I never really understood the root of this exasperating race. Who is chasing after us? Why do we feel like the clock is ticking all the damn time? Really, blessed are those who don't have this nag weighing over their heads.
Well, I never understood, until I heard myself spelling it out yesterday. At least to me, this is how it works:
The chase is not a mere function of running out of time. We make time. Our perspectives and the deadlines we choose to succumb to give or takeaway this time. (plus hey, we can always recalibrate: 30 is the new 20. 40 is the new 30, etc). But the chase - the restlessness - is really a disappointment with how well my decision-making machine works.
I have to forego another hour of my life because I burned the food (but by now - by this age - I know better than to burn the food).
I don't feel as far ahead in my career (but I should have known better; I should have made different moves).
I have to spend another 2 months in rehab (but I should have by now known better; I should have never let myself slip)
It's a frustration with mediocrity in spite of age. You think you're a seasoned adult, a master of your domain. Then baaam. You don't know how that shit works.
But then comes a time when you deliberately decide I am comfortable with taking my time. I am ok with burning the food so long as I learn something about myself. I feel fine going slow and steady rather than losing the flavor of living for the sake of some validation. When you've made peace with all of that, the race suddenly and uneventfully stops.
Note to self: Take your time. There are no full marks in life.