I’ve been thinking a bit about life choices and procrastination this week.
For me, saving “enough” money to do something is a form of procrastination. Of delaying making a decision, and ultimately delaying doing anything. I’m using quotations around the word “enough” because I’m not talking about literally enough money to do it. By “enough”, I mean having enough in savings for it not to matter if I spend some of it. But this never happens.
I (and I don’t think I’m alone in this) always think I should be saving money. And, in some cases, I use this as an excuse not to do something that I’m a bit afraid of doing.
I’ve been stalling about doing a masters degree for 8 years. I said I would work until I could afford to continue my studies. I kept working, and I kept saying “I can’t afford a masters.” Really, I think I was just scared of my chosen university rejecting me. Or of no longer being clever enough to do a degree.
But I put myself out there, and my first fear turned out to be unfounded. I’ve just been offered a place on a MSc course at the University of Bristol. I’m still a bit worried about finding the money for it. But as my very wise colleague said to me, “You will never have enough money to do a masters. Just like, it is never the right time for you to have a child.” I’ll find the money because I have to. Really, I could have done it years ago.
It got me thinking of all the thinks I said I couldn’t afford to do, when it was really about something else.
I’ve wanted a tattoo since I was about ten years old. I remember admiring people who had tattoos on show as my parents were passing judgement. Ultimately, it was my parent’s disapproval, rather than the money, that made me hold off until I was twenty four.
I love blogging, and would love to have the money to invest in this blog. Or at least, that’s what I always thought. But when an email landed in my inbox this week, saying that Susannah Conway’s Blogging from the Heart course was open for registration, and I immediately dismissed it because “I didn’t have enough money” I stopped and thought about why. The course is £117. I have more than that in my bank account. I say that I love blogging and would like to invest in it. Could it be that I don’t want to invest in my blog because, if I up my game and still have an obscure site with no readers, I’ll feel like a failure? Is failure worse than not even trying? I signed up for the course.
You know, sometimes you need to just fucking do it. I can make more money every single month.
Obviously I won’t spend all the money that I earn. But I’m starting to realise that I am at risk of wasting my life waiting to have “enough” money. Money has become a convenient way of opting out of anything that challenges me, and by letting that happen I’m not doing things that will be rewarding or bring me joy.
How about you? What are the excuses you use for putting off the big scary things you want to do?