The Meaning of Life. I Think.

I’m not a positive person.

When the going gets tough, I get down. I’m not certain, in case Freud asks, if I’ve always been this way or if I’m repressing some sexual tension I felt for trees in my youth. The point is that I’m me. I can’t be anyone else nor pretend to feel differently than I do once depressive thoughts take over.

©Meg Ryan of French Kiss

I’ve learned a few copes. I’m not at a dangerous level. I’m just …constantly numbing.

Occasionally, I’ll examine my life. From a somewhat stable mindset, I’ll turn it this way and that in the light of detached study. Why am I depressed? Why don’t I feel? Time and again, I come around to the obvious answer: my current situation.

Photo by Pixabay on

I don’t like being a stay-at-home mother. I didn’t want to be a mother. Worse, I never wanted to do dishes and laundry as an unpaid career. My sincere wish as a child was for the fairies who lived on the other side of my mirror to open a portal to their magical kingdom, where I would live in a Neverland situation; without menstrual cycles, age, or health issues -forever. It sounds stupid, but a part of me still holds onto that dream…

Photo by Tu00fa Nguyu1ec5n on

I’ve an overdeveloped imagination and an underdeveloped -oh, heck; I don’t sleep and have no free time. I retain that corner of imagination to draw from when writing fiction.

For the past while, I have been trying to solve THE PROBLEM of my dissatisfaction. Am I unfulfilled because I didn’t go into a specific career field? I didn’t have one in mind. Am I depressed because I lack free time? I could make some. Am I sad at the prospect of no future? Yes, yes I am.

Besides fairies, I dreamt of some job that would be just as magical. I’d be in an office, with office supplies. I’d have a paycheck. I would get to file things or wear business casual or do important tasks. I would attain a prestigious degree and save lives… I think.

But, to what end? What would it all have been for?

Maybe, the point of life is not work. Maybe the point really is home life.

©Warner Brothers, The Wizard of Oz

No one lies on his death bed lamenting more time spent in the office, right?


I …just …can’t seem to find the right aphorism or life quote to help me feel good about it all. I can’t find a resolution. Maybe YOU have a suggestion?


Week in review:
Wednesday, September 7: “What’s Your Word?, A Revisit to Resolutions.”

Thursday, September 8: “Swipe Right,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt: swimmingly.

Friday, September 9: Friday Photo.

Saturday, September 10: “Poetic Collage.”

Sunday, September 11: Quote by George MacDonald.

Monday, September 12: Mormon Monday. The LDS Church is very organized!

Tuesday, September 13: “Altitude Anonymous.”

Wednesday, September 14: Today.

©2022 Chel Owens

68 thoughts on “The Meaning of Life. I Think.

  1. I did all the things you feel you have missed and it still comes down to simple things for fulfillment. A happy dog, a loving spouse, a place to sit, to write 500 words a day on my books, and a VooDoo Ranger beer on Saturday. Don’t know if this will help you but believe me I ran with the big dogs and life is now so much better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel your despair. You sound like you feel trapped, caged…. Wanting to be free. Free from family life… Acknowledging is essential. If there is no alternative, and change is not possible, acceptance of how things are — helps.

    Hope this makes sense. (jobs are jobs… careers are careers…. ) Make lemonade out of the lemons?

    Religions cause lots of stress and caging.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Depression is difficult. I have suffered from it throughout my life too, and I wouldn’t begin to pretend I have the answer for you. But I can tell you my experience and ideas…
    What I heard from your post is that your desires/expectations don’t line up with your reality. That’s a tough spot to sit whether it’s at a desk in business casual or at your all-star quarterback kid’s football game or on your couch with a big bag of chips.
    In the times in my life that I felt that way the most, I set a new expectation or intention.
    Once, when a shop I was managing closed and I went back to being the same old worker-bee I had been before that, I chose to directly work on getting one of my desires that was a bit of a challenge but that I thought I could achieve. That’s how I ended up writing my first novel. But it certainly doesn’t have to be as big a dream as writing a novel. That just fit that desire/reality issue since I wanted to do more/ be more than my former worker-bee stuff I could do with my eyes closed.
    I think your own suggestion of creating some free time for yourself might be helpful to you. It’s up to you whether you want to work toward achieving one of your very own desires with that time, or use it to rest and relax within a world that for a short time fits your expectations of a valuable, wonderful one for yourself. But it sounds like creating a bit of your own reality/space might be a plus, even if just for an hour or two, here or there.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. True. Just finding enough time to think and dream is important, and it doesn’t work well in seconds between things. Planning mental vacation time is awesome! I do it when weather permits with breakfast by the river before work. Sometimes I only get to sit out there for about 10 minutes, but it readjusts my whole attitude and usually my whole day. I just posted about it a couple days ago if you want to see what I mean. , and if you don’t want a link in your comments, just delete the comment, I don’t mind at all. Just thought you might want to see the visual view of the idea in the photos.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. As women and mothers we are expected to have all the answers. We don’t. This is a numbing prospect, that we don’t know anything. And you’re responsible for a lot of little lives, and that responsible when you realize you know nothing? How could you not be off? So accept you know nothing. And be happy that you chose to get out of bed

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ❤️ Thank you, LA. Most of us see adults in positions and assume that person *is* that position. It drives me crazy to hear, “You’re such a good mom. You’re so patient.”

      I’m not a mom. I’m Chelsea.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Goodness, you are being honest! Does it help? Or just make it all a bit sucky?
    I don’t have answers, no advice really as I’m like John in a different space… sort of… shoot, I’ll continue elsewhere…


  6. It’s difficult to suggest to someone who is depressive how not to feel that way. Mainly because I’m not a depressive person. ((Not even with cancer). Because I don’t like feeling unhappy. So, I come up with ways to fix that. Since I was a child I always choose to find happiness and rejected feeling miserable. It didn’t make sense to me to feel awful.I do believe in getting feelings out. I used to go up to my room, play music, dance, draw, create stories in my head and on paper,imagine I was the star of a tv show, a book, or a film I’d seen and create my own happiness. I was punished more than my siblings because I asked too any questions when things didn’t make sense or seemed unfair to me. I never blindly accepted anything. I’ve gone against tradition, religious , social norms, or political policies that were unfair in my estimation. Whenever I felt they were restricted, unfair or held me back, I tried to change them. I was a warrior from the getgo. . I learned early on that staying home with a baby was not fun for me. And being in a orthodox or conservative Jewish home was too restrictive and out of touch with modern values (and less equal for women). All that made zero sense to me. While I loved rituals and traditions, I hated sexism and inequality. However, I’m spiritual so a more modern version of my faith Was how I preferred to worship. So I chose a more practical way to believe in G-d. One where all people were equal. I truly believe that if women had been allowed to be scribes, Rabbis or priest in ancient times the Bible would have been more inclusive.

    As an adult I loved being a mom. My children are the most important People in my life. But the reality is I did NOT enjoy staying home with them full time. Part time was great. Full time drove me crazy. So, I made sure I always worked. Yes, I felt guilty at first. Society didn’t agree. But then I listened to literature. “ To Thine own self be true”. And I repeated it in my head often. I fought for equality, fairness, and justice for all people. I worked rather than staying at home. If something wasn’t working, I changed it. I don’t believe in being miserable.

    My thoughts are that you are extremely creative. You live a life and practice at faith you love and respect. However maybe at this moment it’s too restrictive for your creative soul. You probably should listen more to your creative side and stretch those boundaries. If your current life is too demanding and restrictive then slightly change it. You don’t need to reject it. Just expand it to give yourself more independent freedom. You deserve that. Get a job and enjoy some freedom. We choose our freedom and our own happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops I hit send before saying that it was very brave of you to open up and share your feelings. That took courage but speaks of your sadness or despair. I wish I could hug you and tell you the right words to make it better. Perhaps talking to a female counselor who is of an independent faith but also a mom who can relate to the stress of being a wife, mother etc. can give you some coping skills to help you feel less overwhelmed. Good’s amazing that you are doing so well with so many home responsibilities. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Chelsea. I’m in awe of your ability to deal with so many children. (I loved all my students but they didn’t come home with me). I remember how stressed I was with my second child who was colicky for about 8 months. Lack of sleep, his non stop crying etc. was not fun. Then one day he stopped crying and turned into the sweetest child ever. But those were miserable months. So as soon he was a few months older I hired a grandma aged sitter to come into my home three days a week and watch my baby. I taught gifted students part time until my youngest was old enough for pre school. Then I went back to work full time. I wasn’t cut out to be a stay at home mom. I need my personal space too much. Working three days a week was the best. The other 4 days a week I devoted to my kids. But 3 days a week I felt like I was my own person again. It was a wonderful balance. I can’t even imagine how you deal with all those children. That alone deserves a Medal of Honor.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like you’re feeling frustrated and need to find a way to overcome your depression.

    I understand depression sometimes has a physical cause, such as by illness. Where it’s psychological, I like the advice of Marshall Rosenberg:

    “My theory is that we get depressed because we’re not getting what we want, and we’re not getting what we want because we have never been taught to get what we want. Instead, we’ve been taught to be good little boys and girls and good mothers and fathers. If we’re going to be one of those good things, better get used to being depressed. Depression is the reward we get for being “good.” But, if you want to feel better, I’d like you to clarify what you would like people to do to make life more wonderful for you.”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I suffer from depression, but mine just becomes a I don’t care. Some days I think about suicide, but I’m too gutless to do it, so I make lists and work through them. A good day is when I get my list done. Having said that I often find a change in routine helps and small wins. We do the NY Wordle now, on a streak of 189 days. In the grand scheme of life it counts for nothing, but it gives me a win, so perhaps you need to find your win. It might help

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Sheesh. The fact that you wrote another blog about not enjoying Motherhood…perhaps…you should have seriously weighed in on this with your husband before you had your first. Not everyone is cut out for it. It’s a mighty shame that the full time job of Motherhood times too many is bringing about this feeling of an unfulfilled life. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Parenting is hard even with one child; you have a gaggle to look after. Of course, you still love them.

    This suggestion might seem sappy and impractical at this point in your life, but I feel best about myself when doing something meaningful for others. I’ve been reading to seniors at assisted living twice a week. Every time I leave, I’ve noticed how good I feel because I’m bringing some cheer to their lives. There’s something super rewarding about making someone’s day better than constantly doing mundane chores. Maybe try to carve out 1-2 hours per week and find something that works for you.

    Super honest post, Chel. Many people languish in depression. The fact that you’re thinking about it shows you’re trying to find ways to get unstuck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pete. You are right about service. I feel a bit forced into helping others all the time, but you are also right about its being different for someone or some thing outside oneself. Those who teach are the ultimate givers of service.

      Let’s hope I keep unsticking.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Self-publish! Publish 1 book a year and before you know it, you’ve got a publishing empire. Maybe. I don’t know. I have 10 out now but 8 are short and had it not been for the pandemic downtime I wouldn’t have had the time to publish them. My goal is maybe if I put out at least 1 a year, maybe I’ll develop a fan base that pays actual folding money. I literally haven’t cracked 100 bucks in all time sales yet. Anyway, it’s just a thought. Look above. You have 50 comments on this thing. You have readers now just sell them something.

    Or don’t. Just a thought.

    When I was young, I could have run off to the big city, but opted to stay around family instead. Unexpectedly, my parents got sicker way quicker than I thought they would and I ended up being the caretaker for the old folks and the free babysitter for everyone else’s kids. Now I’m probably in your age range, all alone, and everyone I helped by babysitting and taking care of the old folks begrudges me my share of the inheritance and I don’t bother to ask for help with anything I need because I already know I’d get a mountain of complaints from the same people who felt entitled to every second of my time. The old people I cared for are gone. The kids I babysat are grown and would sooner kiss a dead moose butt than visit me or even call me for 5 minutes. I call them on holidays. Only one of them actually answers but will brush me off the phone within 5 minutes. The rest never call back. It is what it is. BTW, the entire time I helped everyone, everyone complained vigorously that I was really bad at helping, my helping wasn’t up to snuff, and it really sucks that I’m so bad at helping. At no time did any of them think how lucky they were that I stuck around to help them and where would they be if I had actually done what I wanted to do in life.

    All day, every day, I wish I’d run off to the city. I did have the chance. There was a nice woman I could have run off with too. But I screwed the pooch on that. I worried too much about everyone else and I feel like a chump because I’m fairly certain if I croaked tomorrow, it would be about 5 weeks before anyone noticed I was missing. I assume my neighbors by then would call the police to complain about my dead body stench.

    The weird thing is though, as much as I wish I’d run off, I can’t tell you for sure if I would if I could do it again because I’d just be in the city, worrying about everyone not getting helped. I have also seen enough things in the working world that make me think its a daily struggle just to get by in any field no matter what you do or where you do it.

    I’m sure you love your kids. You’re just getting to that age like me where the regrets seep in and you get bogged down wondering what could have been. People try to remind me there is still time to focus on what could be. I don’t really buy it but I keep hoping my Toilet Gator millions will come in and my trophy wife and late in life kids and mansion with it.

    There’s time to start a business, seek a career, the older and more self-sufficient the kids get means more time for goals. And remember, whenever you feel like your family weighs you down, don’t forget the alternative is to be like me, a schmuck who only has a blog that is read by 3.5 readers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wish I had your confidence. I worry about the quality of book I’d apply my name to; but, honestly, can’t get to even a B Movie novel to think about publishing.

      I’m sorry about the complaints and ingratitude. That sucks. Could you move to the city now? There’s gotta be a hot chick who loves Toilet Gators just wondering when you’ll walk into her favorite coffee shop.


      1. Yeah, no, I’m old and ugly and if you don’t make it by 30 you don’t make it at all. I admit I can’t honestly say for sure that the city wouldn’t have eaten me alive and if you make me bet, I’d say more likely it would have.

        I guess that’s my point. You assume your family kept you from being awesome but maybe they saved you from becoming a drunken hobo. You really never know.

        Deliver for doordash. Drive for uber. Sell crap on ebay. Stack some cheese. Is there a dream you do have in mind? I gotta be honest though, I live for the weekends. It really is a Mad Max hellscape out there so if it’s any consolation, you aren’t missing much. I am actually hoping my trophy wife will just go to work and take care of me.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Hey Chel, I enjoyed reading this, as well as all the comments. My heart goes out to you and I identify, although I know I can’t identify fully. I believe that some women are more cut out to be full time mothers. I’ve met women who are so happy in that life. Even after their kids grow up they are fostering other kids, watching grandkids, etc. I do love being a mom to my two boys but have had some dark days. I couldn’t live like those other women. I don’t have the answers for you but I will say, even though it sounds trite and cliche, I believe it with all my heart – God knows your situation and He deeply cares about what you are feeling. I hope that in itself is a bit of comfort to your tired soul. For me personally, as my youngest just began full time school, I’ve been given the opportunity to work a few hours a week doing the career I used to do. I had given up on it completely, but then these opportunities just dropped into my lap. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do that job anymore. I was so jaded. But now as I get started my old passion and zest for it is returning. Like fresh air, it feels wonderful. I will pray for that same kind of thing for you, Chel. With that said, although a job can help, it may never be the answer. I lay in bed every night and ask God, what’s the most important thing? Maybe I will keep asking till the day I die. He loves us. That much I know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not think that’s cliché. I do believe God knows us; whether my angst at motherhood is as important as a cancer-ridden breadwinner’s concern for her ten children is another case…

      I very much appreciate your support and your sharing what this path’s been for you. I’ll think on your suggestions.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I know a few people right now struggling with this very question… Am I honestly happy? What would/could make me happy? Do I dare make that change? Thanks for being honest about how you feel… it takes courage to be honest with yourself, let alone the universe! Wishing you some clarity!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Such a personal post Chel. Brave to open up and allow for communal exploration. Everyone is on their own unique journey but all too often we allow others to dictate where the path goes, dutifully following along. Roles, responsibilities, expectations, commitments, etc… until we are stuck in ruts carved so deep we cannot see the sky above the canyon walls. We grab onto titles like Dad, Coach, Boss, Employee, and let them consume our identity until it becomes who we are and not something we do. Eventually, that one small piece of the whole becomes all anyone knows of us. I say the road we are being led down, I don’t even take the road less traveled. Blaze your own trail, find that which fulfills you and maybe the mundane won’t seem as daunting, or all defining. Wow I am rather rambling and preachy today as I look in the mirror and see myself looking back…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Chel – You have described the eternal quandary of modern females! What your experiencing, I am sorry to say, I could consider as another “reason” idiot-ex didn’t want to be married to me anymore. I know your church has people, probably even some in a similar situation, who might be able to help you through this. Idiot-ex may or may not have availed himself of this while courting/wooing/ensnaring wife #4, but I doubt it!

    When I was at my lowest, my nearly as idiot as my ex sister suggested drugs. Could be she’s not as big an idiot, or maybe even as selfish as idiot-ex, at least now as she has finally almost reached mature adulthood in her own emotional life. That’s a long way of saying I think she/they helped me at the time, 15+ years ago, along with supplements of similar meds I started 3+ years ago while I was trying to take care of spouse and mom who were 2000 miles apart and neither one would move and even that was impossible during the pandemic.

    Incredibly, idiot ex through this up in my face after I told him my telling me he had suggested the same to me earlier but that I’d blown him off. Clearly another miscommunication during a very stressful time (our daughter’s wedding.) Even more incredibly, though maybe not considering substance abuse, especially alcoholism, is prevalent in his family and is I believe still at the root of his problem, he was put off by potential side effects of this type of drug even after it had been prescribed for him by the very popular, thus hard to get an appointment with (another excuse he used), doctor. Of course, he had no problem taking Xanax from my sister! I guess he was not concerned about mixing drugs and alcohol to help him get through our daughter’s wedding which he made miserable for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh. Exes are the worst. My friend for many years referred to hers as DAX (Dumb-Ass Ex). Unfortunately, idiots who insist on not expanding their horizons a bit get stuck in strange and destructive mindsets. I saw that pattern play out on both sides of the political spectrum on my FB feed during COVID.

      As to the motherhood question, I believe you’re right. I’ve realized the outside-Mormonism world went through this stress and reexamination before me, and is out on the other (liberated) side. Now, if only I could find happiness where I am, we’d be set.

      I’ve considered medication as well, and gotten very close to taking some.


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