When the decades of life are attached to a societal norm of being, looking around often answers the question, “Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing?”

Children are children, and when someone acts as a child does, the response elicited is often to stop acting like a child. Further, we are scolded to grow up. Not far out of childhood, it’s no wonder that the monikers attached to teens are often – indecisive, sulky, uncommunicative, and secretive.

According to research, the twenties is the decade of life most people, when asked, would want to return to … it is a period recollected as fun and free. Twenty-somethings are setting up households in new cities, towns and villages and even in new states. They are alone, many for the first time, in places far from home and without the presence of their immediate families. They are deemed an adventurous lot; exploring the possibilities that they have created for themselves.

In our thirties, we are supposed to be settled, and starting a new phase with families and careers of our own. The forties are for staying the term, buckling down and saving for education and retirement. Final push in the fifties to complete what we started, retire and have some time for ourselves to do the things that a caretaker never has time for …. self-care.

Sixties+ are reserved for pure enjoyment! Many return to the twenties way of thinking and begin new hobbies or start businesses in a completely different direction. Others are enjoying grandchildren and families, or traveling to see the world. Still others are grieving the loss of a spouse and giving themselves time to heal.

The focus of each decade is always the same however the verbiage changes. There’s moving forward, looking forward, and keeping up with; there’s commencement, graduation, planning for the future, what to do next, and bucket-lists to complete before moving on to the next thing. Multitasking helps us accomplish these endeavors in a way that propels us to the next project.

It seems to me that we live in the future when our future is actually right now – in the present. It takes some mindful mental effort to slow down our thoughts and be here right now and not thinking about what we could, should or would be doing if we weren’t doing the task we really are doing.

Sounds simple, right? Try it: when you’re vacuuming – just vacuum. When your mind starts to wander off onto the hamster wheel of thoughts that everyone’s does… bring yourself back to the present task without judgment or berating yourself by asking, “What am I doing right now?” Answer: “I’m vacuuming.” That’s it.

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Elizabeth Viszt
Elizabeth is a certified Educational Specialist and Success Coach. She has a BA, MS in biology with a concentration in ethology (animal behavior), is an EAGALA Equine Specialist in equine assisted learning and personal development, and has extensive personal leadership skills. She spent much of her career in education at the high school, college and correctional facility levels teaching biology & chemistry and acting in the capacity of a success coach. Elizabeth presents workshops and seminars which address communication issues as they manifest in personal relationships. She uses writing as both a creative and cathartic outlet, especially after losing both of her parents to cancer in 2015. She lives in upstate NY, on a farm that bears the name of her motto: Be Unreasonable! She's invested in empowering others in moving their pieces forward in the world.

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