I’ll be honest and say that lately, I’ve been feeling old. All too many mornings now begin with the consequences of waking up after a night of staying up an hour later than I should have – including a sore back, head and seeming inability to move. I also find my days filled with hurried trips from one place to another, hair a wreck and coffee stains on my jeans, unable to cram 24 hours of stuff into a short 14. Too often now, I find sleep is an unbelievable blessing, and my idea of a great time is a night in pajamas with a movie for company. I am not exaggerating when I say that I am beginning to feel legitimately beyond my years. I thought for certain this wouldn’t happen until much later in life, but I’m seeing symptoms of overstretching myself already.
Given all of this, I must say that being a 20-something has proven to be one of the biggest adventures for me thus far. As with any era, there are both perks and downsides. The perks include fresh passions, an ability to study what we love, and a world of possibilities. We have our entire lives ahead of us – which brings me to the responsibilities that can be daunting at times. With so much ahead, we constantly ask ourselves what we “should” be doing, or what we “can” or “cannot” manage. Life begins to move so much more quickly than it did before, and we may have a tendency to see this as a negative rather than a simple change that can be embraced. As my life continues on in a flurry of events, I’ve been reminded of the key elements that continue to make this time of my life so impacting.
- My parents really do have the answers. They are also unbearably cool. It is one thing to grow up knowing that parents care and are there to support you, but I’ve seen this so much more clearly upon entering college life. I got the chance to see my family this weekend, and I was reminded again of how much I can learn from the people that raised me. They have wisdom to offer and a constant willingness to talk me through any obstacles I may encounter. They’ve gone through this stage before and readily offer help because they want me to thrive. Blessings abound through these people on all levels – from spiritual and emotional support to choosing to buy the groceries for the month. Oh my word… such goodness.
- Post its and To Do Lists are my best friend. When life picks up, it becomes so hard to keep up on everything I need to. We juggle work, school, friends, chores, errands and whatever else life throws our way. All of this is so much more manageable if a few minutes are taken to write everything down. More gets accomplished when time is budgeted, and this leaves more room for peace of mind. Also, I am convinced there is no greater feeling than that of crossing an accomplished task off a list.
- Focusing on what is directly in front of me saves a world of trouble. Yes, life picks up and does not wait, whether we’re ready or not. Schedules are filled quickly, free time is limited and it’s easy to miss the ease of simplicity. I’ve noticed that the best way for me to gain it back and keep myself sane is to focus on the beauty of the here and now. When I do grab lunch with people, I invest fully in that time. I put homework, grocery lists and that exam I didn’t do very well on out of my head and try to share fully in the company I keep. This allows me to enjoy things more, so that I can study feeling refreshed and able to focus on what needs to be accomplished.
I know life won’t stay perpetually busy, but it does increase with the current times. While in this moment, it’s so helpful to remember that we’re not alone, this, like all things will pass, and there is still beauty and wisdom to be found in the midst of the time that seems to be constantly speeding up. Friends, we will make it, and it will be worth it. For now, invest fully, bless God, and enjoy the world he put us in.