The 10 year plan

It’s now been eight years since I graduated from high school and entered the semi-grown up world. It’s funny to look back now and see how things have changed. Leaving high school, I had a 10 year plan; I was set on becoming a surgeon, I was determined to see out the many years of studying and by 28 have a husband (probably from my home town), a house (probably in my home town) and planning the arrival of my first child (who would go to school in my home town). Well… sorry 18 year old me… but life turned out a little differently, and according to that 10 year plan, time is really running out.

I’ve spent the past eight years dedicated to studying “full time”, in that time I completed two bachelor degrees and a Masters (pat on the back to me). Don’t get me wrong, I studied hard (for the most part) and I learnt a lot from the university system, but perhaps the greatest lesson I’ve learnt in the past eight years is the value of time.

Time is a funny concept, 60 seconds a minute, 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, it’s structured, and predictable. But it can also seem perceptible, it can feel endless, slow, fast, fleeting, a little bit arbitrary. We use it as an excuse, like “I don’t have time”, or “time got away from me” and despite its predictability, we usually feel like we don’t have enough of it. People talk about “spending time” like it’s a currency, but it’s not physical, nor can it be measured or weighed.

Things that you have are treated the way you want to treat them, because they’re yours, but things that you borrow, your treat with care and respect, because you have to give them back. So maybe time isn’t not ours to have, maybe it’s ours to borrow. Things don’t always go to plan, an old Scotsman once told me “no plan’s a good plan”, and maybe he was right, putting pressure on ourselves with a time line and a plan takes the fun out of the journey, it makes it predictable, like the hours in a day.

Although time is a predictable unit of measure, it is unpredictable in life, it can bring us great joy as well as deep sadness, but it’s all a part of the adventure. In the Lion King (great movie), Mufasa said to Simba “we are all connected in the great circle of life”, I never understood what that meant as a child, but I think the more I grow, the more applicable it becomes.

18 year old me thought she had the world figured out, she was a bit off, but that was a lesson to be learnt, over time. I’m not going to make a new plan, but I am going to enjoy the ride. I’ve decided to start blogging my journey into adult hood, a new career in a new city, with reflections into lessons learnt from the past. My name is Ashton, like Ashton Kutcher, but better.

Think often. Live well.

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