Do you have moments like that? Moments you start worrying about the future? I do. Of course I do. We all do, right? Especially being a parent, having kids, a family. Life is different. You are no longer responsible for just only yourself and your well-being. There is so much more on stake. Now you have the responsibility for your kids as well.
When I still lived in Switzerland, still single or maybe in a relationship with someone, I never really worried about the future. I thought a lot about my future but I was never really worried. You are young and you have your ideas and plans and where I grew up things were good, you know. You never had to worry about getting a job as there was always something around.
It is all about your plans. The future seems wide open and exciting and you feel like you can conquer everything. Until the day you become a parent.
That moment changes everything. You start worrying about your child, about your baby’s health, about making mistakes, about not being a good enough parent. Suddenly there are things you take much more serious. And you watch your baby grow and maybe you have another child and then you worry again about the same things and more. Will they get along, am I showing both of them how much I love them.
And you start worrying about their future. About their chances to get a job. So you start thinking about the right education for them of course. But what to pick, right? And what if the school you pick will end up being one of the schools with the highest bullying rate? What about the finances? Will we be able to provide our kids with everything they need, with the proper education, with a little help to get started if they need it to. Will we always be able to support them?
And we worry… And we do worry about ourselves too. Maybe less… And our worries are about our future and our kids future. All those worries! They do make sense in a way but then on the other sides, they don’t.
The future is such a huge thing (wise, right…)! If we spend all our time worrying about it, how can we live in the moment? How can we be and do what we are supposed to be and do right in this very moment? Can we influence the future with all that we do right now? No we can’t.
There is always something that won’t go according to plan. And we will not be able to change it.
If you would have told me 15 years ago that I would celebrate New Years Eve 2014 in Australia, living there with two kids and my husband, I would have pictured it either differently or not at all. My future back then would have looked differently. And I was working towards that goal back then.
But then things did not go exactly according to plan. Some in a good way, some in a bad way at that moment. But everything came together pretty nicely again.
And this is what I kind of mean. Worrying about your future does not really make sense. We never know where we will go. We have only a tiny influence in it. We can try and we can plan and we can build on something. Maybe we manage to prevent us from hitting the wall we are worried about. Maybe not.
Now, when I get to the point where I start worrying about the future, I remind myself that it only stops me from being in the now. It stops me from doing something now. Or it makes me run around like a headless chicken… And that is dangerous. You lose your focus, your ability to think clear and to move forward. At least that is what it does to me.
Don’t worry about the future. And when you do, take those worries, put them in a little box and look at them. And then decide if you are able to change anything now or not. If you can, do it, slowly, step by step. If not, keep your worries in this box and every now and then re-assess them.
Live in the now and focus on what you can do and influence at this very moment.