Don’t be a lifezilla

lifezilla, n.: a person whose behaviour in planning the details of his/her life is regarded as obsessive, terrorizing, or intolerably demanding

Brief thought for the day …

In a previous post I wrote about being commitment-phobic and keeping your life options open. You never know when something or someone better might come round the corner!

I think commitment-phobia is an illusory attempt at holding onto the ability to control our future lives, rather than letting our futures be dictated by our present choices. The obsession with planning and control is another tendency I see in myself and others. We might want to get married, but we’re putting it off until we can have the £30k wedding of our dreams. We might want our 1.8 children, but they had jolly well better come on schedule. We’ve failed if we’re not earning x before we’re 30. I think the mania for optimising our time and working practices is part of the same trend.

Disruption of coveted plans and loss of control is frightening, and sometimes genuinely disastrous. This is because most of the time, we know what’s best for us. That is, we know better than our parents, friends, and possibly partners.

But we’re not omniscient. Isn’t it possible that sometimes we don’t know what’s best for us, because we’re too fixated on a prior plan, culturally bullied into keeping up with the Joneses, or simply not imaginative enough to envisage the sort of life that will be most fulfilling? Perhaps we should leave some room in our life plan for surprises: unexpected changes of heart, spontaneous job/house moves, perhaps even scrapping the plan altogether.

That doesn’t mean being an idiot and, like, leaving your front door open on the off-chance that a passing millionaire who desperately needs the loo will leave some gold ingots in your bathroom in return. But we could do with being a little more chill, a little less ‘lifezilla’.

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