Back when I was researching post ideas to survive Blogtober, I stumbled upon Evaluate Your Life-day – which is today. I was intrigued. Pretty sure a whole lot of us are experts at “Evaluate Your Blog”-every-day, so I thought it’d be interesting to take it a couple of steps further. Especially because I know that turning 26, made me think of all the goals I had.. and didn’t reach.
I always claimed that I’d have achieved this and this and that before 25. Not because I had to, but because I thought I simply would’ve. I was wrong, so wrong. To me, every birthday so far, has been another reminder of how life gets in the way of reaching the things you want. Not necessarily in a bad way, but your expectations are always so different compared to reality.
For instance, I never thought I’d have moved out on my own before my car was paid off. Guess what? I moved out two years ago and my car’s been paid off for three months now. And that’s definitely not all. So to start this post – which, I admit, is going to be a fairly personal one – I’m going to start by listing all the things I wanted to reach before the age of 25.
° Be a mom before 25.
° Have my own home.
° Traveled to the U.S.
° Have a permanent job I love.
Guess what? Before 25 I had not reached any of those goals. Right now? I’ve ticked off one – permanent job, yay! – and two others are getting ticked off in the near future. Traveling to the U.S. will have to wait, but I know I’ll get there eventually. If only because my boyfriend has the exact same dream and we’re suckers for road trips.
But does admitting I haven’t reached these goals make my current happiness any less valid? Of course not! My life – or happiness – doesn’t depend on achieving those goals. Even if they’re long-term ones, even if they felt manageable way back when: the simple fact is that life has its own way of going about and we never know where we’ll end up.
When you feel down because of the goals you haven’t achieved, you have to look at the things you did achieve – even though you didn’t foresee them all those years back.
° I have a boyfriend that loves me for me.
° I had the courage to undergo a gastric bypass which changed my life in the best way possible.
° I’ve been to London more times than I can count.
° I still have an amazing bond with my mother and a better one than I expected to have with my brother.
° I found a hobby / passion I’m genuinely in love with. [Hi, Books & Munches!]
° I made a road trip through France, Italy, Austria and Germany.
° I actually make trips abroad at least a couple of times a year.
° I’m pretty secure finance-wise.
° I’ve seen so many bands live that I wanted to see at least once.
I know I can make this list longer and longer if I set my mind to it, but my point is that we’ve all reached tons of things by today. Not necessarily the things you wanted to reach, but that shouldn’t matter. Fact is we’re moving along in life; we’re making progress and are – at least partly – living the life we want. Focus on that. Think about all the things, big or small, you did do and remember that those does count. It took a lot of energy to get where you are now and you deserve to be acknowledged for that.
But then the darker thoughts sometimes set in, right? Are all these things that important if you’re not happy on a day-to-day basis? Some people might have reached everything they wanted to, but still feel unhappy. Some people might not see what they’ve reached as “special”, because it’s not what they wanted to reach. I respect that. I know how hard it can be to keep a positive mind-set. I know it takes time, effort and a whole lot of work on one’s self-esteem to realize and accept what we’ve achieved already. The small things count too, but those are the things we most often forget about.
So what if you don’t own your own car. So what if you haven’t made that one trip you really wanted to make. So what if you’re not in a solid relationship yet. So what if you’re still figuring out where your passion lays. So what if you have no clue regarding the direction your life’s heading in. There’s still plenty of time for all those things. All you can do is work towards those goals, set some in-between marks to reach and maybe make it seem more achievable.
Or maybe you need to think about the things you did achieve. Maybe the reason you haven’t done certain things, is because other things were more important. You had to get that degree. You had to take care of a certain person, which took up a lot of your time. Maybe you weren’t well for a long while. That’s all okay. Every reason is okay. We can’t all be superwomen and supermen. We’re human.
Better yet: Maybe your life currently consists of caring for others and that brings you happiness, even though you still have other dreams that’ll have to wait a bit longer. Maybe it’s an achievement on its own for you to go outside of your house once a week. Maybe you’re in pain and doing small chores is already a huge accomplishment. As long as your life is fulfilling in some way, as long as you feel like you did something good today or the day before, or the day before that one, I’m convinced you’re doing okay. And if you’re not, I’m sure you will be eventually. Do know you can always message me anywhere if you feel like talking when things aren’t going well!
That got serious real fast, didn’t it? Oops.. To make it a bit lighter again, and to go back to my own goals.. Remember that house I wanted to own before 25? It’s happening right now. I just turned 26 last month, but it’s happening. We’re waiting for more papers to sign so we can get our key and then we’ve got some work to do but we’re so close. Being a mom before 25? You all know by now that I’m over five months in my pregnancy, so it might not be before 25 but it’ll definitely be before 27 – which isn’t that big of a delay, right? That trip to the U.S.? Let’s just say I’ll keep dreaming about that one for a couple more years to come, but I’ll get there eventually. Until then? I’m going to save up as much as I can so we can make it the trip of a lifetime!
Apart from having those big goals, I’m also working on smaller goals. You may have noticed my seasonal posts – the last one being my Autumn bucket list. I try setting myself some goals: finding some things I want to do at least once, use seasonal goals to kick-start new habits and push myself to a better and more fulfilling life. It’s working so far, and I’m happy I started doing it. Even though I don’t tick off everything, I do feel like I’m trying new things and improving myself, which is my main goal after all.
What is your biggest dream / goal in life?
Do you sometimes struggle with the things you wanted to reach by now?
How do you handle that?
Do you have a bucket list? A lifetime one? A yearly one? A seasonal one?