I feel like everyone is good at balancing their lives, but somehow I just can’t seem to manage it…
Wake up by 5:30, make breakfast and lunches, out the door by 7am to be at work by 8am, work non-stop till 4pm, workout, get home by 6:30, cook dinner, clean, spend time with spouse, asleep by 9pm.
It’s all laid out, and for some reason it never all happens and I just can’t get it to work in a way where it does. Something will happen at work, or my work out class will be cancelled, or dinner will take longer to cook than planned. I don’t know where I got the expectation that it was possible to make everything go smoothly in a day, I know it’s rare for such a thing to happen, but I really wish it could. I don’t do well when things aren’t planned or change last minute.
I’ve been known to have a meltdown or two over it…
I think my generation (generation y aka millennials) has an interesting amount of standards that many of us feel we have to live up to.
We see our grandparents, many who have had successful marriages for 60+ years, strong, opinionated, bought houses at a young age, and very family focused. We hear them talk about how hard but wonderful their lives were (my grandparents both grew up on farms) and that you make things work no matter how hard it is.
Then we see our parents, the Baby Boomers. Highly successful career wise, raising families in a time where few people had to worry about money like they do today, pre-recession. They went to college that resulted in successful, high-paying jobs, were able to afford a family and home right away in many cases, and had the outlook that things would stay this way forever many times.
We grew up hearing stories from both groups, were promised that if you work hard and go to college, your life will be good. But things haven’t worked out that way for everyone. Now, many people don’t see a college degree as enough to work for their company and won’t even give you a chance. The housing market is out of reach for many, as well as the rental market as well (at least here in Seattle). More people value free labor over well paid, loyal employees.
I even recently sat in on a seminar where the speaker stated “why hire a coordinator when you can keep hiring interns for free”. The faces of all the coordinators around the room were quite sad.
A lot of people like to say we (generation y) just want to complain and not work, but we’re set to unreachable expectations in a society that is very different then that of our parents and grandparents. For many of us, we don’t know how to deal with not being able to live up to the lives that we were told about, no matter how hard many of us try. I in no way blame the generations before us for any of this, how were they to know that things would turn out so different for our generation?
My happiness is directly linked to how successful I feel my day was very often, which is really sad. I want a specific life for myself, the one I built in my head from the stories of others that I thought would mean perfection, and I’m learning that it probably will never exist, and that has to be okay. At what point do we decide that a dream is unreachable, and thus we must alter our dream so that they can become reality?
I found this interesting video that Buzzfeed posted a few weeks ago, I suggest you take a few minutes to watch it and perhaps it will give some insight on just how much the time that we were born affects us as adults.