Dear Young Professional,
Recently I was speaking with a friend who was telling me of young woman her daughter is friends with who shared excitement about being pregnant. I find this story funny. My friend’s response struck me funny, not the funny LOL, but funny in how she views the sequence of events.
See this young woman, like my soon to be official “niece-in- law” are getting married after starting a family with their chosen life partner. This story is another shared experience for us to contemplate if tradition (marriage then babies) has any inherent value on relationship, success or happiness, then “living life backwards”.
This example is about bringing life into this world, but this question about tradition and value applies to many situations.
To me the answer lies in “it depends”. It depends:
- Regardless of sequence of events, do you have the RIGHT partner?
- Now that’s a loaded question Right?
- Whether you are the one carrying a child or the partner who will be an equal parent, was a
family in your life plans? Or if uncertain, are you open to the possibility?
- Is this joyous event something you are prepared to support emotionally and financially
Structure and process are important, I mean if you going to get an operation, you want to follow the process and have the anesthesiologist do their part before the surgeon starts right?
This comment just made me think “Is there a benefit for the traditional structure of how we view marriage and family in past generations?” As always, I look at my own experiences and family to gain insight.
In my personal family situation, my nephew and his fiancé have a beautiful healthy happy boy (almost 2) and with the wedding approaching this summer, they are (for the most part) enjoying the process of preparation.
I also think about what I learned in 7 Habits for Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. In 7 Habits Covey talk about taking care of the BIG ROCKS. In life, whether it be the personal or professional side of life, sequence may not be as important as focus.
I want to be respectful and recognize that to many people, sequence is important as it frequently comes from a place of deep belief. If one is being honest and authentic, that is what is important.
This example is about starting a family, however, if you have been reading my posts for awhile you know I believe it’s about driving the life outcomes you want.
First, know your destination. What does a fulfilled, joyous life look like to you? Then search for and filter out those items that do not support your destination.
Maybe for you:
- Life is about focusing on yourself and career now and you see settling down with a partner and possible family later down the road
- Finding that one RIGHT partner
o Hint: If you are not fully baked in knowing yourself and your needs, it’s hard to know
what you want/need in a partner
- Freedom to choose and change is important to you, then be careful of making decisions that tie you down either financially or emotionally that are difficult to extract from
I guess after reflection, the lesson is there is more than one right answer. Life rarely, if ever, is a straight path. Often when you get off the highway and find your way back, you learn and grow. Choose the one answer that feels right to you.