The “Rut”


As I stood in front of the mirror one morning, brushing my teeth, it finally hit me. And when I say, “it hit me,” I mean it just came out of nowhere and to the front of my mind: I’m 40. I’m that old guy. It was kind of a depressing realization, and I even felt a little light headed (I think it was just the old age kicking in, or probably my blood pressure shooting up – I hadn’t had my pill yet). I still, all these months later, don’t feel 40. My mind doesn’t think like it’s 40. My body, however, feels about 75, but that’s because I haven’t taken care of it the last … oh … 13 years.

I was discussing all this the other day to my wife, as we were comparing notes on what our aches and pains were. She diagnosed me that morning. Her words still ring out in my head the last couple of weeks since she said it – it’s only been about 2 weeks, perhaps. But I still hear it because it hit me and made me stop dead in my tracks. I may have even laughed.

“You’re stuck in a rut. You just need to find that something that will get you out of it.”

I had to look up what stuck in a rut actually meant, just to make sure she was on the right track of my diagnosis. Basically, I take it as being along the same lines of a mid-life crisis, except I don’t have the urge to go out and buy a car, motorcycle, travel the world, etc. Instead, it’s just a feeling of giving up on anything more and just accepting what I have right now, even though I’m not completely happy with everything. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about my family. Just life in general.

I have no spare time, it seems, to do anything that might help me break out of the rut. If I get up an hour early, that one hour is all I have. As soon as it’s over, everyday life takes over. Chores, bills, work, sleep, repeat. So I looked up suggestions on how to get out of a rut. Some of the things I came across sound like good advice, but it also sounds like advice from someone that’s never been in this particular place in life.

The things I am willing to discuss openly is the fact that my job, coworkers and social life is a big issue in this malaise? that I’m dealing with. And while I haven’t mentioned being stuck in a rut, or my general lack of interest in pretty much everything lately, to many others, I felt it would at least help get it off my chest to type it out here. Anyone else just reached a point in their life where they just looked around and mentally went, “blah,” at everything? Ever feel you missed a turn somewhere in the past? Took the wrong fork?


2 thoughts on “The “Rut”

  1. i was fine with forty. i think because i had the dinner and all the love lavished on me that day made it okay. afterall, i don’t feel any different why should a number make me different. Then i turned 41. i look back and think of all the time i wasted. Not with my family because that is one of my successes, as cliched as that is, but not doing what i wanted to do. But what did i want to do? was i trapped in my nice box of cliches? nothing bad happens but nothing really amazing happens either. nothing brings me joy because it is all the same. i am a shampoo bottle’s instructions: lather, rinse, repeat. stuck in a rut. a cog in the machine. i can’t write. i can’t read. my passion is gone..because i am 41 and supposed to have this stuff figured out.

  2. I’m not sure if we’re suppose to have it figured out, but the same repeat cycle is definitely part of my problem. There is a bigger issue that weighs heavy on me, but it’s not something I can comfortably discuss with anyone. I’m just worn out and tired of the day to day. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting anything toward my kids. I love them to death. And I’m grateful for what I’ve worked hard to have. It’s just a dark cloud hovering over me these days and it just grows darker.

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