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One Reason Why It’s ‘now or Never’
Have you ever wanted to take on something important, but the timing never seems to be right?
When you think through your pro’s and con’s, do you find yourself tucking those plans back on the shelf? Well, take comfort in the knowledge that you’re not the only person who’s struggled with the decision to move forward or postpone. But what if I told you that one realisation can make all the difference?
In my final years of school, I planned to be a lawyer, but a fork in the road saw me married at 17 and occupied with other priorities. I started a business at 18, had my first child at 21 and was altogether absorbed in my domestic and fiscal responsibilities. I still wanted to be a lawyer, but I couldn’t see how I could step out of my existing life and into that of a student for four years.
Shortly before my second child was born, I realised that life was unlikely to become any less demanding. I was quite sure the next few years weren’t going to present me with an abundance of leisure time, and if I really did want to be a lawyer, it was ‘now or never’. Not in the sense that the opportunity would pass, but with a clear understanding that it would never present itself ideally. There would always be one thing or another preventing me from making the necessary commitment.
So, at 23, with a rather large belly, I waddled off to night classes to complete my HSC and (following an interstate move with a six-month-old baby) applied for university the following year.
What began as a four-year goal dragged out to six years as the need to continue working and caring for two young children was factored in. There were many nights that I fell asleep on the edge of my child’s bed, and more still when I wondered if I’d lost the plot entirely. There were the usual family dramas that accompany the raising of small humans; sickness, financial constraints and the consequences of being so isolated from my extended family. But part way through my degree we returned to New South Wales and I completed the coursework by correspondence. That had its own challenges, but I finished.
I did my post-graduate studies the following year and was admitted as a solicitor in October 2000.
So, what’s the one reason it’s ‘now or never’?
I remember many occasions when I studied with children underfoot and listened to lectures while I bathed them or cooked dinner. Every one of those days was filled with reasons why I should put things off until there was a better time. But there is never a better time. Unless we take control of it, time has a unique ability to occupy itself; to fill its own schedule and set its own agenda.
When my son was a toddler, I nursed him to sleep as I read the Australian Constitution. It was my homework of course, but I read it like a bedtime story, and he was completely engaged. As I looked into his eyes though, I found it hard to imagine my baby boy as the primary school student he would be before I graduated. It seemed so far off; almost unattainable. But that little boy is almost 27 now, married and completing his own post-graduate studies. Time passes. That’s the reason.
Six years came and went whether I studied or not. The next six years will pass just as matter-of-factly, and if I’m still around, I’d like to think I’ve put them to good use. I don’t know what they’ll hold, but I’m certain there’s no pause button, and experience reminds me that distant milestones will soon be upon me.
There are endless reasons to put things off, but if something is really important to you, you’ll find a way. One reason is all you need. Time won’t wait. Let that be the reason and just start.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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