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  • FIRST POST
    • dandy-candy
    • By dandy-candy 22nd Nov 10, 10:35 AM
    • 1,819Posts
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    dandy-candy
    Has being OS made you lonely?
    • #1
    • 22nd Nov 10, 10:35 AM
    Has being OS made you lonely? 22nd Nov 10 at 10:35 AM
    I still totally believe that the OS life is the right choice for me and I love planning home cooked meals, knitting and making things for the house and family - BUT - I do find it really lonely! I know there's loads of people on here with similar interests but my "real life" friends aren't OS and don't really get why I like it
    I have been a SAHM since I had my first baby (18 years ago) but now all my kids are at secondary school and although I didn't mind being at home before (always plenty to keep me busy crafting!) now that the years have gone on I am finding it less appealing. I'm very fortunate that my DH has always been supportive of my wanting to be at home and we didn't need an extra wage, but now I would like to broaden my horizons but keep to my OS values! What do I do with my life now? I know I could never fit into the average London life of working in an office, and my CV isn't likely to impress anyone who isn't OS themselves! Please help me out with this

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    Last edited by Former MSE Rose; 30-11-2010 at 4:25 PM.
Page 1
    • wmf
    • By wmf 22nd Nov 10, 10:47 AM
    • 1,785 Posts
    • 21,481 Thanks
    wmf
    • #2
    • 22nd Nov 10, 10:47 AM
    • #2
    • 22nd Nov 10, 10:47 AM
    ooooh what about volunteering? You have so much to offer! People who have stayed at home are constantly working, juggling, prioritising - think of all the financial/ budgeting skills you have as well. I used to run a volunteer centre in a smallish market town and our volunteers were very special! Maybe have a look online to see your nearest branch? Volunteering is also a great way to get up-to-date references, experience etc if you want to go to paid employment. Wishing you well with this.
    Oh - another thing - look out for OS meets. I think they happen reasonably often in London??? Then you can meet lovely peeps from here and share ideas.
    W
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 22nd Nov 10, 10:50 AM
    • 6,672 Posts
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    OrkneyStar
    • #3
    • 22nd Nov 10, 10:50 AM
    • #3
    • 22nd Nov 10, 10:50 AM
    I still totally believe that the OS life is the right choice for me and I love planning home cooked meals, knitting and making things for the house and family - BUT - I do find it really lonely! I know there's loads of people on here with similar interests but my "real life" friends aren't OS and don't really get why I like it
    I have been a SAHM since I had my first baby (18 years ago) but now all my kids are at secondary school and although I didn't mind being at home before (always plenty to keep me busy crafting!) now that the years have gone on I am finding it less appealing. I'm very fortunate that my DH has always been supportive of my wanting to be at home and we didn't need an extra wage, but now I would like to broaden my horizons but keep to my OS values! What do I do with my life now? I know I could never fit into the average London life of working in an office, and my CV isn't likely to impress anyone who isn't OS themselves! Please help me out with this
    Originally posted by dandy-candy
    Was just gonna suggest volunteering too .
    Something like HomeStart/SureStart where you could maybe pass on home-making/OS skills ?
    OS and home-making skills are seriously under-rated, people are starting to realise, but sadly very slowly!
    In the meantime there is always us on here to moan to/chat too/smile with.
    Shame I am a good 700 miles away, as you sound like a very helpful friend to have!
    xxx
    • Penelope Penguin
    • By Penelope Penguin 22nd Nov 10, 10:57 AM
    • 17,087 Posts
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    Penelope Penguin
    • #4
    • 22nd Nov 10, 10:57 AM
    • #4
    • 22nd Nov 10, 10:57 AM
    my "real life" friends aren't OS and don't really get why I like it

    I have been a SAHM since I had my first baby (18 years ago) but now all my kids are at secondary school and although I didn't mind being at home before (always plenty to keep me busy crafting!) now that the years have gone on I am finding it less appealing. I'm very fortunate that my DH has always been supportive of my wanting to be at home and we didn't need an extra wage, but now I would like to broaden my horizons but keep to my OS values! What do I do with my life now? I know I could never fit into the average London life of working in an office, and my CV isn't likely to impress anyone who isn't OS themselves! Please help me out with this
    Originally posted by dandy-candy
    I'm beginning to realise that I'm really unusual - my family and the vast majority of my friends are Old Style, so it's just what we all do, and what we talk about. I may be a bit more extreme than they are, but they all love me for it

    I got back into work by volunteering at CAB. I never intended it as a way back into paid employment, but a 6hr/wk job for 3 months came up, which it wasn't worth advertising externally. I applied,was the only candidate, was "interviewed" and got the job. That was 6 yeras ago, and I've steadily increased my hours from there.

