I was reading one of my "dirty" magazines the other day, which by the way are neatly tucked behind the new Pottery Barn fall catalogues, and I discovered a very interesting article. [no wonder my sister the librarian enjoys my hand-me-down magazines, they aren't just filled with articles on how to laugh your way to an orgasm!] Anyway, this article talked about a social phenomenon referred to as drifting. Drifting apparently is when you find yourself moving through life without your own purpose. Allowing others to take the wheel, finding yourself in circumstances that you discover you have not made a firm decision to be in. It described scenarios such as your job, your living arrangements, your boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other. They describe it as being in situations that allow others to make decisions for you. At first I read this and thought, "wow that would really suck". "Who would want to live like that???" Then I really thought about it and realized [ Holy curse] I am a drifter!!! My life is dictated by my son's schedule, his fathers schedule, my work schedule, my fiance's schedule, his kids schedule and his ex-wife's schedule for that matter, my oldest son's schedule, my brothers schedule, my mother's schedule, every situation I am in is dictated by someone else. I am the biggest [cursing] drifter ever! This is where the anger set in followed by some serious cursing in my mind and followed up with some " who do they think they are to tell me what I can and can't do"?
After some time [ok, I admit this, probably a day or more--curse you dirty magazine article, I am going to stick with the hottest holiday fashion trends next month] I decided to focus on the parts about changing behaviors to avoid regret. I had to break this article down bit by bit , and put it into a 30 something age range and rationalize some more and realize those dreaded words stating that if you don't tune into yourself and change the drift your life will be filled with missed opportunities and regret were not necessarily true for every situation. [ really read those words, missed opportunities and regret! What the curse? That is total doom and gloom. See why I was so worried?]
Here is the good part I am not a drifter because I choose not to make my own life decisions, I am drifting because I am a mom, I am a good partner, and I am a helpful person [ some of that might be bull, but I have to rationalize this stuff somehow]. As we grow up and move on, our responsibilities aren't what they used to be. I can see how drifting is a problem when you find yourself in a situation where you wished you could have done something else with your life, in areas such as your career. Or when you realize that you may have chosen the wrong partner.
The reason I am writing about this is because all of us have been in situations that we may not exactly have wanted to be in, we may be "I don't care'ers" a little too much from time to time. Yet, here is the really good part, it's never too late to change anything! I have realized that I was a far greater drifter in the past. And while I will forever be indebted to my student loans [curse], I love my job. It was worth the 3 years of grad school and torture to be where I am today. My children will always come first, I suppose I will always be a drifter when it comes to them. And that's ok. My family will always be next on my list, and that is ok. My job, only because I care about it and I like what I do will be next, and that's a good thing. I can put my head on my pillow at night and rest soundly that I do not have missed opportunities or regret, and at the end of the day that's what matters. Finding who we are or who we want to be is the most important thing in life. Go ahead and drift a bit with your family, friends, even your job but never loose sight of your own goals. And change what you can. The struggle in life is the hardest part but also the most rewarding!