Monday, April 1, 2019

Don't Expect Life to Happen On Schedule

No matter your upbringing and influences, young adults have a timeline in their heads about when things should happen in their life.  Usually, it has something to do with what your parents did or what those around you are doing.  Truth be told, it shouldn't matter all that much.  But, oh how it matters in our hearts.  Career, marriage, success, kids, weight-loss, big purchases - the list just keeps going.  We put rich hopes and expectations on the future with only so much power to ensure them.

When I graduated high school, I had big plans, but more than anything I didn't want to be an old maid.  I wouldn't have admitted that, instead preached the opposite, but there's no point in denying it now.  I wouldn't get married until I was 26 and started having kids at 30, which in my social circles was older than most.  Since then it is closer to the millennial average, but still.  l have almost no friends that are my age (39) with a husband his age (4 1/2 years younger), and kids the age range of my kids 8, 5, and (almost) 2.  And it's fine.  I don't mean, it's fine but I'm super bitter.  I mean, it's got pros and cons and everything worked out fine fine.  It means that whenever I can get over my awkwardness, I have a lot in common with a lot of different type of people. When other moms (with older kids) can relax and chat, I have to run after a toddler, which is exhausting!  If I hadn't gotten married at 26, then I probably wouldn't have been marrying Mr. Butler and that comes with some pretty irreplaceable perks.  He carries all the heavy things and looks good doing it.  We can throw out calculus terms at the dinner table and impress our 8 year old together.  He builds me things, plants trees for me, loves to play with our kids, and wants to do what's right, even if he looks scary.  He's really not. :)  Whatever the complaints I could have about the timeline of my life thus far, they do not compare to the people that I get to spend my life with.  It's a no-brainer.

When you are young, there are so many influences that can push you in directions you don't need to go.  Trust me when I tell you that people are going to judge you  no matter what you do.  Marry young or old, no kids, a lot of kids, lose the weight, gain extra, work, stay at home, public, private, homeschool - I can do this all day.  The young, inexperienced and foolish people will judge you no. matter. what.  I have always worried about what other people think of me, but then I go off and do things different than most, so what did I expect? And then, I catch myself judging others the way I fear they are judging me! So, since being judged is a side effect of being human, then a fear of others' judgement should not make our life decisions for us.

Whenever you catch yourself criticizing the stage of life you are in and how it isn't lining up how it's 'supposed to,' remind yourself there is so much good right here, right now.  To bellow about where you aren't only prevents you from enjoying where you are.  I guarantee you that if you follow your imaginary timeline exactly, you will still be judged, disappointed and tempted to bellow about it.  Maybe you don't get into the program you want or you spend years in a relationship for it to only end.  Maybe you make choices with really tough life consequences.  It is so easy to give into the judgement and fears of not measuring up to anyone's expectations, especially your own.  But what good will that do?  It won't and you'll miss out on the really beautiful things that are yours no matter what.

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