    Write out what you do - organising, time management, multi-tasking, delegation, trouble shooting, etc, etc, and you'll be amazed at what skills you have
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    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 22nd Nov 10, 11:11 AM
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    lessonlearned
    • #5
    • 22nd Nov 10, 11:11 AM
    • #5
    • 22nd Nov 10, 11:11 AM
    Hi there

    Do you need to work for financial reasons?

    If you are not desperate for money at this stage you could try helping in a charity shop, whilst you have a think. I do this at a Scope shop and love it. All the helpers are natural mse'rs/os'ers and most of the customers too. It might also give you some ideas about what kind of job you might like to do. (I am definitely not a 9 to 5 office type, although I had to do this for many years and never really enjoyed it).

    When I get the time I do a few car boots/table top sales. Unfortunately my husband is now disabled and I don't get the opportunity very often. My long term goal is to start a little antiques/craft business working from home with the odd antiques/craft fair and a bit of online trading.

    I'm also looking into joining the WI because I'm sure that many of the members would be OSers too. Apparently there are several very good groups in and around London - it's considered very trendy. I can't remember the title but there is a very good book by India Knight which is all about OS (she's a big fan of Martin and MSE). The book has a lot of info about crafting and particularly mentions the WI groups in and around London. (If not you could try their website for your nearest branch).

    I do find that the more people I talk to the more I find that they are closet OS'ers. I think that more people are aware of the need to be
    OS - whether for money saving or trying to live a more sustainable and "green" lifestyle. I think that in the past it might have seemed a bit unfashionable but not any more. I'm nearly retirement age but I know loads of under 30"s who are seriously into crafting/recycling etc.

    You are definitely not alone.
    • alec eiffel
    • By alec eiffel 22nd Nov 10, 11:30 AM
    • 1,303 Posts
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    alec eiffel
    • #6
    • 22nd Nov 10, 11:30 AM
    • #6
    • 22nd Nov 10, 11:30 AM
    Hardly any of my friends are OS but that doesn't lead to isolation. When we were first getting out of debt a lot of non friends disappeared, when we weren't out spending money all the time and stuff they dropped away. That was hard at the time but it's funny to me now.

    Some of our friends now have lots of money and do spend lots but it's not a problem for us. We still go out with them but we buy less stuff. Everyone likes a bargain so one friend loves the fact that we both research everything to make sure we're buying the right thing - him because he likes to know he has the best, me because I like to have the best for my money - it's not quite the same thing but it works. Whenever people come over we just have the visit set up as a relaxing time doing whatever we fancy. I've found that people really like coming here as it's just a time to chill and not do anything at all. Half the time we don't end up doing what we've planned and we will just sit about chatting. So it's not an issue, it's just all about setting it up in a certain way. When people know it's about the luxury of spending time together and not about scrimping then nothing else matters!
  • ubamother
    • #7
    • 22nd Nov 10, 11:50 AM
    • #7
    • 22nd Nov 10, 11:50 AM
    if you're crafty (or want to be) have a look at local groups for crochet/knitting/card making etc. Our local library has a notice board which groups use to advertise their meeting times etc. It can be scary joining a new group as often it seems a bit cliquey. Sometimes the group can be cliquey but often it's just that everyone knows each other and it take a bit of time (on both sides) for you and them to get to know one another. Somebody mentioned WI, which sounds good. A free or cheap college course is also a good way to get involved in your community. Might also be worth looking at charities local to you where you could help (obviously charity shops but often other areas - helping with children's reading, prison/sick visiting etc.)

    • artichoke
    • By artichoke 22nd Nov 10, 11:51 AM
    • 1,705 Posts
    • 3,203 Thanks
    artichoke
    • #8
    • 22nd Nov 10, 11:51 AM
    • #8
    • 22nd Nov 10, 11:51 AM
    hi

    why don't you look out for any meetings held by your local transition towns groups?

