There’s been something that I’ve wanted to talk about for a while, and this little motivational post is inspired by my own thoughts, as well as the thoughts of others in my life.
Timelines. We all make them. And you know what, we should stop caring so much about them.
For instance, if you had asked me years ago where I would be at 33, I’d probably say that I had a couple of kids, a house and a steady corporate job in communications. Well, not so much. I don’t have any of those things. Don’t get me wrong, what I do have is amazing and more than I could possibly ask for. But if I looked at the timelines I had secretly laid out for myself, I would not be meeting them at all. Does that mean I can’t be happy? Sure doesn’t. In fact, because of how the cookie has crumbled for me (oatmeal raisin, of course), I’ve gotten myself into an entirely different situation, which I could not have guessed, but I sure do love.
You never know where life will take you, and that’s okay
Why? Life happens. I didn’t know that Dave and I would relocate across the country almost five years ago and make huge changes. I didn’t know that our places of residence would get increasingly smaller in square footage all of the years we were together (although we did have a slight bump in size when moving to Walnut Creek this last move). I also didn’t know that my career would take me out of the office setting and pointy-toed heels and into the gym with leggings and a laptop. No idea. In fact, I would have guessed I would have some sort of “director” or “vice president” title at a big company in Florida right now, and I definitely wouldn’t be wearing activewear on weekdays. But I don’t have that title, and I sure am comfortable in my clothes right now. And did I mention that I don’t always know what my income will be each month either? How’s that for unplanned?
You see, it’s smart to prep your meals, plan out your workouts and even pick out your outfit the night before. And yes, you probably want to make a plan for your business to grow and you want to coordinate with relatives before holidays, but guess what … sometimes you can leave the rest of life up to chance.
Appreciate what you have and what you’ve learned
As most of you know, Dave and I are expecting our first child together in October of this year. That means we will have been married for almost five-and-a-half years before having a human kid. (We welcomed our first fur baby together two years ago, and little Rudy Pitt continues to fill me with more joy than I can humanly explain, but that’s neither here nor there.) Even though I would have imagined us having a family by now, that’s not how life worked out, and I realize now that was perfect all along. Our fertility struggles as a couple and my own individual fertility struggles — well — they made me healthier than ever and better prepared than ever to be a parent. (And if you want to know more, please, please, please buy my ebook.)
Throughout our relationship, we’ve had so much time as just the two of us. We’ve traveled so many places and so often — sometimes just picking up at a moment’s notice for a getaway. We’ve lived in perhaps the best city in the United States (San Francisco, of course) and soaked up all it had to offer. We’ve shared a closet, a studio apartment less than 600 square feet, a car, a mini-fridge and the experience of moving across the country — none of which are easy things to do. But these are things we’ve focused on together, and they’ve made us stronger and better people. And we’ve each worked really hard in our respective careers, with mine being all over the place the last few years.
Most of my friends back in Florida have multiple kids and a mortgage and are climbing the corporate ladder. They are so happy. They love their lives. And I love them. But that path, which perhaps I saw myself going down years ago, clearly wasn’t my path and also wasn’t my timeline. I’m on my own little journey, and although it may seem strange to some — especially to those who still don’t even quite know what it is I do for a living — it’s just what I want, and it’s just at the right time.
The reason I’m writing this post, which has virtually nothing to do with health, fitness or food, as most of my posts do, is because we can all be our own worst enemies when it comes to self-doubt, self-pity and self-reflection — and negative thoughts can affect our health too. Positivity. Mindfulness. Gratefulness. These are the types of things that bolster our health. But you have to be proactive to think them and feel them.
It’s never too late to make a change
What am I trying to say with all of this? Basically, where you are right now, is where you are meant to be. And if it’s not where you thought you would be, that’s okay, you’ve still got time. For instance …
- If you are 20 pounds overweight and inactive and that’s not how you saw yourself — that’s okay. Start today to make some changes. And once you adopt a new healthy lifestyle, I can guarantee that you will make lasting habits that will help you to keep the weight off. Because you will have perspective. You won’t go back to where you are now.
- If you are single and watching all of your friends get married — that’s okay. You clearly haven’t met the right person yet, and you don’t want to be stuck with the wrong person, do you? Instead, you’ve had a chance to date people who maybe weren’t right. Each bad date told you more and more about what you don’t want. And you’ve also had time to work on yourself and be alone. (Do you know how important it is to be able to be alone?) That will make you an even better partner when you do find the right person. And if you thought you’d be married by 30, and you’re not — that’s okay too. You’ll have a nicer and bigger wedding with the right person when the time is right. And you’ll never look back and wish you had done it sooner, because you’ll be so happy once it happens.
- If you are in a bad spot with your family or friends and wish that things were different — that’s okay. Make amends. Work toward strengthening your relationships and take with you that feeling of what it’s like to NOT have those people in your life, so you know to protect those relationships moving forward.
- If you are broke and living on your parents’ couch — that’s okay. I’m sure your parents love having you at home, number one. And number two: being able to save up and prepare for your next move is an awesome opportunity. Once you know what it’s like to pinch your pennies, you’ll forever be better with money and will have even more drive to succeed. Who cares if you thought you’d have a penthouse by this point, if it’s meant to happen, it will.
There are all sorts of things in life that don’t turn out exactly how we plan. But that doesn’t mean those things turned out wrong. They just are what they are. Forget your expectations. Forget your timelines. Live your life and know that your individual and unique path is just for you.
Stay in your lane and know that everything happens for a reason
When I was struggling to get pregnant, I used to get pretty down when I would look around me and see so many of my peers and friends having their second or even third child. I would constantly say to myself “this isn’t where I thought I would be by now.” But you know what — if everything that happened to me had not happened, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I wouldn’t have written a book, putting my personal business out there for the world to read. I wouldn’t be able to help other women who feel totally alone and are struggling with something that is a lot more common than we’d like to think in the fitness industry, which I’m part of. And I also wouldn’t be writing this sappy and long, rule-breaking post for you today either.
For those of us healthy-living obsessed type-A ladies and gents, it can be super hard to relax a bit on the life timelines and goals. But take it from this wise old gal … everything works out eventually. Be well, my friends!Motivational pep talk alert: @apstyle tells us why we don't need so many life timelines ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
What’s something that you thought you would have done by now in life?
What’s one thing you are grateful for right now?