“You have one wild and precious life – just one.”
Dr Maureen Gaffney
I think most of us can relate to this – the feeling of constant just-below-the-surface expectations of us to achieve life milestones. And not just to achieve them – but to do so in a *specific sequence*.
Pressure from external sources and that heavy pressure we put on ourselves.
Leave school, go to college, get a job, buy a house, settle down, have a family, retire at 65, play golf (this is something I would actually like to take up!).
This used to be much simpler in the past – the path was straighter and it was well ‘signposted’. But since then, the route has rapidly upended and the psychological map hasn’t been updated!
Two major changes have happened:
More years were added to the average person’s life expectancy in the 20th century than in all the previous millennia combined! Most babies born in the year 2000 can expect to live to a hundred or older.
Yet, despite all this extra time in our lives and all the advances in tech, we have become chronically time-poor! Everyone is ‘so busy’!
The years between your late 20s to early 60s has become the ‘rush hour of life’ (V. Frissen). That’s potentially a third of your life rushing and racing!
Life is quite different for us compared to our parents’ and grandparents’ generation – we’re healthier, we travel more, we’re more connected to the wider world and we have access to all sorts of education.
I feel this is great news and Maureen Gaffney’s book is a fascinating and positive read. She talks about things you may not consciously notice but which are relatable and make sense when you stop to think about them.
The bottom line is that we are all works in progress, and always will be. We’re never fully formed, no matter what age is on the clock. What a relief!
I’m curious about how you feel about lifting your foot off the pressure pedal and enjoying the journey instead?
Do you think it’s doable or is the pressure too ingrained?
‘Your One Wild and Precious Life’ book by Dr Maureen Gaffney