Towards the end of my first full year in my first office job, my boss called to let me know I had earned the full potential of my annual bonus.
I lit up when she told me the amount because it was exactly enough for a yoga teacher training program I’d been eying.
(Then I got the actual check and cursed a blue streak at how much more than usual had been taken out for taxes, since the government saw it and thought I had gotten, like, a 200% raise and deducted a higher percentage than usual. My dad assured me I’d get it back with my tax refund, but I was — am — still a little bitter.)
That was December 2011.
I still haven’t completed a YTT program.
For one, that particular program lasts five months and includes nine weekend workshops that take place Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday. Plus I think you need to observe a bunch of yoga classes and stuff on your own time during the week.
Giving up that many weekends — even to something rewarding, that I really want to do — is daunting. It is a rare month that I don’t go out of town at least once (often for a holiday or family event, like my brother’s med school graduation in May), so I’d need to wait for a session that coordinates (as much as possible) with my schedule.
Then I would have to not be training for a major race because something like 16-20 hours of yoga each weekend would seriously cut into my training time.
Plus hope my husband would be okay with me not being around so many weekends (he would be, because he’s awesome, but I’d want to talk it over with him and make sure he’s fully away of the YTT schedule).
So there was always something keeping me from pulling the trigger and signing up.
Then I got laid off and decided maybe I should focus on finding a new job and on budgeting because who knows how long that would take, and dropping over two grand didn’t seem like the best idea.
Then I left my new job and again, had to budget budget budget while I focused on building a freelance writing career.
At some point a few months in to that endeavor, I went to a running meet-up and got into a conversation with a guy, and somehow it turned to me talking about how I want to write fiction, write a novel, and he was all “Well why aren’t you doing it now? Just start. What are you waiting for? You need to believe in yourself and make yourself write.”
And me being me, I just sort of hemmed and hawed and was like “I don’t know, I guess you’re right, random guy I barely know.”
What I should have said was “Right now, I need to focus the majority of my discipline and creative energy on growing my business. Fiction will still be there when my career is more established and I can shift my priorities a bit.”
I know there’s not actually a guarantee of that. You might call me naive and overly optimistic, but you know what? Telling people to “live every day like it’s your last” and to do all the things now because you don’t know for sure if you’ll get a chance to do them later is stupid.
If I lived every day like it was my last, I’d never pay my bills, or do the laundry, or wash dishes, or put gas in my truck, or go grocery shopping, or make doctor’s appointments, literally anything that I need to do to function as an adult (or at least, maintain the pretense that I can function as an adult).
And if I tried to do all the passion projects and side gigs I want to accomplish all at once — complete YTT, get certified as a dog trainer, open a yoga studio/brewery, write a novel, run a 1:40 half marathon, hike Mt. Whitney, hike the PCT, visit every major league ballpark, and on and on — obviously I’d fail miserably at everything.
There is a time and place for everything. It is totally okay to put things off for “one day.” You need to trust that “one day” will come in its time.
One day, I will have the money available and be able to adjust my schedule and priorities so I can complete yoga teacher training.
One day, I will do the same for a dog training certification, and I will be able to dedicate time each week to use it while volunteering with shelters and rescue groups (I’m serious. I totally want to go through an official dog training program both for personal benefit, because Husband and I plan to have many dogs in our family over our lives, and as a way to give back).
One day, I will finally, finally figure my shit out with writing and finish a damn novel.
photo via snapwire snaps // cc // modified in photoshop