Hello, lovely reader! How are you doing? Did you have a nice weekend?
I know I said I wouldn’t write too much Fringe-based bloggery while I’m away, but I’m afraid this one does start with an Edinburgh issue. (It doesn’t stay there, I promise. It moves swiftly onto more general silliness.)
One of the strangest side-effects of being at the Fringe is that you find out a lot about people based on how they behave here. This is especially true when it comes to time management. There are people who plan their time to the very last second, with colour-coded, highlighted schedules. There are also people who have a vague idea of what they want to see, but who are happy to go with the flow. And then there are people like my friend Harry, who try to do way too much too soon and end up, five days in, lying on the floor in the middle of the day and singing “Smack That” to themselves.
At the Fringe and in real life, everyone has very different approaches to planning their time and achieving what they want to do. Some people panic as birthdays approach because they see age as part of a huge, colour-coded schedule that we are supposed to blindly follow. Surely by 25 we should know what we want to do with our lives, surely by 35 we should have met the person we’re going to marry, and surely by 45 we should have stopped enjoying Lego. (Never stop enjoying Lego, by the way. Lego is awesome.)
Others tend to amble happily through, cheerily meeting long-term partners and exploring career opportunities as they go. Being slightly more laid back about when you achieve your life goals means that you’re more likely to be ok if things don’t go the way you expect them to. Crises and bizarre eventualities are disconcerting enough as it is: if you have an imaginary schedule with post-it notes and a symbol key, it’s a nightmare.
The other thing about being more relaxed about this stuff is that it has a knock-on effect on your own self-esteem and the people around you. If you are frantically concerned about not being married before you’re 40 (or whatever) you will obviously discuss it with your friends. Your friends in turn are more likely to get the idea into their own heads – the power of suggestion and all that – and then they will start to worry about themselves, too. Before you know it everyone’s too worried about hitting an imaginary deadline to enjoy what they’re actually doing in life.
In terms of your self-esteem, you do not have to let go of your dreams or ideals if things don’t materialise the way you expect them to. If you’re not married when you thought you would be, not living in the kind of house you dreamed of, or even rocking a hairstyle that you’re not entirely happy with, you’re still absolutely fine. Things not happening when you think they should doesn’t mean they never will – it just means not now.
Have a sensational Monday.