I started reading Sarah over at San Francisco Budget Wedding, when I was planning my own wedding. Our ideas about weddings couldn’t be more different but that’s not why I read her. I read her because she is an amazing writer with life experience and a recent post she wrote about not having a life list really spoke to me.
In it she says:
I don’t have a Life List, and I’m not going to make one, either. I know I sound a bit childish when I say this, but I can’t help it. You can’t make me write a damn list or feel guilty for (a) not having a list or (b) not following a list. This has been bugging me for a while — all that pressure to come up with a list of Stuff I Will Do that has been swirling around the Internet of late. There was a time when I believed in Life Lists. I had one; I had things crossed off on my life list, and I was checking things off left and right. I lived my life by a charge-ahead Life List from the time I was a little girl.
She also goes on to say this:
I can’t think of any particular trauma that “caused” me to be so goal-oriented or adult, but I do know that I pushed myself until I broke, and I am not going to push myself anymore.
I want you to go over and read the rest of her post but I have been thinking about those words since yesterday. I have always been a rather goal oriented person. I put ideas to paper and kept them in the back of my mind. Because of my upbringing, the expectation was that going to school and making good grades was my job and then I was expected to go to college, get a “good” job, be a productive citizen, get married and have 2.5 kids and a dog. And all by the age of 30.
So when I had accomplished everything I was “supposed” to on my own mental list, except that marriage and kids part, I thought I was a failure. I became depressed. I made a few bad choices in the men I was dealing with. I even visited a therapist to talk things out. I got a handle on myself to some degree after a while and ironically, just when I was coming to terms with not getting married at all, is when I met Myron.
Sarah wraps up her post by saying:
I don’t want a life list telling me all of the things I should be doing, worrying, planning, or accomplishing. I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on myself any more. Ten years ago, I had a life list. Then I discovered the hard way that life is not a recipe with ingredients to be measured and poured in exact amounts. In life, unlike cooking, if one ingredient is missing, it does not spoil the soup because something else happens instead, and if you can be open to following an unexpected turn in the road, wonderful things can come out of the crazy and the bad and the missed opportunities.
And that’s why this post really resonated with me. Yes, I wish I could have met Myron 5 years ago and I wish I wasn’t 37 years old trying to have a baby and I wish I wouldn’t have taken out so much in student loans. I wish, I wish, I wish. But that isn’t how life turned out for me. And trying to live life being very RIGID never works. I think you have to have some flexibility, in all that you do, or else you will go crazy.
How my life has turned out right about now, is exactly how it’s supposed to be.
I’d like to thank Sarah for reminding me of that.