Time is so interesting. It seemed to pass so slowly when I was young–when each year that passed got me closer to some amazing privilege, license, ability or new level of freedom.
And then, sometime after college, it was like someone pressed the fast forward button on my life. And all I wanted was for life to slow down so I could get my arms around it; so that I could figure out how I felt about it; so that I could figure out what I wanted to do with it.
The fast forward button feels like a thing. I swear it does.
But I know for a fact that the pause button isn’t real. It doesn’t exist. I can’t stop time to catch my proverbial breath. And neither can you. (Although I do admit that in my old job I attended some Friday afternoon meetings in which I could swear time was at least standing still, if not moving backwards.)
I think that the relative speed of adult life is partly due to the immense pressure many of us feel to be achieving something. Whether it’s career advancement, financial security, marriage, kids, buying a house–whatever success means to you–once you’re out in the real world, the clock begins ticking. Loudly.
Years ago, before I had even started college, I worked in an office with a woman who had two grown daughters. One of them was 27 and thinking about going back to school and finishing her degree. But she kept telling her mother, “I’ll be 30 by the time I’m done!” (Oh, the days when 30 seemed old…)
Her mother had the very best response and it’s one that I’ve repeated to myself many times in the years since. She said, “You’re going to be 30 anyway. Wouldn’t you rather be 30 with a degree than without one?”
The point of this story is not that having a degree is better than not having one. The point really is how often we say things to ourselves that don’t stand up to even the mildest of critical thought. The idea that what age you are when you’ve reached a particular goal should govern whether or not you do it is limiting and illogical. Time will pass regardless of what we do, or don’t do; regardless of what we want; regardless of whether or not we’re ready for it.
That applies to health too, by the way. As long as you’ve got breath in your body it is never too late to improve the quality of your life. It’s never too late to make your health your first priority. It’s never too late to start exercising, whether for the first time or after a break. It’s never too late to nourish your body with good, whole foods. It’s never too late to commit to sleep or drinking more water or any other nurturing act of self-care.
Whatever age you are now. Whatever your body feels like, or looks like. Whatever size, shape, fitness-level or level of natural athletic ability with which you were gifted.
You can have the life you want.
You can decide that however many years are behind you, that they don’t dictate the years in front of you.
Sometimes we all need to hear that and then repeat it on a loop in our brains. I know I do. So, when I saw the quote about time that began this post, it reminded me of all of that. And I wanted to share it with you all.
Happy Wednesday, friends!