Maybe I was a little overzealous as a teenager. Or maybe I was just too certain of what I wanted out of life for my own good. Either way, I created my very own, very linear, very idyllic timeline. 21 years old- Graduate from college. 23 years old- Graduate from grad school, start awesome, high salaried, super high profile job. 25 years old- Get married and start nesting in my very own craftsman bungalow. 28 years old- Have kid #1. 31 years old- Have kid #2. 34 years old- Have kid #3.
We can stop there.
So this is where I tell you things didn’t go as planned. There was a recession. A career change. Debt (that one can be spoken of in the past and the present tense). A missing nest egg. That bungalow is still sitting in a board on Pinterest waiting to be bought. It has me frowning just thinking about it. I don’t like letting myself down.
Here I am, only a month into be 26 years old and trying to figure out my feelings on this matter. First, there’s the kid #1, #2, and #3 problem. Something tells me they just aren’t going to come as simply as I would hope. Then, there’s the nest egg problem. Alex and I are constantly fighting the “pay debt down versus make nest egg” battle. Debt usually wins. And the bungalow has been replaced with a townhouse with a tiny patio out back and one reserved parking spot out front. So it’s understandably hard for me to look at where I am, on the truthful journey to the end of my 20’s, into the glories of my 30’s, finding myself shouting out to God, “STOP!!! STOP RIGHT THERE!!! I NEED MORE TIME! I CAN’T POSSIBLY STICK TO MY TIMELINE AT THE RATE I’M GOING! JUST PRESS PAUSE FOR LIKE, 1 MORE YEAR. PLEASE!!!!”
Doesn’t work that way. Trust me, I’ve been trying. And so I’m beginning to look at things differently. Thinking happy thoughts. Because it makes me feel better about myself. And every day should be Thanksgiving day. Are you ready? Here we go.
This is me, Tina. I am 26 years old. I am happily married to my best friend and love. We have a small, surely to grow some day family with the best, most beautiful cats on the planet. We own a perfect starter home that treats us perfectly well for now. While we wait for the real estate market to turn around, we’ve made it into the coziest little abode we possibly could. I have a job that provides me with security and an opportunity to play with 4 year-olds and laugh with adults. My work satisfies my soul and leaves me exhausted at the end of the day. I write on a daily basis, which quenches my soul and heals my heart. And at the end of every day, I crawl under the loft of the down and curl up with my soul mate and our 2 cats. We all say “I love you” (or meow) and we turn off the light.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the future that we forget about what we have right now. It doesn’t change the fact that if God answered my prayers and hit the pause button, well, that would be pretty awesome. But since we only live one life… and we can’t rely on the future to be anything but uncertain, it’s probably pretty important to find joy and light and love in the present. And something tells me that may be our best chance at guaranteeing joy and light and love (and hopefully a nest egg, a bungalow, and babies #1, #2 and #3) in the future.
Happy Thanksgiving Day. (errr well, thanks giving day)
*photo credit: Jodi Miller Photography*