I often find daily planning to be annoyingly exhausting: when to eat dinner, return a phone call, hang the clothes, grocery shop. My timed decisions and scheduled obligations fall in series; each moment knocking against the unforeseen progression in domino succession. These frustrations only magnify with the mention of larger questions regarding my current relationships or future career. I find myself constantly asking:
When is the right time?
I learned to ride my bike around eight or nine years old, much later than the other kids in the neighborhood. I had no desire and didn’t feel quite ready. One summer, my best friend passed down her little pink bike with uneven training wheels and I wobbled countless times along my driveway until the road was mine.
When is the right time?
As children, the questions comes pre-answered and the forethought is almost nonexistent. When will we get there? When is dinner? Life was simple. Then school begins, responsibilities grow and puberty directs our thoughts against those of our peers. When is the right time for a first kiss? A boyfriend? A sexual experience? This confusion follows into high school and college, tumbling like gravel along a steel slope gathering force and speed. When to find the right major? The best job? Our parents and loved ones die. We get promoted, move to new cities and buy more furniture. We get married. When is the right time to grieve? To start a family? To hold on? To let go?
And so we compare our choices to those around us. We measure our landmark events against the decisions of others whose lives appear successful and correct. We kiss people because we think it’s time. We wear the same clothing at the same time and cry when deemed appropriate. We get married before our younger siblings do and try to earn as much as our college peers. Timing is everything.
Maybe it’s time to stop asking ourselves what we should be doing. What our friends are doing. What our parents have done. Perhaps there is no right time for any one landmark decision but a series of events that occur or do not occur based on our individual wants and needs. In my last moments, I doubt anyone will compare my timeline against my peers and wonder if I did things too soon or not fast enough.
Perhaps the question we should be asking is: When is my time?
5 thoughts on “When is the Right Time?”
There is no right time for anything. Time is just a tool that we invented long ago to help bring structure into our lives. It’s best used as a convenience and not a standard. I think it’s best to never set any long-term, time-sensitive goals for ourselves. They’ll only add undue stress and preoccupation to our lives and maybe even cause us to make forced or “incorrect” decisions. Every second spent counting seconds is a second wasted.
great blog post. I completely agree with djwax90 as well as the many points you make in the post. I am realizing the most important thing is to enjoy the journey – wherever it takes you. Not long ago I was stressing about the future – where am I going? how do I get there?. everyday became about accomplishing something because I was worried about the timing. I was forgetting to enjoy the process. I was just consumed with the final destination. Now I have decided to enjoy the microseconds that makeup time because no knows when the last one will be.
Absolutely. Enjoy moments are simply moments. djwax90 spoke about never setting long-term goals for ourselves and I don’t know if I agree with that completely. I need to have long-term plans: things I want to see, places I’d like to live. But both of you speak about stressing too much when the goal of life…is living well. 🙂
Long-term goals are good to have. I just meant that the time-sensitive long-term goals… putting deadlines on your goals is what’s dicey. For example, I think a goal of “I MUST be married by the time I turn 35” is detrimental; saying “I want to get married eventually” is entirely different. I think that latter type of goal is a great type of goal to have.
Thank you for replying! I agre that we do get so tied up in deadline, timeframe and ages. There doesn’t have to be a “too young” or “too old” when someone decides to go to college, get married or make a sandwich at 3am.