Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

It’s The Middle of the Year

Or how our calendar puts pressure on us.

Lisa Wel
Lisa Wel
Jul 25, 2020 · 4 min read

It’s the middle of the year, and the pandemic stole half of it.

My confinement wasn’t eye-opening. I had no aha-moment like half the planet pretends they had: I just experienced frustration and social banning — and I gained 8 pounds.

How would I get my social life back after that chaotic experience?

The virus had stolen my joie de vivre in exchange for that deep feeling of loneliness. I needed to get it back to feel alive again. While masks were still hiding half Paris’ face, terraces and restaurants started smiling again. Yet, I was not ready.

I took a look at the calendar and had a feeling of emergency. “Damn! There are only six months left this year!” I thought.

But are there only six months left?

Around January of this year, I came across a Twitter account called «year progress».

It was around 5% when I added their app on my phone. As I opened my phone a few mornings ago, there it was;

The bar had hit 50%.

I realized there ain’t six months left.

There are minutes, days, months, and decades left.

Why do I always have to set boundaries and limits according to the calendar? Dan Pink, author of When explains that we tend to wait for a calendar beginning before we get started. A new week, a new month, or a new year. Dates can give us a boost, help us finish our work thanks to a deadline, sure.

But it also puts pressure on us.

Our brains and bodies have a biological rhythm that we must listen to. Many civilizations followed the seasons and the Sun for thousands of years. Yet, they achieved much more than some of us do, without all the means we have at our disposal today.

Being aware of what’s around us helps us be in sync and more aligned within us.

So why do we let the tick rule our time when our body knows exactly what “time” it is?

We are every minute of every day. We can start anytime, and we don’t have to wait to be in sync with the calendar.

As a self-help freak, those squares make me feel bad. As if I had obligations to keep up with something unstoppable. Missing a day is like missing in my life.

I “have to” do my 60 minutes yoga session, I “have to” write for 30 minutes.

I’m so attached to having a routine and being consistent, that my days have become the sum of my obligations. I have constant expectations of what I “have to” achieve. As a result, I compete against myself — which is terrible. When I want it too much and do not succeed, the only thing I achieve is hating myself because I am not enough.

But not enough compared to what or whom?

If I removed the calendar from my brain, there would never be “I have to…before” anymore. I’d turn that into “I will…when I’m ready”.

We can be enough every day if we let ourselves be and know what matters to us. We must accept that we are unique, and so is our pace. There is no one size fits all and anyone can succeed with their own set of tools.

Time often puts us in stressful situations because we want to be in sync with the rest of the world.

My life is a roller coaster. I had many ephemeral ups and many downs because I’ve always followed successful people’s advice. As a result, I feel like I’m not enough because I can’t keep up with their pace.

Missing a deadline or taking more time to reach a certain level is too often considered as failing. Sometimes we fail so many times in a row that we don’t even want to try to get back on track.

Beating myself up was the best strategy to give up. I considered myself a failure until it changed.

Occulting my deadlines gives me a sense that I still have time to succeed and that failures are part of my journey.

I figured it’s not always about motivation, consistency, and productivity. It’s also about being vulnerable, accepting, and doing things my way.

I started seeing my calendar as a timeline or an infinite road. There will be little challenges in the middle, like checkpoints, and it’ll be OK to miss a few because it’s not lost. It’s postponed.

They say life is short, but it’s long enough to accomplish what matters to me today, and tomorrow.

Not only six months.

💌 Feel free to contact me at iamlisawel@gmail.com

Change Becomes You

Life advice that will (actually) change your life.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store