Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On taking your time.

Sometimes I put unfair deadlines on my life.

I don't think I'm alone in this. I can think of so many friends who have confided in me about feeling "behind" in life. About not having a degree by the age they thought they would, about working a menial job at an older age than seems right, about not being married by 30, about not having kids within a couple years of marriage, about not owning a home sometime in that same region, etc.

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to meet self or culturally imposed deadlines. And we should stop.

I'm saying this to myself as much as I'm saying it to anyone else: we need to stop. I need to stop. The thing is, goals are good. Aspirations are great. Milestones are awesome. But, time is infinite. I suppose that depends on your religious views of the matter, but according to my belief system, time is infinite and eternal. I already wrote about this once, in this post about the (non)rush to get married at a certain age, and the importance of not feeling discouraged about however old we are when we take that step. Age, birthdays, psssh. I say, when it's right, it's right. That applies to all major decisions in life.

When something is big and hard to decide, I think the last thing anyone needs is a heaping dose of guilt that you're taking too long to decide it. I say, tell THAT voice not to let the door hit it in the tush on the way out.

I wrote these words to a dear friend recently as she was struggling with the beginnings of a new relationship, and it's what inspired this post:
Girl. GIRL. That part that you said about being afraid of crushing him ....I GET THAT. It is REALLY hard for me to let someone else be vulnerable in my hands. And, I get all the other feelings. There is nothing wrong with giving it a solid go. Sometimes it helps me to set goals like... "I am committed for a month." And then I see how the month goes. And then if things are going well, I tell myself another month. It is easier to decide on a month than to decide on eternity. And then if I have a weird week I don't feel compelled to make a decision based on that...because the month isn't up yet. You have all the time in the universe. I always feel like I need to decide quickly and not waste anyone's time or miss out on other opps myself. This is false. Time is eternal! Other opportunities will always be there. Giving a month or three or six or twelve to one relationship, even if it doesn't end in marriage...so what? There is infinite time. I have to remind myself of this often. There are no deadlines in life. I can take all the time I need. Culture tells you there are deadlines...not Heavenly Father.
...and that about sums up my thoughts. Voicing them to my friend made me realize how much I needed to hear them myself. I'm kind of against setting expectations for myself that I "should" know anything for sure after a specific amount of time, especially when it comes to dating. One month? Three months? Six months? Whatever. You'll move forward when you want to -- so focus on building a solid relationship and just take the timing issue off the table. I kind of guarantee your stress level will minimize.

So, slow down. Stop rushing yourself. Keep a good end goal in mind, and then...bask in the journey. Be patient with yourself and others. If you're going to feel in a hurry to do anything, be in a hurry to forgive, love and serve. Everything else can take its sweet time.


Unknown said...

I LOVE that advice - commit for a month. That just helped me so much! Thank you!

Melanie said...

I totally and completely agree.

Katie said...

Hmmm! This advice is awe-some! I so appreciate the advice of committing for a month...at first it seems wishy-washy, but it's intentional without the pressure of having things figured out RIGHT. NOW. Also the advice about being in a hurry to forgive, love, and serve. PREACH. THAT.

You rock! Keep on!

Elisabeth Gee said...

BOOM!!!! And this is why I read your blog because you always, always, always inspire me! :) You're the best girl ever! :)

Mandy Ballard said...

Your last point on forgiveness, love, and service gave me goose pimples. Love it all.

Andrew Huber said...

In all of living have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.

Gordon B. Hinckley, Stand True and Faithful, Ensign, May 1996, 91.

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks...truly, for putting into words what I don't have the guts to say.

Myke said...

Is time even real? Is that something we just came up with to give meaning to aging?

Hailey. said...