrity is in this regard?

    And what does a ‘grand’ life mean to you? What does it look like and how is it different to a mediocre life?

    I’m also interested in the word ‘afraid’. Are you afraid to live a mediocre life? And why afraid?

    To me it says something about ‘shoulds’, and that says something about expectations … and, if so, where does the should/expectation come from?

    I’m not asking questions for you to answer – I’m just asking because these are the questions that spring immediately to mind and give me pause to consider my own mediocrity and whether it’s something I’m afraid of.

    Lots to think about!
    Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sharon for your response. I’m glad I don’t have to answer all the questions 🙂 I have been writing this post for weeks now and really didn’t think too much about the title by the time I posted it! It just seems to me that at times I’m wallowing around being shallow and not pulling my weight now that I’m retired. I wonder if I should be trying to improve myself or just settle with how I am and I seem to flip whichever way the wind is blowing sometimes!!!! You are in no way mediocre and I admire your dedication to learning new things, questioning things and I don’t think I live up to your standards most times. But it’s not about comparisons, it’s about purpose and a sense of self, which we’ve discussed before and yes it makes me afraid sometimes, as if I’m letting myself down in some way. I’m not, I know that, but often I get these crazy thoughts and don’t know what to make of them. In other ways though I’m full of purpose, drive and energy so I think it’s just me being thoughtful and putting it out there as honestly as I can. It seems to help me digest things and I love the support and understanding from others who seem to be on the same wavelength. Hopefully that helps clarify things in some way, so thanks for your thoughtful and insightful comment (as always) xx

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes, you’re over thinking all of this…it’s easy to find ourselves doing such. I don’t think at this stage in our lives we should be pushing ourselves to do more. We’ve done enough! Now is our time to wake up and wonder what the day has in store for us, even if that means closing our eyes and going back to sleep for a while. We’ve earned it, now is our time for just us!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Deb, it seems like a lot of retirees can identify with what you have written. When I worked, I often worked 60 – 70 hour weeks, plus trained for marathons and found the time and energy for lots of other interests. Now that I am retired, I do less, but I am happy with less. I have had plenty of opportunities for part-time jobs that sound as though they would be interesting and fulfilling, but I just don’t want to make the commitment anymore. I love having a free schedule. To each his/her own!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think you’re right Laurie, it’s the commitment thing, I also love having a free schedule and can be spontaneous if I want to be or not depending on my mood. Thanks so much for your comment and for understanding what I was trying to get across.

      Like

  13. Love this post Deb. You certainly haven’t lost it at all and I think you are so right about your approach. Our lives move on and we adapt to different situations and different ages where our priorities also change. I think it’s all about being happy and content, what more can you ask? I actually try not to self-analyse at all as it doesn’t do anything for me. Happy in my own juvenile, innocent, unthinking way I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jonno, you’re right it’s about being happy and content and realising that we are happy and content!!! I think I’ll step away from self analysing too, I just don’t need it! I love the fact you’re happy in your own juvenile, innocent, unthinking way 🙂 . It sounds like a great way to be 🙂

      Like

  14. I totally get it. Sometimes it feels that if you don’t have a million projects on the go that you’re settling for mediocrity. I’m crazy busy but am deliberately taking a step back at the moment not to be mediocre but to try & do more for me & do it better. And yes, enjoying life is what it’s about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I get it Jo, we all seem to have similar feelings. It’s not mediocrity as you say but to get it right for ourselves and feel better about what it is we’re actually trying to do. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic, I really appreciate it!

      Like

  15. A great post Deb, and from reading all the comments, one that resonates with many, including me. I often think I’m failing when I give up on something, but your post has given me a new insight. Most times I’m not actually failing, or a failure, it’s that that something I thought was important to me, really isn’t that important after all. As far as being inconsistent and all over the place – sometimes I think the only thing consistent about me is my inconsistency. A real flubbity jibit. Like you though, blogging is about the most consistent thing I have. My mojo has been on the wane lately too. Perhaps it’s the approaching winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for your thoughts on my post Chris. I was a bit wary about actually hitting the publish button but had put so much thought into it, I felt I had to share it! I’m happy to hear I’m not so alone in having these thoughts, it seems maybe the approaching winter could have something to do with it or we’re just going through a phase. Anyway I really appreciate your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I love that quote. I wonder if when we have more time on our hands we spend more time contemplating life and wondering whether it’s “enough.” Personally, I think too much is made of go-getting and achieving and not enough value is place on just “being” or at least being contented. I think there’s a lot to be said for being contented and that will look different for each of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I think everybody should do exactly what he or she wants whenever he wants and not overthink things. The most important thing is to feel good with yourself and to not push yourself over your limits.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I think every human being loses his/her mojo at various points of their lives, Debbie. The problem is that often we don’t talk about it, so I’m glad you have.
    I’ve always found it to be like a passing rain shower. It comes onto your horizon, over you, and then passes. Sometimes, the wind behind that passing shower means it’s over and gone quickly. On other days, there is no wind, so my mojo stays lost for longer.

