Beating the Feeling of UN

Group hug, anyone?


Ahhh…I feel better already.

Tonight at the dinner table, I confessed to Mr. Backbone that I have a general feeling of UN

Uncertain.  Unappreciated.  Unmotivated.  Unadventurous.  Uninspired. 

Why?  I’m not quite sure, but I think it’s because for the past several years, most of my free time has been consumed with worrying about my mom and caring for her during a long illness.  Now that she’s  gone, I have more time on my hands.  I don’t have a set schedule on the weekends.  I don’t feel needed outside of my job.  Activities that fill my days seem trivial. 

The time has come to beat the feeling of UN. 

I’m going to tackle the beat-down of UN in several different ways, revealing them here on this blog, one at a time, between today and August 1.  Some will be fun…others will be challenging….and a few will be chosen by YOU.

Let’s start it off with a big one…

#1 – Make a Significant Difference in the Life of Someone Else.

Check back on Saturday when I reveal just how I plan to do this!

Do you have any suggestions to beat down the feeling of UN?  If so, submit them to me as a comment or by e-mail at  I’m up for the challenge and will complete all suggestions offered…while retaining slight veto power for reasons of insanity and physical feasibility.  Be creative!

28 responses to this post.

  1. Love your first challenge – and the challenge will be to make it a person not in your immediate family or circle of friends. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.


  2. You are lucky. Presbyterians are not allowed to hug people. It is a sin and you go to the downstairs place with all the bad souls. One exception. You are allowed to hug your wife. Upstairs. In the backroom. Door locked. Shades down. Lights dimmed. It cannot go too far.AS SOON as the hug is over you have to run right downstairs and go back to hard work again like bringing in the sheaths(whatever that means) so you can go to heaven. Hugging is frivolity and that is not allowed. Especially with a dopey bird that cannot fly.


    • You’re way too funny Carl…it’s a damn good thing that I’m not a Presbyterian because I like to hug with the door unlocked. 🙂


  3. Posted by 1959duke on May 10, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Sad to say what you are going through is not an uncommon thing. The mental price that caregivers pay cannot be put into an actual cost. It will take time for you to adjust your life. When is doubt I have found that a swig of Jack Daniels helps! Have a Great Day!


  4. I could so identify with your post today. I have definitely experienced UN. Your first challenge sounds awesome and I know you will come up with many other ideas to help you overcome the UN in your life. Here’s to you—cheers!!!!


  5. Posted by suzicate on May 10, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Most likely you are right where you are supposed to be right now…after taking care of your mom, it is probably time to focus on taking care of you. You’ll be nudged to go where needed when the time comes. Look inside,listen, and enjoy this moment. Can’t wait to hear where you’re headed from here. I do know it is difficult for caregivers to take care of themselves and always feel the need to be caring for anyone but themselves. Sometimes the time for nothing feels good if we allow it to flow.


    • Wise words…and something I am definitely going to spend some time thinking about….or maybe not thinking, as you say, and just let it flow. Flow is good.


  6. I’ve got a thing lately where, when I start to feel one of the “Bad UNs”, I remind myself that I could be some really “good UNs.”

    UNbelievable. UNstoppable. UNforgettable.

    That’s what works before for me when I start to feel bogged down, though. Turn the negative thought into something more positive. Sometimes, it’s easier said than done, but it can really help.


  7. I have to chime in with SuziCate and say, “You are right where you are supposed to be right now…you’ll be nudged to go where you need to go when the time comes.”

    Usually when this has happened to me, I found that inspiration is brewing and will suddenly reveal itself when the time is right. So, if I can share my own life experience with you, just embrace where you are right now and enjoy each moment.

    Group hug….

    ((((( group )))))

    Can’t wait to read more, Tracy! Have great day, my friend!



    • The two of you are so right…this week I’ve come home from work ON TIME and just enjoyed causual evenings. I’m embracing the flow…but am still committed to the challenge of beating the UNs…so long as no challenge involves UNderwear or UNderwater activities.


  8. I cared for my grandfather for five years after my grandmother died. When he passed on, there was a period of strangeness after. Most of my time had been involved in his care, so when he died, I felt useless, maybe not useless, but displaced for a time. You will adjust. It may help to make your adjustment purposeful by selecting what you would like to do with the time that your mother’s demise has provided. Don’t allow false guilt to dampen your enthusiasm. This time is yours now. You may give it away if you choose, but it’s your choice. I wish I could pass on more specific ideas. Some other bloggers may have some good thoughts on ways to occupy your time. As a caregiver, you were probably stretched just to get everything done. Blessings to you…


    • Carol Ann – I couldn’t come up with the right word for this feeling…but your phrasing of “period of strangeness” is exactly how I would describe it. It’s not all UN…it’s just…well…it’s kinda strange.


  9. (= Awesome. Reaching out to others is a tonic for the UNs.

    So is worthwhile travel. Today Jessica Bell blogged about a cool writing retreat opportunity…


    • Worthwhile travel challenge accepted. It probably won’t be a writing retreat, but I’ll definitely make it worthwhile. Thanks for the idea!


  10. Posted by pattisj on May 10, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    “We can’t stop change, but we can learn how to embrace it and not let it bend us into someone we were never meant to be.”
    I thought this sentence from your “about” page was very fitting advice in reply to your post. Enjoy your journey!


  11. I also have to chime in with SuziCate and say, “You are right where you are supposed to be right now…you’ll be nudged to go where you need to go when the time comes.” We have only one life to live, and I plan on making the best of it each and every day.


  12. At first I thought you meant United Nations 🙂 Un is bearable and I think you are on the right path..good post reminds me I need to do a little UN also!


  13. So often, at the end of a long journey where we know our purpose for such a long time, that feeling of UN definitely slips in to challenge us.Where do we go from here? It’s a bit of a scary feeling because, at the end of the day, we all need to feel that what we have accomplished in life has been worthwhile.

    I like your idea of making a significant difference in someone’s life. 🙂 We all need purpose.


  14. I find myself feeling the UN at least once a month; or maybe every other. I think it’s natural to go through these emotions from time to time, but the fact that you recognize it speaks volumes. I’m with Duke, but I prefer wine. I also try to do a nice gesture a day, even if it’s small, to remind myself that there is still good and I can still have an impact.



  15. Posted by Cindy on May 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    As inspirtation as you go through the eventual list of challenges, reread Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the Places You Will Go.” I think you might enjoy it.


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