Timelines, Deadlines, & Holiday Cheer

Halloween is over. Thanksgiving is next week. Black Friday is next Friday (yes, in my world, Black Friday is a national holiday!), and Christmas is almost a month away. And yet, the social standard for starting to listen to Christmas music is still days away.

The day after Halloween, I changed my Facebook status and posed the question, “Halloween is over! Can I play Christmas music yet?” I proceeded to gain responses such as “No. The day after Thanksgiving,” and even “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASEEEEEEEE NOT YET!”

Well guess what? I don’t care. I started playing Christmas music that day. In fact, as I changed my status, I was bouncing off the walls in my Christmas hat and Rudolph nose singing Santa Baby.

Not really, but I would have if I had a Rudolph nose.

What drives us to make these kinds of silly restrictions on things that make us so happy? I look forward to Christmas all year long, starting as early as December 26th! Christmas is my favorite holiday and the Holidays are my favorite time of year. It pains me to realize that there are people out there that are literally begging me to not play Christmas music until less than a month before Christmas.

I for one sincerely dislike this mindset. Spreading Holiday cheer is one of my favorite things to do towards the end of the year. But since there is something odd about dressing up as Tinkerbell and singing Here Comes Santa Claus, I at least wait until after Halloween.

But November 1st is my holiday launch date. And this year I have stretched out the holidays as much as possible and am proud of it!

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only timeline we put on life. We have set deadlines for ourselves in so many respects:
We must take 4 years to graduate college.
By the time we graduate, we must figure out what career we want to pursue.
Once we pursue said career, we must find someone and be married by our late twenties.
If it doesn’t work out with said someone, we must be single for a certain number of months/years before getting into another relationship.
We must be in said relationship for a certain amount of time before we can marry them.
Once we’re married, we must have our first child before we’re 30.
And the timeline continues for said child.

This is the logic that drives us to unhappiness: pursuing careers we don’t want, marrying people we don’t love, dismissing those that we could love for a lifetime, bearing children we’re not ready for, and leading a life we don’t want. And for what? Because we are afraid of someone somewhere judging us for our decisions or begging us not to make them.

How unfortunate.

Here is what I have realized:

Life is too short for restrictions. We have to follow our heart, for our heart knows no boundaries.

Because here is the reality: life happens when you least expect it, not when you plan it. The one and only timeline we have starts the moment we are born to the moment we die. The rest of the time in between is your gift, your time, your life. Spend it wisely, spend it in a way that’s going to make you and you alone happy. No one and nothing else matter.

What a crime it would be to let a deadline stop your happily ever after.

So here’s what I say: throw on your Santa hat and reindeer boots, deck the halls with holiday cheer, and blast Jingle Bells from the rooftops. Better yet: sing it at the top of your lungs.

Welcome to life. There are no timelines.

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