What if we were all vampires?

by Katie on September 18, 2014

You always hear the adage that life is short. That it is important to seize the moment and follow your dreams because we only have a limited time on this precious earth. I like this sentiment because it is true, and it can inspire us to break through the fear and get us moving towards what we really desire. Our lives ARE precious and amazing, and we really do need to start now. Not wait for someday to come.

But recently I was asked a different question that really resonated with me. What if the opposite were true? What if time wasn’t an issue at all? What if we had all the time in the world?

I’m not suggesting we all become vampires, but just go with me for a second.

Imagine that you didn’t have to worry about a timeline or age, or any sort of constructed timeframe we put on ourselves. What would you do differently if you had endless time? If life were in fact long?

After college in my early twenties I moved to New York City and participated in a dance internship at Broadway Dance Center. I was one of the oldest in the group. Many of my fellow students were still in college or had just graduated from high school. I remember thinking, “if only I had started this intense dance training earlier…”. I worried that I was too old.

Now more than ten years later, I realize how absurd that was. I was so young! I had preconceived notions of age, of what being older meant. I assumed I couldn’t be as good as the others because I had an earlier birth year.

I still fall into that trap. So often I wonder if I’m too old to start something new. I really want to learn to play the piano, and I’m currently teaching myself to code websites. But my resistance and self-doubt too often come in and can be very loud: “People start this stuff when they’re kids! It’s too late for me. I’m too old.”

So instead I am remembering that I have tons of time, that I am never too old to start something new. What if you felt the same way? Would you learn that skill you’ve always wanted to learn? Would you go back to school? Even if you might be the oldest in the class. Who cares? You have endless time!

Must. Get. Done. Now.

Our obsession with time also puts tons of pressure on ourselves to get everything done quickly. We have to get married by this date, have kids by this date. Our business has to be thriving by this date. I must travel the world before I’m forty. I must own a home before I’m (fill in the blank). All of these imaginary constraints put so much heaviness on our desires.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with setting goals, and actually sticking to them. And it can be helpful to give yourself a timeline when setting those goals. But I think we often hold ourselves back from trying new things because we think we are too old or don’t have enough time. Furthermore, when we are pursuing a goal, we put so much pressure on ourselves to get it done quickly and can get inpatient, instead of taking the small action steps everyday and trusting we are moving in the right direction, and will eventually get there.

If we dance with time, instead of trying to control it, resist it, or wish it away, we will always end up exactly where we are supposed to be.

A few years ago we were visiting with one of my Dad’s work colleagues who at the time was well into his nineties. We were talking about age and growing older, and I’ll never forget one of his insights: “Wow, I remember when I was in my eighties”, he said, “Now those were the days”.

Reminiscing about the good ‘ol days of being in his eighties! I’ve always been so inspired by that.

Whenever I start to think that being in my thirties is “old”, or that it is too late to get started, I remember that I’ve only just begun, and that great things are ahead. It’s up to me to decide what I do with that time.

A Balancing Act

So I guess it’s about finding the balance. We should have urgency in our life, and not wait to do the things we really want to do. Because [in reality we aren’t vampires] and life is absolutely precious. And it is short in the whole scheme of things.

But we can have ease with it as well. We can think long term. And we can stop holding ourselves back because we think we are too old, don’t have enough time, or that it’s too late. It isn’t too late. We have the time. In ten years you’ll be ten years older. But you could also be ten years older and have mastered a new skill. Or have graduated from school. Or have finally written that book. Whatever it is that may be calling you.

We’re in this for the long haul. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Let’s enjoy the ride.

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