It’s a Question of Motivation

I used to get excited by things – a new book or movie coming out, a hobby like stamping or blogging, being around friends, a challenge at work.  But lately it has been much harder for me to have much interest in anything.  Most of the time, I don’t want to do anything outside of my basic, normal routine, and even those things are a stretch for me sometimes.

Not all is lost.  I have gotten back into reading after a several-month period where books weren’t holding my attention very well, and I did perk up a bit when the recent Star Trek movie Beyond hit the theaters.  But given the choice most times, I would rather spend my time bingeing on Netflix or sleeping in as late as possible.

When I reflect on this, several questions come to mind:

  1. Is this a sign of worsening depression or just a side effect of the medications I am already on?
  2. Am I getting old before my time?
  3. Does it really matter?  Isn’t part of being an adult that you are allowed to do what you want with your free time, even if that is nothing?
  4. What kind of example am I setting for my son?

As you can tell from the last question, there is a fair amount of guilt mixed in with the other emotions that come up with I think about this aspect of my life.  I want to teach my son how to have a good life and become a responsible adult, but I feel overwhelmed when it comes to actually doing so.  I just don’t feel I have these skills down pat in my own life, so it is hard to figure out how to pass them on to him.

Not being able to pin down the problem makes it even harder to solve.  I keep hoping something will come along that engages me in the way that I used to enjoy.  In the meantime, I have gotten back into regular therapy to help me sort out what exactly is going on with me and what to do about it.  It’s nice to have someone who is both on your side and has the knowledge to help, especially since it has taken me a while to find her (my last good therapist moved away over a year ago and I have been to three different people since then).

I often wonder if other people go through similar times where they feel unmotivated and how they think about it, as well as what they do about it.  If you have any insights to share or can relate in any way, please leave a comment and let me know what you think.


5 Replies to “It’s a Question of Motivation”

  1. When I start losing interest in things, it’s often a sign that I’m depressed. I have difficulty with identifying my emotions so I rely pretty heavily on outward signs to tell when I’m getting bogged down with depression again.

    For me, the answer generally is to first get enough alone time. Next is to find something – anything – that interests me and do more research about it. The more I immerse myself in research on topics that interest me, the more my moods tend to stabilize. If I can get interested in something that my children enjoy as well then that’s a bonus because then I can involve them! It’s much easier to write this, of course, than to actually find something to immerse myself in, but I can usually find something eventually.

    I strongly suspect that having a more regular sleeping schedule would help me also, but I have yet to manage to fall asleep or wake up at consistent hours for more than a couple days in a row.

    I wish you all the best as you seek solutions that will work for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Several thoughts went through my mind as I read your blog. My first thought is that you might want to talk to your prescribing doctor to see if a medication change is in order. I am assuming you are on an antidepressant. What you have described are major symptoms of depression. As you know my daughter struggles with that, although currently she is fine, she has had years lost due to chronic depression.
    Also, I have had passing times where I have lost interest in something that was a passion for me. For example, for years I was an avid quilter and had many exciting projects going. I served two terms as president of a quilt guild, and then I simply burned out. Whether it was That I pushed myself to make and do so much that it just wore me out, I don’t know. But I found replacements for the quilting. If you have other interests in your life, I think it’s ok to switch it up and change.
    Are you going through menopause? That can bring on a down time.
    It’s ok to enjoy your free time how you want, but in my humble opinion, if it’s under the covers too much, you need to find out why.


    1. Thanks, Nikki. I do have an appointment with my psychiatrist later this month, so I will talk to her about my meds. The more I think about it, part of it is probably due to being overwhelmed with parenting a teenager, too. I don’t feel very competent to deal with the various issues that have arisen so far and my tendency is to shut down.


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