By: Whitney Millard, Guest Blogger
I’m in a hurry to get things done, oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun. All I really gotta do is live and die- but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.” -Alabama
I feel this pressure to do all the things, all the time. I have, for as long as I can remember, had a terrifying fear of dying before getting to do everything I want to do in this lifetime. And my dears, there is SO MUCH I want to do in this lifetime. Which is not to say I spend every waking second chipping away at my bucket list. The fear has mostly left me paralyzed because everything seems so big and impossible when you’re worried you won’t leave your mark on this planet.
I have a genetic condition that affects 1 in every 2,500 women, and though my version of this condition (Turner Syndrome) is blessedly free of life-threatening ailments I still somehow feel like I’m in particular competition with the clock. The primary problem Turner’s causes, for me, is infertility. Meaning I won’t be able to have children of my own. I spent a lot (I’m talking A LOT) of time grieving that, and I admittedly still get a little shaken over teeny tiny baby clothes, but mostly I have healed from the shock of that knowledge. The shock seems to have been replaced by this incessant, burning need to do something large and important, to leave an impact the way most people leave behind children and grandchildren when they go.
But I’m not alone in this, you don’t need a condition to feel like time is ticking and you better catch up with it or risk being left behind. How many of us can honestly say we’ve never surfed through Facebook and been left exasperated by people we know moving on, moving up. Whether they’re going off to college, getting married, having heaps of those adorable, chubby babies or posting pictures from breath taking adventures in Paris or Rome or Japan. (It’s the jet setters that always get to me. My kingdom to spend the day writing at a cafe in Paris!) The easy access into everybody’s life has only perpetuated this kind of pressure to succeed. To have perfectly Instagrammable moments.
I love to start my day with a cup of coffee and scribbling down some waking thoughts in my journal. But most mornings I wake up and instead of scribbling- end up scrolling- through social media feed after social media feed. I don’t blame social media. I’m an adult; I don’t have to start my day with the liking and the chirping. But I have noticed it getting harder and harder to stay on top of what I want to do and not defer to mindlessly scrolling and feeling consequently like I’m not doing enough.
Wherever our need to do more and do it right this second comes from, it’s ours now. It’s up to us to say no- I AM more than enough, I am DOING more than enough. Because you really are, I promise. It’s become so trite I’m afraid that people forget it’s true, that it really is about the journey. It’s about getting there. It’s about the scenic route or the slick city street and the feet or car or plane that brought you there. It’s the flowers you picked on the way and the seeds that you planted. This is what matters- the worn in path or the knee-high grass covered one you cut through yourself. So let’s all stop and look, because this? This is the good part.
When was the last time you took a minute to appreciate the path?
- Take a few minutes each day to reflect on the road you're traveling. Let yourself feel grateful for the beauty, the lessons, and the fellow travelers you're meeting along the way!
Whitney Millard is a writer in Los Angeles attempting to make sense of this crazy world and it’s wonderful people. She launched her blog, WhittyWords.com last fall to have a place to lay down her (perhaps too many) thoughts and feelings. You can usually find her any place that has books, a stage, or boba tea and potstickers.
image via building-the-bridge.com