Our friends who were married a week following our wedding are celebrating their son's first birthday next month. I said to Jody, "Good thing it isn't a race."
Can you imagine if it were? Well, I suppose some people think it is... always racing to get ahead. Sometimes I think that approach gets you as far as the guy who guns it when the light goes green, only to be stuck at the next red light. So, if that's true (and it's open for debate, I admit) - how do we know when to go full throttle and when to enjoy the ride?
Just think of all the idioms we have: he fast-tracked his career; she breezed through business studies; their son skipped a grade; she raced the clock. It's implied that faster is better. Frankly, it scares me to see advertisements along the lines of, "Become a medical assistant in half the time of other schools!" Do they skip units? Cram even more knowledge into eager brains? Only teach the most common ailments and assure the students they can learn everything else on the job???
I suppose that if the aim is to skip the boring bits and get to the good stuff of life, that can be a positive thing... but I'm glad we aren't bound to complete tasks by a certain age or on a timeline. Certainly there's pressure to, but we aren't stuck at one stage of life until we complete an obligatory task.
A fast-track approach to a career is great, if the individual is driven (another road-related idiom!) or gifted. Speeding up your schooling works for some, while for others it exposes gaps in social development. But I feel that life is for living, and the pace may be relentless but at least it's variable! Life doesn't have a curriculum, and although you might get odd looks or lectures if you graduate/learn to drive/move out/get married/have children/get joint bank accounts/learn to cook too early - or too late - in someone else's opinion, it is just that - their opinion.
At the moment, I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything - and I have so much to look forward to! How about you? Does a brisk pace suit you? Do you want to do everything all at once? Or are you content to detour, and plan your own scenic route?