“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.”
― Lao Tzu
It is my Birthday soon. *Celebration emoji.
This year, I am actually looking forward to it.
Or, I am making myself look forward to it, because there is a big part of my brain that wants to be excited about turning twenty-five – I know I know, so young – but there is another that says “Oh no, another year gone, and what have you done and where are you going? I need answers! In five years you’ll be thirty…TICK TOCK BABE”.
It is precisely this line of thinking that I hope I can start to rein in during my 25th year. The panic, the unnecessary life-anxiety, the “COME ONNNN YOU ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH TO FURTHER YOUR CAREER”. Because sadly what that voice is really saying is “You are doing everything you can, as a mother, writer, creative, friend, daughter, human being, but it will never be enough..”. And that is a very sad thought indeed.
A thought I hope to banish to depths of…somewhere awful…because I am aware, it is simply not true.
What is true, is that often I set expectations for myself that are simply unattainable as a mother, even more so a single mother. (Quite literally, logistically unattainable as in there are not enough hours in the day for all the things I would like to do, and I am not always effective in maximising productivity). I am aware of this, and I have become very good at celebrating my little triumphs – or micro-wins as they say in the personal-development world– and learning fromall the other crap; the mistakes, the struggles, the irrelevant drama. But after four years, I still haven’t quite got the hang of the stay-at-home-Mum thing.
I regularly remind myself the following:
“You are a Mummy, that is a job in itself, that is the most sacred role you will ever play. So if you find yourself feeling behind or getting anxious about your non-existent career, please pay close attention to the little person you have given your heart, mind, body and soul to over the last 5 years. Take a good look. Isn’t she just wonderful? You did that.”
It’s this sort of loving kindness I believe we need more of. Not just parents, ALL OF US.All of us, being kinder to ourselves, believing we are enough, on a daily basis. – And not on a conditional basis, just “I am enough because I am a human being not a human doing and I was born enough. Perfectly imperfect. A little scrappy even”.
So when it comes to the tick-tock of life’s imaginary milestones-clock – the kind of clock we – or society– has manifested that makes people feel permanently behind others in any one or more areas of their lives; I’d just like to say; f*** the milestones-clock. It does not exist. We are not in a race. Contrary to what it often feels like; life is not a competition. If it were, I’d say stay in your own lane, give t your best and focus on YOUR SHIT. Okay I take it back. Life can be a giant competition, but that still does not make it a race.
*There is a clock that exists that says we only have a finite number of years left on this planet, and we should use our precious time wisely, that is called THE ACTUAL TIME. THAT clock is very very real and we must bear this unnerving thought in mind. – Particularly when unsure whether to go out and do awesome exciting things, or whether to purchase that dress or those trainers, TICK-TOCK can come in handy.
As an ambitious, single, currently unemployed Mother, I am constantly having to remind myself that whilst it may feel like I am running out of time, actually, time is on my side. There is no rush. I am still young. More importantly I still FEEL young. Time and I are good friends. I’d ideally like to remain positive about the concept of time, even when I am..approaching..well, my golden oldies. GAH. *The spiritual books say time doesn’t exist anyway, that the past and future do not exist and that all we have is the present moment, so we must be as present as we can be..but for numerous practical reasons we all know how hard THAT is to conceive and implement.
So for now, there is still plenty of time to do all the things I want to do ( and no doubt, if you are reading this, the same will apply to you), and motherhood has not deterred me from wanting to pursue any of them. If anything, it has spurred me on. *I mean, I just used the phrase “effective in maximising productivity”..I think I am going to be okay.
Tick-Tock now, for it is Rooibos, books and bed time.
“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
― Marthe Troly-Curtin