You know all those quotes about how we should live in the present and not worry about the future or dwell on the past and all of that stuff?
Well I totally love the quotes.
And I pay attention to them not-at-all when it comes to living my own life.
I’m guilty of constantly planning out my future and wondering what will happen next and when and how and the steps I need to do to accomplish my major life goals, and I rarely relax and let life just be.
I supposed I don’t trust life to work out the way I’d like it to unless I’m taking a very proactive role in forcing things to go my way.
Type A, control freak? Oh yeah.
I’m also impatient and I can never wait to get to that next ‘step’ on the path of life.
When I was in junior high I couldn’t wait until I could start high school.
Once I started high school I lived in anticipation of getting my drivers license and of being an upperclassman.
Then I couldn’t wait until senior year and then of going away to college.
While I was loving every second of college, I was anxiously awaiting turning 21 (for obvious reasons) and then for graduation so I could make real money and start a ‘big girl job’ and live in the city and have awesome adventures!
And then I was also excited about getting engaged and married and all of that stuff – little did I know it wouldn’t be happening for another 4-5 years!
So after college I was still all about getting engaged and married and having kids. And I kept thinking about my ‘life timeline’ and what would happen to it if I didn’t meet anyone that particular year, or the next, or the next… you get the idea.
Without a doubt, and much to my chagrin, I was that girlfriend who constantly brought up ‘timelines’ and ‘where is this relationship going?’ and ‘well, when are we going to take the next step?’
Luckily, within a couple years of graduation, I met the (now) Husband and we (fairly quickly) got engaged (two years ago yesterday, as you may have seen on Instagram!) and before the ring was even on my finger I was wedding planning. And I mean this very literally, because we put a deposit down on the resort where our destination wedding would eventually be held.
Clearly I was not prepared for this big moment on a random Saturday morning… ponytail and no makeup – whoops!
Nine months after we got engaged we got married, because dang it, we were on a strict timeline and I couldn’t wait any longer! (And, I really did want a fall wedding, regardless of when we got engaged.)
This was my thinking… I wanted to have kids by 30 and it would maybe take years to get pregnant and actually grow a fetus/baby so let’s say we started ‘trying’ when I was 28 and then we wanted to be married for at least a year before having kids, right? So we’d need to get married when I was, maybe 27, and then that would mean we’d need to get engaged when I was 26… And that’s what we did! We got engaged a few weeks before my 26th birthday and it all worked out according to my ‘master plan.’
Actually, it worked out even better than my master plan because we got pregnant even earlier than expected and we’ll (very happily!) be parents well before I turn 30 years old.
I couldn’t be happier, honestly.
But I kind of worry that in a few months (or years) I’ll look back and wonder why I spent so many years rushing towards that ‘next milestone’. As it stands at this moment, I really don’t even have a next milestone, and do you know what?
It feels freakin’ fantastic.
I’m anxiously awaiting the birth of our little one, of course, but after that… I have no clue what life has in store for me! I guess I’ll look forward to anniversaries and birthdays and other babies being born and friends’ celebrations… And that sounds wonderful to me!
Not that I’m not going to have goals or try to accomplish anything, but a lot of the big life milestones I’ve always wanted to accomplish are kind of being checked off the proverbial list. Or the actual list, because I’m sure I have it all written down somewhere.
I guess my point is that every second I spent worrying about my future was a second wasted (which is only clear in retrospect, of course).
Or maybe it wasn’t wasted at all, because I did get to exactly where I wanted to be at this point in my life. Maybe I knew all along that I was meant to be married and to start a family. (I couldn’t have predicted I’d marry someone so perfect for me, but that’s definitely a nice perk!) Or maybe God had all of this in His plans all along and no amount of planning or worrying I did mattered in the slightest. Maybe this is all true.
I am sure of this much, I’ve spent my entire life waiting for and planning and anticipating the next ‘big thing’ and hoping and praying that it would all work out perfectly in the end, and so far it has. But now that I have no specific ‘life milestones’ to look forward to, I’m more excited than ever to simply BE and to keep traveling on this life journey to see where it takes me.
Are you like me or are you completely the opposite? Do you constantly look ahead at the next big thing in life?