    I am sure they would welcome someone with such OS skills as cooking seasonal meals from scratch, various crafts, making and mending, etc etc

    art
    • pumpkinlife
    • By pumpkinlife 22nd Nov 10, 1:53 PM
    • 150 Posts
    • 915 Thanks
    pumpkinlife
    • #9
    • 22nd Nov 10, 1:53 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd Nov 10, 1:53 PM
    Volunteering sounds like an excellent idea.

    Is there anything that you have always wanted to study? Adult education courses can be quite cheap. Whilst there will be some outlays, financial help may be available. This will widen your horizons and social circle too and give you something to add to your CV.
    • KittyBoo
    • By KittyBoo 22nd Nov 10, 2:13 PM
    • 672 Posts
    • 1,607 Thanks
    KittyBoo
    You sound such a lovely person and someone who I would gladly meet up with and share our interest.
    There are lots of great ideas on here and I'm sure whatever you decide, you will be a real asset.
    I know alot of schools really appreciate the help from volunteers with craft, reading and helping children with their literacy and numeracy.
    You might prefer to offer your time to being a volunteer in Adult Education, supporting adults with additional needs.
    You will need to be Police checked for these but if you ask at a local volunteer centre, I am sure they will be able to offer you some advice.
    If you are 50 or over then have a look at the University for the Third Age - lots of interest groups etc on there.
    Good luck.
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  • debtdesperado
    How about...

    ...if you are good at creating cheap, healthy menus: volunteering as a cook for meals on wheels, working as a school/care home cook...

    ...if you are good at repairing things (eg clothes, curtains): advertising that you are available for small repairs and sewing jobs - my mum does this and charges 10 a pair to simply take up trousers! People are happy to pay too... and she generally offers to drop off and collect when people are home, so many people are happy to pay for the convenience. Only you know how good you are and what you are happy to take on, but there are lots of people who need someone to do little repairs.

    ...making nice crafty type things... sell them at charity bazaars, join etsy and sell things or just donate them to a local charity shop...

    ...renovating furniture cheaply: volunteer at a charity shop that does lots of furniture and suggest that you will renovate donations to sell in the shop, if they will cover your (minimal expenses)...

    ...showing other people how to do things? Why not set up informally a crafting group (advertise in local craft shops) to do a different sort of project each week - a sort of stitch and gossip place. Charge people enough to cover hiring the venue and to cover cups of tea and a few biscuits. You could even do this as a more formal course if you were very confident of your skills (eg 'a thrifty homemakers' class - one week menu planning, one week on basic clothing repairs, one week on budgeting, etc - cover whatever you are interested in!). Or why not offer to do a demonstration to your local wives group or similar?

    Hope that gives you some ideas which don't involve office work!
  • katholicos
    Being OS hasn't made me lonely, though I do wish I interacted with OS minded people in my personal/real life rather than mostly just online. I can only echo the suggestions of others that you might find it rewarding to get involved in voluntary work or share your talents with others via starting up a small group of your own. i think it might be a bit too much for soe of us to take on, to start up and run a group when there isn't already one in existance, but i suppose it depends how much energy and inclination one has :-)
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  • zarazara
    yes definately. its also made me really resentful of paying for coffee and cake on the rare occasions we get to go out (like twice a year). In this respect it has spoiled things for me. Also, because I am OS out of necessity and not lifestyle choice ,it can really get me down. Having to do home baking and soups etc because we are always short of money. It can get very wareing.
    "The purpose of Life is to spread and create Happiness"
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 22nd Nov 10, 5:50 PM
    • 4,176 Posts
    • 11,395 Thanks
    Hermia
    I do find that the more people I talk to the more I find that they are closet OS'ers.
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    I totally agree it with that. I'd say that most of the OSers I know don't look it. They are not SAHMs, they live in London and they do enjoy London life. But, many are into cooking from scratch, crafts, leading a eco-friendly life etc. We all love going out in London, but we mainly go to free/cheap exhibitions and events or craft groups etc. OP - I think if you start chatting to people you will be surprised how many will understand what you are doing. If you join things like craft groups I'm sure the people will 'get it'.

    I also wouldn't dismiss non-OS people. Some of my best friends are not MS! I think the friendships can work as long as the non-MS person isn't always wanting to go to expensive places. And also as long as the MS isn't always being judgemental about her friend's choices. I have a OS friend who constantly judges for friends and colleagues for how they live their lives and wonders why people avoid her!
    • Angel_Jenny
    • By Angel_Jenny 22nd Nov 10, 7:10 PM
    • 2,781 Posts
    • 9,248 Thanks
    Angel_Jenny
    I have only just started the old style thing so I can't say it has made me feel isolated.

