Forum

Motivation (only slightly MS)

So, here’s a poser:

How the heck do you stay motivated when you’re 46, ill, and expecting to lose your job in the next 5 or 6 weeks (nothing to do with the ill-health)?

I can’t get motivated about my current job, because I don’t expect to be there next month. I’ve hardly any “real” work anyway, and it’s been that way since March. I think they already know who they want to get rid of, and it’s based mainly on experience and performance over the last couple of years (coincidentally, ALL the time I’ve been ill), so it’s far too late now to start pulling out all the stops to make a good impression. Not that I made a bad impression before, I don’t think. But you know what I mean - I don’t think even an outstanding piece of work or spectacular brainwave at this late stage would have any effect on what happens.

But worse than that, I can’t get motivated to look for another job either. I do occasionally engage in a bit of window-shopping on job sites, but just sit there thinking: “Couldn’t possibly do that”, “Not qualified for that”, “Would hate that”. I’m not seeing any that spur me to think: “Yes, I could do that! And it’s right up my street!”

I don’t seem to have any sense of urgency, even though I’m going to be left without income.

I just seem to have reached the stage of not giving a sh*t. I’m sure it’s only a matter of days before I know for sure what’s happening, and I can’t think I’ll somehow escape the axe. But I feel as if this wait is killing me slowly.

If I am named as one of those selected for redundancy (and it’s already been announced more than half my team will be), we then enter a further month during which I’m still supposed to try to find another job internally - even though I haven’t been able to since March.

And as if that’s not enough, they’re now talking about “allowing us” to work our notice - another three months - in the hope of redeploying to another job.

So in theory, I might have another four months, yet, of nothing proper to do, and looking for jobs that simply aren’t there. If they BORE me into resigning before then, I won’t get the money, so it’s simply not an option.

I think the less I have to do, the more exhausted I feel! There’s nothing more tiring and debilitating than feeling completely useless and unwanted. Work e-mails and phone calls are all tapering off, even though I supposedly still work there - albeit remotely, from home.

You’d think, with so much extra time on my hands, the house would at least by now be clean and spotless. But no, I can’t get motivated with that, either.

I was going to ask the rhetorical question: “What’s the matter with me?”

But I suppose MS, for a start.

T.

x

Hiya Tina

I hear all that you are saying…

Your worries and concerns for the future. However, what about now? Some of what you are talking about seems to be outwith your control so dont upset yourself (perhaps unneccessarily) about what you cant control.

We have spoken before-more often than not aggreeing on many things. You are wise! I like to think that I aint daft either BUT we are human and its so easy to let our thoughts and therefore emotions get carried away… Is it possible for you just to deal with one day at a time? Break that down to an hour? And then to now? Can you do anything about your job over the weekend? I guess not-so have a good weekend. I am definitely NOT being flippant (am assuming you know that already-that aint my style) am just trying to keep this in perspective for you. I understand the worry-of course I do-I had to give up work and still be able to feed 4 rapidly expanding mouths, cloth and home them. There is a way for you and I know that you will find it.

You ask re motivation? How about the fact that you are alive and are able to enjoy all that it brings? I mean that sincerely-am just home from a funeral-times like this certainly help me to get my life back into perspective. Sometimes we spend so much time planning and worrying that life passes us by… So what that your house isnt spotless? You will attend to it one day…

In fact, the more thought I give to this reply, what you see as lack of motivation then I see as a sensible approach to conserving your energy for when you need it…

Take care of you Tina-in all senses of the word

Ellie x

Tina you are in a terrible situation, it’s no wonder your feeling this way, even without ms, have no useful suggestions, but good luck, Chis

Hello Anitra,

I’ve read through what you have written and I think the lack of motivation could be some sort of depression. So much stuff to be done and you don’t know where to start. One idea is to write outstanding tasks down on a sheet of paper and cross therm off as you do them. The tasks must be achievable othjerwise the you will become even more demotivated. Crossing things off the list is so satisfying

The NHS will pay for a CBT (Cognitive Behavious Therapy) course. I found it very beneficial but like all these thingas depends so much on how you get-on with the therapist, You have to be referred by your doctor.

Try and take regular exercise, a good 3 - 5 mile walk in the countryside if that is possible.

Of course the MS does not make it any easier.

Must admit that I have been there and got the T-shirt, anyway good luck.

