I often hear others, and myself, complaining that I don’t have enough time to do things, or I feel like I’m not achieving enough by a certain age or even recently someone told me that even though I was nearly 28 I “still had time”. Still had time to do what I thought?
Then it dawned on me last night. We spend our entire childhood, teens and early adult years being given deadlines. Tasks that end, achievements in the form of finishing our GCSE’s by 16 and our A-Levels by 18 etc etc.
School ends, college ends, that assignment has a deadline date, university ends. We are pre-conditioned that everything has an end, and we must fit in as much work and labour in that time as possible.
This then transcends into our lives, not just our education. But we don’t have an end date to get married, or as such an end date to have children (albeit there are biological ends), but not societal. Some of us may not find the career we adore until we are 60, some of us may find it young but not excel for years. Maybe this is why I struggled to hold down a stereotypical job because I didn’t have the comfort of seeing an end in sight with a pat on the back.
The point of this is I spend my life panicking about lists, deadlines and never feel achieved anymore. No one gives me that certificate for completing my daily cleansing routine or for keeping two dogs alive. I don’t have a grade every time I complete a job for a client.
Suddenly I realise life is much more tangible than we were lead to believe. Why is it that we are tricked from so young into believing there are time limits? Think back to every time you have panicked you won’t get things done, even if they were late it was okay right? So why do we still panic? Why is it ingrained into us that we must have a 5 year plan and have a baby by a certain age and get married to a perfect spouse by -738 whilst juggling a career and buying a home and all the other things in between.
Life is not an educational institution as such, we do not have to treat it so.
Treat your life as your own story, not one written before. Not one we have to hand in and have graded, just yours, at your own pace.
I might start throwing myself a graduation instead of having birthdays, just to pat myself on the back for making it another year.