    I always find going outside for a walk does help but, most importantly, is that turning off my computer and phone works even better. Often, my mojo gets lost in the life that exists outside of the technical world I surround myself with. But, best of all, I have to go out there and find it. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wise words Hugh, thanks so much for your thoughtful response. You’re right it is something that usually passes but for the moments you’re in that fog it can feel scary. I wrote my thoughts down in order to get them out of my head but in so doing it seems to have resonated with others in similar predicaments. I’m glad to share my thoughts and love hearing from others. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I think it takes time to adjust to change. Sometimes we feel we should be filling our time with busy exciting things, but it’s ok to slow down and think about what you want to do next & don’t need to cram everything in.
    #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Loved reading your thoughts and words. I know that things I thought were important to do, achieve, see, whatever, are changing in me. It is not lack of motivation I now see. I see it as growing and changing as I get older. I have less interest in some of the travel that I MAY have wanted to do because it is too hard and what will I have done with that experience…taken much of our ever shrinking retirement nest egg. I am truly becoming so much better at simpler, smaller, shorter and manageable. Now, a morning date on Fridays with my husband is a highlight we both look forward to, a catch up every few months with a friend for morning tea IS enough. I have never been a fan of bucket lists. I am more a fan of living in the now because I have for far too long “wanted more, longed for things” and that is no way to actually LIVE. Contentment with some adjustments from time to time is working for me.

    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek and next week’s optional prompt is 22/51 First Job. 3/6/19 Warm wishes, Denyse

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your fab comment Denyse! Your words of wisdom speak volumes and I for one appreciate your honesty and value your experience. I know what you mean about bucket lists, and I’m with you, live for the here and now while we can. Despite my words I am feeling content and know that this will blow over.

      Like

  21. Me again. The blog is so eye catching with its simplicity. I love it. Much ‘easier’ on my eye to read. I also wanted to mention, I am being ‘brave’ and having a one night stay away in Sydney on Sunday night coming. I have a meeting at Chris OBrien Lifehouse the next morning so I am staying solo and visiting the city while it’s still light then doing a 60 min harbour cruise with Vivid. Experiences like these are great for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow that sounds great Denyse. Very brave of you but fun too! I wish I could go to vivid again, I haven’t been for a few years but loved it!

      I really appreciate the kind words about my new theme, I’m really happy with it too.

      Like

  22. I can so relate to what you’ve written here, Deb. I’m still adjusting to retirement and trying to find my way in this new lifestyle. Looking for a balance between feeling a loss of purpose to avoiding overcommitment. I’ve been very focused on caring for my grandsons and spending as much time with them as possible which has given me purpose. I am so lucky to have them near and to have the time to spend with them. I have been less motivated to press on with my writing, especially the last few weeks. I have wondered if I need to take a break from my blog. The other thing I’ve notices is difficulty making decisions. You and your readers give me hope it’s just a phase and ‘this too shall pass.’ I will accept where I am right now and know that it is where I’m supposed to be. When I’m ready to move on and make decisions I will do it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so pleased to hear this resonated with you too Molly! You are very lucky to have your grandsons live nearby, I am very jealous of anyone who has easy access to their grandchildren. I think we all go through stages where our motivation waxes and wanes and I’m so glad to be a part of such a great group of midlife bloggers who not only understand but offer words of wisdom. Thanks for joining in!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. When you talked about mediocre, I recalled this blog post of mine:https://retirementtransition.blog/2018/11/04/is-being-average-a-failure/

    I have crossed off a few things from my “bucket list” and it did feel a bit like I was letting myself down. However, I’m learning what works for me NOW, and those things are not where I want to be now. I am also learning that I like a slower pace of life – more time being. I don’t want to work or even “be in charge” of a commitee.

    Sometimes it’s hard because people expect things of me and when I don’t want to do them, I still feel like I’m letting them down. They expect more and I’m not interested in it! But at times I still worry that I ‘should’ be doing more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I went back and re-read your post Pat and I can so relate to exactly what you were saying. I even commented on that post at the time! Thanks so much for saying it much better than i managed to, isn’t it funny how we are all so different but these themes keep appearing in our worlds? I understand the high expectations of others so well and I think it was this and the acceptance to just be me doing what I want, is what I wanted to get across. Thanks again for your wise words and understanding.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it’s always wonderful to know when we are not alone in our thinking. I find it challenging to not live “up to others expectations” when I spent my whole life doing just that… or what I thought they expected of me. I’ve realized I tend to “hear expectations” when listening to others. Learning to accept “me doing me” independent of what others think is an ongoing challenge.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Thank you for the honest, vulnerable post Deb. I actually feel much as you described now–and I’m still working full-time. Your tips are spot on. The things that help me the most are a good physical workout or spending time in nature. I think the workout gets me out of my head and into my body, and nature reminds me that the world is a big, beautiful place. I have to say the photos on your blog brought me a sudden spark of joy as well. #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment made me smile Christie, I’m surprised at the number of people who have said they know how I’m feeling -it’s obviously something that’s more common feeling than I thought. It makes me glad to be honest and yes you’re right, vulnerable too! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment as well as your understanding 🙂

      Like

  25. First, let me say I’m loving the new design. Very clean and crisp. As for this post, I’m living this right now. I think it’s the transitions for me, and not the time of transition, that’s all action and work. It’s post-transition when the dust settles but I’m still not quite settled into the new situation. That’s when I start to lose the mojo. I have to take stock of where I am and what I’m doing and start determining what stays and what goes. That’s also the theme of my current self-care calendar. What are the absolute No’s and what are the absolute Yes items that I am willing to carve out time in my schedule for? It’s a work in progress.

    Liked by 1 person

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