Happiness has no deadline...
I'm going to be married to the love of my life and have two kids by the time I'm 35.
"I'm going to finish my first novel by the time I'm 30, travel the world and make love to the most beautiful people while sipping champagne."
Deadlines...deadlines...what's more important: meeting a deadline, or getting closer to the feeling that object of your desire will elicit. the love of your life is a feeling, not a task. It's the core desired feeling that is at work. What do you want to feel and what tiny steps can you take to get yourself closer to that each day. Love, kids...those things are about feel connected to other people. They're about making family with other people...the family that you choose. Well, that connection is the core desired feeling (Thanks, Danielle LaPorte).
Sometimes we spend so much time reaching for the goal that we forget to connect with why we set the goal to begin with. To feel connected and how many ways does that happen every day? The little old lady downstairs from you whose kids live in another country and her husband of 30 years is gone. She stands at her door every time you leave the building, fussing over how late you got in last night and wondering if the new tile she put in your kitchen (she's the landlord) was the color you wanted. She's alone in the world now except for the people she chooses to make family with. I buy her fresh astromerias from Trader Joe's every week. She keeps my apartment warm, checks in on me, a single woman with no family in NYC and promises that as long as she's living, you have a place to call home. In a 2 bedroom brownstone floor-through with skylights and a deck. That's connection. That's the family I've been waiting to choose all my life. I used to worry going on blind dates that someone should know where I am, where I'm going. I used to worry that because I'm single, if something god-awful happened to me in NYC, my peeps might not know for days that I was missing. But that's not a concern, because there's a little old lady downstairs who looks out for me...and has done so for 16 years. That's connection and for that I'm ever-grateful.
When I was six, I told my Mom:
"When I grow up, I'm going to be a bohemian. I'm going to move to NYC, live in an apartment in the sky, be a doctor, a lawyer, a nurse, actress and a Jazz-singer/modern dancer."
I looked up from my journal this morning, peered out my window to my deck and watched my herb garden die from the cold and thought, "No worries. They'll be back in the Spring. I played Anoushka Shankhar, sipped on the most amazing cup of Cuban coffee and wrote. I am happy. I actually have everything that I asked for. I spent the holidays with my BFF's who are my brothers, my sisters, celebrated my BFF's engagement, read a love letter from a friend-turned-beau (maybe) and sorted through his avalanche of texts and thought...hmmm...there's lots of love in my life. And little time for anything besides my work that I love.
I like my life exactly as it is...that gave me pause. Because I realized that when I shut down the deadlines, my life actually started happening. I got the love and the connection. I was able to quit the soul-killing work I was doing for money and work from home doing the soul-filling work I love. I write, act, produce and joyfully teach what I know to folks who want to hear it. I run a business, where daily, I have to jump from being a doctor, nurse, lawyer, actress, Jazz singer/dancer daily because my clients need me to be those things or the role requires it.
Then I look back at my deadlines, my bucket list and weigh that against what I have and realize that I've done everything I set out to do...and if I stayed with those goals and didn't allow myself to see any movement beyond them, I would be in a very, unhappy marriage in the burbs trying to keep up with the joneses and missing my calling.
Letting go of deadlines...letting go of goals that no longer serve you are the path to happiness, to contentment and to a sense of worth and accomplishment. Letting go of those "shoulds", frees you up to find your "loves."
Live, Laugh & Love...
P.S. Whether or not the second sentence actually happened is my business....not yours...LOL
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is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers