Inexplicably sad

Ever since I gave up ‘proper’ work to work for myself at home, I’ve been happy. Happy to be on my own. Happy with my own company, my own space, my own peace and quiet. And happy with the variety and buzz of my work.

But over the past couple of weeks, something has changed. At times I feel bored and lonely and inexplicably sad.

Since the summer, I haven’t had as much work as I’d like. I’m working at about half my capacity and it gives me time to think, to feel bored, lonely and sad. I’m still earning as much as when I worked in an office, but I’d like to contribute more to the family finances – three big kids cost a serious amount of money – and it makes me sad that I’m unable to. But it’s not just that. Being busy makes me happy. Not being busy makes me sad and means I lack purpose.

I try to fill my time. I spend far too long faffing on my own and other people’s blogs. If I can’t get enough work in, maybe I could increase the readership of my blog? (I couldn’t – I’ve been blogging for over four years and my readership has been very stable for the last two and half, it’s never going to take off and become one of the big, must-read blogs at this stage).

A phone call from my mum unsettles me and I don’t know why. I worry about the minor health ailments of various family members. She tells me my sister is going to ask me something. But what? I worry what it might be, what if I can’t help? What if I have to say no? Will it put me in an awkward position? How will that make me feel? How will that make her feel? Will she resent me for it?

It is some time before I realise I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT SHE IS GOING TO ASK. My sister has never put me in a difficult position. It’s probably something nice and positive, but I’m only seeing the negatives right now.

An email comes through from my son’s violin teacher. My stomach falls and I feel sick. What has he done? Has he missed lessons? Is he falling behind with his practise?

No, HE JUST NEEDS A NEW BOW.

I am worrying  about things that don’t need worrying about and still I can’t shake the sadness.

I could run away from it. Go out. Do something.

But I don’t do that. Because I work in school times, Monday to Friday. If I haven’t got work, I just stay at home. It would be wrong to go out and spend money if I’m not earning and it would be wrong to go out in case some work comes in that I need to do urgently.

I know what’s wrong. The sadness isn’t inexplicable. It’s tiredness. Waking up between 4 and 5 every morning, worrying that my boys haven’t packed for Scout camp and hoping I’ll have enough time to get from my daughter’s cross country to pick my son up from his after school rehearsal, is always going to take its toll. People ask if I’m tired and I tell them I’m not. Because my tiredness doesn’t feel like tiredness. It manifests itself as inexplicable sadness. I’ve been there before, but I can feel like it for several days before I even remember what’s causing it.

So I will go back to looking for work, faffing with my blog and hoping to wake up later until the inexplicable sadness passes.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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45 Comments

  1. Aww hope you feel cheerier soon. I relate to this at the moment – have gone from having a house that was busy in the week days with Syd only doing 3 short mornings at pre-school and Betsy being in and out with short days and short weeks at college, to Betsy being at uni and Syd being at school 9-3.15. I find myself dwelling on things or feeling a bit mopey – all because I have too much time on my hands and miss the noise and business and company.

    Hopefully my OU course will sort me out – and I should really take a leaf from your book and start trying to create some more work for myself online.

    I hope you manage a bit more sleep – your lifestyle makes me feel exhausted just reading about it sometimes and am sure tiredness will be contributing to you feeling down. Shame I am so far away or I would pop round for coffee and we can cheer each other up a bit! Xx

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    • That would be really lovely! Even the thought it puts a smile on my face!
      Sorry to hear you’re feeling down soon. Hope you’re OU course helps you to feel busier and more useful.

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  2. Oh Sarah, sounds like you need a rest. I feel like this a lot, but had never really thought that it was due to tiredness before. But you are probably right. My husband is working crazy hours and has spent practically 2 weeks away. I thought it was to do with lack of adult company but you are right tiredness must be a big part too. I worry more and don’t sleep well when he’s not around. Hope you get some rest and are happy soon xx

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    • Thanks very much! Hope you feel better soon too, although it’s good to know I’m not the only one! I’d find it hard if my husband was away for that long. x

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  3. Being tired knocks everything out of perspective. If you’ve nothing to do for a little bit could you even just go for a walk? I find getting out of the house and getting fresh air helps massively. Hope you feel brighter soon.

