Done Keeping Up With The Joneses

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Do you ever feel like you’re just a little bit behind in life?

Like you need to get the lead out and move a little faster? 

Our cultural view of achievement and success seems to be attained and directed by what you are or aren’t doing and what you have or haven’t accomplished.

As a twenty-one-year-old college student, I felt tremendous pressure in the days leading up to graduation to have my plan in place, my job nailed down and foreseeable future planned out.  The only problem was, for me, the foreseeable future consisted of graduating, moving home to Nashville, hopefully getting a nursing job and hopefully getting engaged in the near future.

With absolutely no certain plans, I fervently begged God that I would just pass my boards while my other classmates were accepting jobs offers and finishing up the last details for their weddings which I’m pretty sure were all the day after graduation.

After walking across the stage to receive my diploma, I went to the lake for a few days with some of my sorority sisters, and then moved back home into my parent’s house and in the bedroom that was mine as a child

A subtle anxiety set in because I felt behind in life.  Everyday I woke up, went to more HR departments at hospitals in Nashville, knocked on the door to manager’s offices and asked for a job.  On my twenty-second birthday, I got my first job offer and I took it.  It was in no way my dream job, but it was a job where I knew I would learn and for that I was thankful.  Being a wide eyed, twenty-two-year-old college graduate, I distinctly remember feeling for the first time in my life that I was a little bit behind.

It doesn’t change as you get older and accomplish more, you always feel the pressure of the next thing and the next thing, even if it’s subtle.  Fast forward a few years down the road and there are days I still feel exactly the same way as that wide eyed twenty-two-year-old.

Desperately, I’ve tried to keep up with the Joneses in many areas of life.  It’s always consisted of doing this or getting that and hurrying up in order to achieve such and such.

And it’s just plain exhausting. 

So most days, as my thought swirl and spin I have to remind myself to breathe deep, it’s going to be ok.

And its in those tiny moments, that I stop, breath deep and remind myself that my life, our life, doesn’t look like everyone else and that that’s ok, two things happen.

(1) I see my life through the lens of gratitude

and

(2) I have the freedom to do the things I love, rather then all the things I feel like I need to be doing or should be doing.

So my keeping up with the Joneses days are dwindling.

The very second I and stop freaking out at how behind in life I am and measuring myself against the success and achievement of others, it allows for gratitude to take root deeply in my heart.

Gratitude for the passions, skills, and gifts I have been entrusted with and gratitude for the beautiful life, my unique life, I have been given to live each day.

So I’m trading that frantic, hurry up, do this and do that state of living, for a more peaceful and soulful one where I wake up grateful and do the things I love, not what everyone else is doing.