    I feel like the odd one out most of the time any way, especially around people my own age. I just have some very old fashioned ideas! I get described as either a 1950's housewife or a Victorian so not very modern whichever way you look at it.

    I wouldn't say I feel isolated apart from when I am the only person with a certain view. It does make me feel like I stand out though, which I hate, as I really don't like being the centre of attention and someone saying "you believe WHAT????" makes me super shy!

    The only people I know that think like me are in a home making forum and they are all living in America. It is nice to have that support but it would be fab to know people in real life.

    Angel Jenny
    • JulieGeorgiana
    • By JulieGeorgiana 22nd Nov 10, 7:44 PM
    • 2,467 Posts
    • 12,987 Thanks
    JulieGeorgiana
    I kind of feel a little isolated, but only because I work with men, and the 1 woman on site prefers going out drinking then being organised or thrifty!

    My mum criticises my OS choices, but before she got into debt she used to applaud!

    My MIL criticises because I make her lood bad!

    My SIL doesn't understand the hours I put into gifts, instead of paying 20 for something perfect!

    My Sister appreciates my efforts, she told me she wished she could be more like me.

    But I find I don't know anyone IRL that is likeminded, most people say 'I don;t know how you find the time' or 'I wish I were more organised....' but all the time it ends in '...I can't be bothered!' or 'I don't have the time'
    We spend money we don't have, on things that we don't need, to impress people we don't like. I don't and I'm happy!

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  • ubamother
    Another thing to remember is that a lot of people who do not seem OS, may well have OS hobbies - a lot of people love to grow veg, make their own bread, sew, knit, be as green as possible etc. Just because they don't self-describe as OS doesn't mean you don't have a lot in common. People have all sorts of reasons for being OS, and all sorts of ways of being OS (which is just what this forum often celebrates). A lot of people who try and live sustainably may not call themselves OS, but would probably fit well with your way of live - is there a 'green' group in your area? I think sometimes OS folks feel they are very judged by the non-OS, but forget that often the non-OS types feel very judged by an OS type - because they might see OSers as being more sustainable, making more intelligent choices about life etc. etc.

    • alec eiffel
    • By alec eiffel 23rd Nov 10, 9:08 AM
    • 1,303 Posts
    • 10,297 Thanks
    alec eiffel
    I totally agree it with that. I'd say that most of the OSers I know don't look it. They are not SAHMs, they live in London and they do enjoy London life. But, many are into cooking from scratch, crafts, leading a eco-friendly life etc. We all love going out in London, but we mainly go to free/cheap exhibitions and events or craft groups etc. OP - I think if you start chatting to people you will be surprised how many will understand what you are doing. If you join things like craft groups I'm sure the people will 'get it'.

    I also wouldn't dismiss non-OS people. Some of my best friends are not MS! I think the friendships can work as long as the non-MS person isn't always wanting to go to expensive places. And also as long as the MS isn't always being judgemental about her friend's choices. I have a OS friend who constantly judges for friends and colleagues for how they live their lives and wonders why people avoid her!
    Originally posted by Hermia
    I couldn't agree more.
    • dandy-candy
    • By dandy-candy 23rd Nov 10, 1:41 PM
    • 1,819 Posts
    • 9,449 Thanks
    dandy-candy
    Thankyou so much for the responses, it's lovely that you are all so supportive and kind. I have been out of work for so long now, and as I can often go days without speaking to anyone outside of my immediate family it can really make me feel I have nothing worth saying or offering to other people. I think the volunteering is a great idea and also doing a course, I would love to be good at gardening so I could grow our own veggies so i'm going to look into that too!
    Angel_Jenny I know exactly what you mean - I think I was born in the wrong era, I get all my advice out of pre-1950's books and magazines - my kids think i'm barking mad!
    • Hime
    • By Hime 1st Dec 10, 6:45 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    Hime
    You sound as if you have oodles of talent, so you could also offer to teach people some of your crafts and or set up a little business selling them on line. Being old style is so IN now, so you are miles ahead of many who want to get back to their roots.
    Charity shops are always looking for help, but there are also places like hospitals and homes. Good luck.
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