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    • Thanks very much, you’re very right! I always go for a run or walk first thing, but funnily enough I did go for a walk in the day the other day and it was really good.

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  4. You’re just missing me! 🙂 See you soon xxx

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    • I certainly am! Look forward to seeing you 🙂 x

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  5. I think working from home can be really challenging and hits your self esteem if you aren’t careful. I find myself sitting at home with three jumpers on because I think it would be wasteful to put the heating on for just me… To combat the loneliness I make a point of always arranging a coffee date or a mums dog walk at least once a week to make sure I have human company and perspective. And to hell with the fact that I “ought” to be working!

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    • I have the same issues with feeling cold too! Good idea to meet people at least once a week, I really need to do that!

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  6. I can relate to SO much of this. I need to be busy and not just physically but mentally too. If my brain isn’t being used thoroughly I start to worry and read too much into things too and I become an insomniac. I’m pretty sure it’s because I have no idea how to properly relax but I feel like I’m happier when I’m busy. I hope it does all pick up very very soon. Maybe half term will provide a welcome distraction for a while too!

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    • Thanks very much! Glad I’m not the only one. I don’t even like relaxing! I’m really looking forward to half term and less things to worry about.

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  7. Oh Sarah. I could have written this post yesterday. I’m just starting out working from home with my own business and month one went really well but there’s been NOTHING at all this month. As a single mum it’s all down to me to make enough to pay the bills as no-one is going to bail me out. But I seem to spend all day sat at my computer reading network posts on Facebook and trying to learn how to win clients. As if reading about it will make it magically happen! Add in the never-ending kid taxi service, feeling cold with the changing season and my first experience of dating post-marriage break up and I’m just on the edge too. But today I decided not to let it get me down. I dropped a flyer design at the local printers, I contacted a potential client who’d gone quiet on me and reconnected with another. Plus I posted how I was feeling in a good networking group and may have a lead from that too. Just as I was feeling total despair, I feel as though it may be ok after all. I think working from home is really hard as finding motivation to get out and do things doesn’t have the backing of other people to help you. If you’re not feeling it, then only you can change that which is really tough.
    Anyway, didn’t want to make this a long comment, but did want to say that I remember reading your first post about going it alone and it made me believe I could do it too. It’s taken longer than planned, but I am now, so thank you for giving me the confidence to try – I look to you as inspiration of how to do it and do it well.
    Take care x

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    • Thank you for taking the time to write this, I really appreciate it. Looking at vague work opportunities on Facebook is just what I’ve been doing lately too, but I really don’t think it’s a good use of time!
      Good luck with your business and it’s good to hear that you’re making some positive moves this week. It’s lovely to hear that I inspired you in a little way.

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  8. Sorry to hear you feel this way. Going for a run wouldn’t cost money, and then you may in turn sleep longer – then you wont be so tired and sad feeling and be more productive with your work time maybe?

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    • Thanks very much! I’m running or walking every day before I start work, I couldn’t work without that I don’t think!

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  9. Aww sweetheart it sounds like you are over thinking things and letting it get the better of you. I’ve no magic wand to help you fix this but maybe writing down all that worries you will help get it out of your head and stop you waking at silly o’clock. Hoping that a few good nights sleep and rest will help you feel better about things.

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    • Thanks very much. Writing it down sounds like a really good idea – it might help me get back to sleep!

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  10. Oh sorry to hear you’re feeling like this. I think it’s normal though? Things just get too much sometimes and lack of sleep can have a huge impact.