Patrick

Hi Tina, regarding the fact that you have not very much work to do, I think you just have to stick it out with what you do have. Do what you need to do well, take your time and then just leave it to do something else, at least you are at home where perhaps you are more free to do something else than you would be in an office. As for the housework don’t worry about that, especially if housework isn’t really your thing, which I think it isn’t. I always seem to be doing housework, yes , I have children, so perhaps I have more need to do household jobs but I sometimes wish I could just leave it. Btw I admire you for being able to leave the housework. My guess is that you will feel better when you know what is happening, for me there is nothing worse than not knowing, at least when you know, you have something to work with, something definite. Tbh, I wouldn’t be motivated either to look for another job, like you, I have worked at one place for so long that I wouldn’t know where to start. But you have good skills Tina, even if you think you don’t , you give excellent advise on here, and I imagine you apply the same type of thing to your work. I don’t think I need me to advise because I think you know what you are doing anyway but as for a lack of income I think you could go onto job seekers allowance contribution based for 6 months but you’ll know all about what you can and can’t do but perhaps you would benefit from the help of the job centre or a careers advisor. Please just hang in there Tina, things will be better when you know what is happening. Cheryl:-)

Hi Tina, regarding the fact that you have not very much work to do, I think you just have to stick it out with what you do have. Do what you need to do well, take your time and then just leave it to do something else, at least you are at home where perhaps you are more free to do something else than you would be in an office. As for the housework don’t worry about that, especially if housework isn’t really your thing, which I think it isn’t. I always seem to be doing housework, yes , I have children, so perhaps I have more need to do household jobs but I sometimes wish I could just leave it. Btw I admire you for being able to leave the housework. My guess is that you will feel better when you know what is happening, for me there is nothing worse than not knowing, at least when you know, you have something to work with, something definite. Tbh, I wouldn’t be motivated either to look for another job, like you, I have worked at one place for so long that I wouldn’t know where to start. But you have good skills Tina, even if you think you don’t , you give excellent advise on here, and I imagine you apply the same type of thing to your work. I don’t think I need me to advise because I think you know what you are doing anyway but as for a lack of income I think you could go onto job seekers allowance contribution based for 6 months but you’ll know all about what you can and can’t do but perhaps you would benefit from the help of the job centre or a careers advisor. Please just hang in there Tina, things will be better when you know what is happening. Cheryl:-)

Hi Tina,

Looking at it from another angle - if your company didn’t make you redundant and your job was kept, would you want to stay with them longterm? Obviously in the shorterm you would for financial reasons. But further down the line would you stay? Or would you look for something else?

It seems to me that not only are you having the rug pulled out from under your feet, but it’s being done painfully slowly too - which is awful.

In a way you’ve answered your own question re: Motivation. The less work that comes in the more you feel useless and unwanted. In my opinion most people would feel the same. I did when I had redundancy looming over me some years back.

Take one day at a time is what I reckon. Patrick suggested writing chores/jobs down on a piece of paper and working your way through them. It sounds simple but it may also be enough to help you get some of your oooomph back.

You’re far from being useless, working for the same company for as many years as you have takes some doing so you must have made some sort of impression! Jot down all your skills and look at how you can utilise them towards doing something else. Maybe working for yourself? You could start the ball rolling whilst still sitting it out with the company.

There’s no real easy answer is there and I guess up to a point part of you is waiting for that axe to fall before taking any other steps.

I hope that you find out whether you’re staying or going soon, and I don’t mean that in a nasty way but so that you can find that ‘something’ in you to start moving in a different direction.

fingers crossed for you

Debbie xx

Tina, this is a completely serious suggestion, although it may sound frivolous.

Decide on a couple of small household tasks you want to get done, but haven’t been able to, then set an alarm to go off in 15 mins.

That’s it. There isn’t a step 2. I’m serious. Give it a whirl. It might surprise you.

Alison

x

That’s a good one Alison - I may try that myself!

Another one to try is taking up something that you’ve not done in while - something that you always enjoyed doing but for whatever reason it’s been put to the side.

Or push the boundaries a bit and take up something that you’ve always wanted to do but just never got round too…

Debbie xx

Thanks all,

I’m sorry not to reply to every post individually.

I do think it’s the wait that’s killing me. As someone has said (probably me, last time I wrote about this) it’s not the despair, but the hope that’s the real killer.

Keep clinging onto the hope that somehow, next week, something’s going to turn up, that means I won’t be made redundant after all.

The company isn’t deliberately torturing me. Because they’re letting so many people go, they must, by law, consult for at least three months about it. They can’t be seen to bypass that. Which is why I’ve gone so long without an answer.

The custom is 12 weeks’ pay in lieu of notice, but now, as a concession, they’re raising the spectre that we all might all be permitted to work our notice period - which will work out to the end of September.

I’m not sure this will be psychologically advantageous for me, because I don’t realistically think another three months is likely to turn up any more opportunities than the last three (i.e. NONE).

It’s absolutely soul-destroying. Every Friday, I have to account for what I’ve done about finding a new post, and every week, I write something along the lines of: “There weren’t any new vacancies this week, and therefore I haven’t applied for any”.

It’s getting to the point I don’t even bother varying the phrasing slightly. Just slap a new date on it, and submit last week’s. :frowning:

Even my doctor thinks it will be better when I finally know. But that could now be as far away as the end of September, if the company’s going to keep up the pretence that “We still might be able to find you something”.

I’ve really no idea what would happen if, against all the odds, I wasn’t one of those made redundant. I reckon the only way that could happen is if they were sh*t scared of dismissing someone with MS, and thought it wasn’t worth taking the chance.

I suppose, in an ideal world, no, I wouldn’t really want to stay with them after all this. But on the other hand, it’s pretty reasonable money, for work I can do almost entirely from home, with just a phone and a computer. Because of my long service, I’ve got generous holiday, and good benefits, including healthcare, pension contributions, and a generous severance package if they DO let me go.

