I am a woman who has entered into the middle stretch of her life. In a marathon, I would be in the section of the race where you just keep plodding along and the spectators are few and far between.
Yet, the middle of nearly everything is the best part … let’s take the Oreo as a prime example of everything that is good about the middle. Or a Boston Cream doughnut. Or a molten chocolate lava cake topped with ice cream.
*shakes out of food coma*
The middle is where everything changes.
Being 35 years old and sticking my head up every now and again to see where my life is at and what other people are doing makes me grateful.
In my twenties, I was hustling; believing I was behind everyone else. That I was somehow a failure because I didn’t build a technology business with only a 3 dollars in my pocket, solve the water crisis, feed 1 million hungry children or cure cancer. I was utterly normal, boring and predictable.
At the age of 20, I thought I knew everything and was wise. It turns out I knew basically nothing and was ridiculous and ungrateful.
Reality really does bite sometimes. HARD.
The questions about “What are you going to be when you grow up?’ and pressure to have 2.5 children, a dog and always present a shiny picture of happiness has faded.
- I am neither shiny nor grown up – and you don’t have to be either.
The middle of the race is where small changes yield huge results. You can’t change where you are in your race, but you can change how you run.
Opportunity doesn’t knock, it usually races past you and you have to run to catch it. Stop sitting at your front door, peering out the window and hoping the knock will come.
Some opportunities will pass you by, others you will catch while you keep running and there are some you shouldn’t chase.
Opportunities come when you are in motion and running the race that you’re supposed to run; not someone else’s. I don’t know how many times I veered off my path in my twenties to run someone else’s race, got stuck in the brambles and found myself back on my path limping along while bleeding profusely.
The best thing you can is is keep running, training and working hard on YOUR race.
When someone else passes me, I have learned to cheer them on and applaud them for working hard and chasing the opportunities that have come along on their path. Everyone who does what they are supposed to do with their life deserves acknowledgement and honour – there is no room for jealousy or bitterness in a life well lived.
When you take the long view and learn the art of running just a bit faster, you will arrive where you want to go sooner – your capacity to do more with your life will grow.
Don’t lose sight of what you’re supposed to do each and every day.
Most days are ‘boring’. But what you do with your ‘boring’ matters. The boring days set you up to be able to chase down opportunities when they cross YOUR path.
One of my favourite things to ask myself and others is, “Was the diem carpe-ed?”