I’ve been thinking a lot lately about that whole concept of “someday” and things you’d like to do. Mainly because I’ve seen a lot of these quotes posted on social media… and I’ve got a lot of distress about what I want to do “someday” and what I’m doing “today”.
“Never put off tomorrow what you can do today.”
“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
“Never leave that until tomorrow what you can do today.”
There are so many variants of this quote. Also, they’re attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, George Gobel, and probably numerous other people who may have used the quote in a speech or casual conversation. There’s also a variant about procrastinating to later than tomorrow attributed to Twain.
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”
That version is attributed to Pablo Picasso. It reminds you that you will die, in case you forget.
“Excuses are for people who don’t want it bad enough.”
That version attempts to shame you into getting $#it done and I won’t be shamed into my “goals” by an internet graphic!
Here’s the thing… it’s good to have goals/dreams/ideas of things you’d like to do. I would like to:
- Run on trails more often
- Run an ultramarathon
- Sleep until I wake up naturally, slowly eat breakfast, exercise, shower leisurely, lounge with a book, and never cook again.
But it may not always be the right time to do those things. For example:
- My work day starts at 7 am, it’s hot all summer, I’m not comfortable exploring new trails in the dark when the weather is cooler… so more trail running is hard to fit in.
- I feel like ultramarathon success would take a support system. People that encourage you to get out the door to fit in long runs and who don’t mind if you are gone on training runs for hours at a time.
- I have a child and a full-time job… this won’t happen for a long time, if ever!
But these memes are passed around, trying to shame us into making hasty decisions and comparing our efforts against those of others. So I start to feel bad about myself that I can’t run hours on end like my friends who have older children and/or no jobs. I feel bad about myself when I see people posting about their loving spouse who says “You’re happier when you do this, go fit it in.” I feel bad about myself when people talk about their kids who sleep in and eat everything they cook.
Stepping back… I run enough to keep myself reasonably fit. I have run a lot of different race distances over the years and a lot of different race terrains. I have employees and colleagues who respect me and whom I genuinely enjoy being around. I have the flexibility to start working in my pajamas or sweaty running clothes if my child has a rough morning. There are positive things in my “today” life.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t go after dreams, but I think a lot of people are a little too hasty in decisions because they’re trying to keep up with the images they see presented on social media. And you know, sometimes you think you want to do something then realize later on that probably wasn’t so smart. (I’m guessing every butterfly tramp stamp falls into this category.)
Sometimes, you just need to find the right time to do things for you as an individual.
And if I never run an ultra before I die… I’m sure I will be okay with that. I’ll be dead, I kind of doubt that point will be filled with regret.