    You should try to get out of the house though, if only for a walk, a run or round a friend’s for coffee x

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    • Thanks. I think it is normal and I’m sure it’ll pass in time. I walk or run before work every day, but I probably ought to leave the house in the day sometimes too. x

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  11. I completely understand where you’re coming from and if I spend too much time at home, I’m exactly the same. Having problems with your knee and being unable to run probably don’t help either. I usually go for a walk, listen to some music or go to the gym on days when I feel like this. The lack of sleep must be so horrid 🙁

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    • Thanks very much! I’m gradually building up the running again, so hopefully that will help. The lack of sleep isn’t good, but I just don’t seem to be able to stop waking very early 🙁

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    • Thanks very much, I think you’re right!

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  12. ahh Sarah, firstly it is good you recognise the feeling and that in itself will help you decide what to do. I still love being at home to work but know it will not be forever.

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    • Thanks very much. I loved it until very recently and I hope I’ll love it again. I really don’t want to go out to work again as it’s too hard with the kids to juggle.

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  13. Sorry you’re feeling like this – I have a tendancy to overthink things too so I completely get where you’re coming from. You need something to keep yourself occupied when you’re not working x x

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    • Thanks very much, I definitely do! It’s good to know other people can relate. x

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  14. Big giant hugs lovely. I am a huge worrier to and worry about things that never happen or could happen, they go round and round in my head until I feel sick. I understand and always here if you want to talk. I hope the sadness lifts and you are happy. You are such a wonderful person. Lots of love x

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    • That’s such a lovely thing to say! Thank you, I really appreciate it. Sorry to hear you’re a worrier too, it’s not a lot of fun, is it? x

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  15. Sorry to hear that you are struggling with tiredness and sadness. Working from home can be quite lonely sometimes and if you’re having a lull, I can imagine that it is easier for the negative thoughts to start whirring around your head. Hope that you manage to get some more sleep soon and that things start looking up again.

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    • Thanks very much. I definitely need to keep myself busy to stop myself from worrying! I think the half-term will be a good break.

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  16. I felt like this earlier in the year and I think a lot of it is working from home and having time on your hands to over think things. You are brilliant at what you do and I am sure that you will be busy again with work. I also understand how hard it is juggling different children in different schools with all of the extra-curricular stuff on top too, it can really get you down as you do get so tired and bogged down with it. Chin up, you will get through this x

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    • Thanks very much, that’s such a lovely thing to say. Working from home usually seems so positive, but it is hard without as much to occupy me. I bet you’re glad you’ve got a job outside of home now!

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  17. I’m a worrier and that in itself can be so tiring. fresh air and a change of scene do help and saying no to a few things. be kind to yourself love

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    • Thanks very much! Fresh air does always help.

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  18. Aw Sarah so sorry you have been feeling like this. Its horrible when we can’t stop worrying about the little things. I totally do this too. Big things I seem to be fine with, but the little things really get me exploding. How about taking your laptop one day to a coffee shop to do some work ? Free wifi and a nice large cup of coffee, and getting out of the house for a little bit. I do this on a Tuesday and it really helps me to focus being away from the house. Hugs xx

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    • Thanks very much. I swear I have a new worry every morning and they’re all small, but they’re all enough to wake me up!
      I’ve never really got the hang of working in a coffee shop as i do a lot of proofreading, but maybe I should try it again. x

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  19. Ah Sarah I am so sad you feel like this, I will soon be working form home more and am so excited. Could it be the time of year and the fact that summer is over that is affecting you? I hope it passes soon x

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    • That’s a good point! I’m not keen on autumn and winter and the house gets very cold. Hopefully I’ll cheer up soon. Good luck to you for working at home. x

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  20. Oh lovely. I very much get this. When I have too much time on my hand I too start to spiral into doom. I overthink things. Worry and panic. We should set up a bloggers who work from home group! (aka somewhere where sometimes we can moan about things ;)) Lots of Love xxx

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    • Thanks very much, we so should! It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one, but I feel for you as it’s not a nice feeling. x

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  21. Thanks very much, that would be lovely! We really should do that. I always think it’s a bad use of time to go out during the day, but I probably should! x

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  22. You need to find an interest, something new to get you up and going.It could be running, joining a club, learning a new craft, anything that sparks your creativity or having a feeling of belonging somewhere.Good luck!

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