If I left of my own accord, to go somewhere else, loss of the homeworking, by itself, would be a very big consideration. Plus I’d almost certainly have to accept a drop in salary, and a loss of all the benefits I’ve accrued over many years.

So even though, in many ways, it’s a lame job (even when I do have work coming in), it’s not without mitigation. Not having to struggle to the office every day is, by itself, a very big bonus for someone with MS - not one to be given up lightly. And I must be saving a fortune on suits, dry-cleaning, and travel to and from work, as well. (But offset against that is heating, when I’m at home all day - especially in Winter - so maybe it works out the same).

I think the trouble with the “to do” list is I don’t have anything meaningful to put on it. It would end up just saying: “Vacuuming. Wash the floor. Strip the bed.”

Who can get excited about a list like that?

Or alternatively, it would be one huge item I’ve no idea where to start with, like: “Plan the rest of my life”.

I’ve worked for the same company (effectively) since I was 23. Yes, I’ve been transferred a few times, and held various duties, but all essentially the same thing, for the same people.

I’ve no idea how to start again after 23 years. I’ve never done anything else. I don’t know what I want to do, I don’t even know what I CAN do. I’m pretty sure I’m not temperamentally-suited to being self-employed. I lack the necessary imagination, drive, or ambition. There’s nothing I’ve always wanted to do, or am really good at as a hobby, that I think would make a viable business proposition. Unless it’s something you have a lot of ideas about, and a really burning urge to do, I don’t think self-employment is the way forward. I can’t think of anything like that. I’m not creative; I don’t make anything people would buy. I don’t think I can mend anything people want repaired, either. Really no inspiration along those lines.

I think I might be able to do something like proofreading or accountancy, but both of those need qualifications first, so I’d have to work out how I’m going to get them - and that all takes time and money.

I’m going to have loads of the former, but not so much of the latter! Have you seen how expensive courses are getting?

Anyway, thanks again for the input averyone.

Off to Sainsbury’s now, so catch you later!

T.

x

I know what’s wrong with you…

You are a normal, sane human being.

When I was waiting for the 3 months consultation period to be up we were reviewing documents which we were supposed to be used by us for our work. They were supposed to be complete and ready to be reviewed. But they obviously weren’t. It kept us amused knowing our reviews would never be read, but at least we had something to pretend to do! And we could sit around for hours talking about anything and everything as we were obviously not expected to do any real, useful work. It was useful for that reason. We even moved office in the old watermill we were in and spend a couple of days hovering up the spiders and rearranging the office to our liking. And looking at the beautiful countryside on the river near Bradford upon Avon. One of the advantages in not working in a busy city like Bristol! Though watching the swans and cormorants (I’ve spelt that wrong!) on the Avon was nice there too!

Good Luck, and don’t forget they have to support your efforts to find another job. No time off needed for interviews for example, and use their facilities to update your CV. I still think they may avoid making you redundant in case you make a fuss about being descrimintated against due to your MS and were using the redundancy to ‘get rid’ of you.

Well, if your list reads, '(1) Plan the rest of my life, (2) solve the Israeli/Palestinian crisis, you know what’s going to happen. Starting with little things you can get a bit of traction on is exactly the point. JFDI, as my dear old manager used to say. This whole bloody mess is largely outside your control, Tina. Time you wrested some back, and that means starting small.

Alison

x

Hello,

Our lists are as meaningless as ‘Waitrose’, ‘Paperwork’, ‘sheets’ ‘ring accountant’ etc but it breaks one big job into a series of smaller jobs and therefore not quite so overwhelming and also enables you to priotitise the work.

Well that’s the way we get through the jobs that need to be done

Patrick.

I’m probanly wrong, but I don’t think it is legal to make you redundant whilst you’re off sick. What is your sick pay like? From what you’ve said, it’s the financial thing that’s worrying you the most - get your GP to sign you off, look for another suitable job, go back for a couple of weeks and leave.

Meantime, you can get the house in order. By the way, I recently bought a robot vacuum cleaner, very pleased with it, every day I set it going then go to take my shower, at least my floors are no longer embarrassing me, I’ll get round to the dusting eventually!

I hope things work out for you Tina,

Luisa x

Hi Tina, oh dear, my friend. You really do have a downer on yourself. I know, from your poat posts/replies, that you are much more talented than you believe. You come across as a very intelligent, capable and self assured woman.

I think all those plusses have got a bit lost in this work issue, which is filling you every waking (maybe sleeping too) moment… blinding you from having more belief in yourself.

There has to be a way to get past this awful time. Hope this seem a daft idea, but what about the Job Centre? Okay you are not unemplyed right now, but isn`t there someone there you could talk to about the possibility of re-training for something different?

You can type/speak eloquently. You have an excellent range of vocabulary, You are a truthful and loyal person. All these things must mean you are capable of doing a decent job, earning decent money.

What more can I say?

much love, Polly xxxxxxxx