A friend of mine was on the receiving end of a jealous tirade recently. She’d mentioned a project she was finishing and then had to sit through a rendition of, “Oh, I wish I had time to work on something like that. But I have kids and (insert any of the million things that people say when they’re on one of these tirades).”
Now my friend also has children, and when they were small, she too didn’t have as much time to work on projects. But they are now grown, and her time is more of her own again.
Sadly, to point that out to the complainer would not have made much difference, because the poor person was infected with the “I want it all and I want it now syndrome.” And it seems that more and more people have come down with this disease.
I like to blame the rise of the credit card, which made it possible for people to buy things without saving up for them. Getting used to having anything the second we want it, we think that the same process should be true for other areas in life as well. We should be able to go to school, have a job, be a good parent, go to the gym five times a week, cook every dish on our Pinterest board, and have romantic evenings with our significant others. All in the same day.
Except that time is one tough taskmaster. It does not give advances or extensions. We are constantly being forced to make choices, and some of them are hard. So then we lash out at people who have made different choices or are at different stages in their lives.
Maybe a more productive way of looking at things is to realize that few choices are forever. Children grow up. Degrees are earned. Projects finish. And there will be a time for new and different choices.
So for the time being, just enjoy the choices you’ve made for this time in your life. And try to let others do the same.