“I'll start on Monday” or how to stop stopping and start starting
What the Delayed Life syndrome is, how it interferes with life, and what to do about it.
Copyright: cottonbro, Pexels
Delayed life syndrome is a way of thinking in which a person does not live in the present, but as if writing a draft, internally preparing oneself for a better life. That could have been all right, but the problem is that this “better life” never comes, and the person looks back on the years that have passed and realizes that he never had time to really live it.
How it happens
Imagine a young family; a mom, a dad, and a young daughter. Five years ago, they moved into an apartment that they inherited, along with the apartment, they inherited several worries like old ruined furniture, plenty of unnecessary items, and walls that need to be repaired etc. On the very first day, the young family decided that they needed to change everything in the apartment, but never put those words into action.

It's been 5 years, and the wallpaper in the hallway is still falling off, the shabby furniture is still in its place, and the mess left by the previous owners, only grows and spreads. You might be thinking: “I guess the family doesn't have any money” but they do, all this time they've been putting off repairs and getting their things in order, simply because they've been waiting, not for anything in particular, just for better times.

They were constantly worrying about the lack of comfort, fighting over the mess, but doing nothing. Every time they talked about cleaning up the mess and doing at least some minor cosmetic repairs, they came to the conclusion: “What's the point? Let's buy a bigger apartment and then…”
Copyright cottonbro: Pexels
The thought seems reasonable if you do not notice that because of this, in 5 years the spouses have not invited friends to visit even once. They have not spent a single cozy evening enjoying the pleasures of home activities, have not felt how wonderful it is to be in a house that you love. They haven't bought a new apartment yet, and they continue to live as they did, irritated by their discontent.

The family I told you about exists in reality… I'm almost certain about it because even if this story is fictional, it is assembled from the many stories that have accumulated on my hard drive.

Only cities, names, details change, but the point remains the same: some people cannot enjoy life because they are constantly waiting for “better times”. The problem is, those times never come, and life passes.
Why it is dangerous to put life on hold

There is nothing wrong with putting off some actions until a more appropriate moment. The main thing is that it should not become the philosophy of life.

People with delayed life syndrome often catch themselves waiting many years for some event to start enjoying life. What might these events be? They can be anything, for example:

— I'll lose weight, and then I'll start buying nice clothes.
— I'll pay my mortgage, and then I'll go on vacation.
— My kids will grow up, and then I'll start living for myself.

… And so on.

The main negative consequence of delayed life syndrome is that while waiting for “better times,” a person misses life itself. He focuses on the future and misses the present, which makes up the puzzle called “happiness”. Unfortunately, the desired future may never come and so many beautiful things will already be missed.
Copyright: Liza Summer, Pexels
There are times when a person does wait for the “right” event, but it does not bring the happiness that was expected, simply put, the person may be disappointed in the dream that came true and then things only worsen; apathy, resentment, or even depression set in.

There is also another negative factor, the impact on one’s health. If you constantly put off your desires and do not listen to yourself, irritation and dissatisfaction will accumulate inside. Eventually, this emotional bomb will explode and splash out in the form of a nervous breakdown or psychosomatic illness.
How to deal with Delayed Life syndrome
If you do catch yourself putting off life until “better times”, you need to make a change. Here's what you can do now.

Let yourself just be
Not thinking, not doing, but just being present in the moment (yes, just like that song). The best way to practice this skill is to try meditation and mindfulness practices.

Here's the easiest and most effective one;

Take a couple of minutes, distract yourself from everything, and try to hear all the sounds that surround you, do the same thing with smells, with colors, with tactile sensations. Repeat this practice every day, and you'll soon begin to notice that you are “grounded” and beginning to truly experience life.

Celebrate achievements
Even the tiniest ones. The best way to learn how to enjoy the process is to divide the desired result into many small steps and reward yourself for each of them. Reward yourself with something really enjoyable, something that makes you happy, and do not forget to praise yourself properly!

Live beautifully
Older generations have a habit of having things for a special occasions. Our mothers and grandmothers taught us to save the most beautiful and expensive things “for the guests”. Forget about it! Throw away the unloved assorted plates and get those very parade-ready plates, make use of them every day to create a feast, not just when guests come over.

Surround yourself with aesthetically pleasing things to look at, everything you use every day should make you feel good. Why not start enjoying life right now?

Get a hobby you love
Interest and hobbies (not work related!) are another way to get a taste of life and learn how to live right now, for example; yoga is based on the ability to keep your balance, so you concentrate on the sensations in your body during the class and learn to think only about the present, drawing, photography, or handwork help you hear your own thoughts and unleash your creative energy.

By the way, tidying up and doing chores can be a real therapy for deferred life syndrome. If you approach the process creatively and consciously, you simultaneously kill two birds with one stone: you organize the space and realize that the process can be as enjoyable as the result.

Get support
Anything can be handled when you have support. If you feel that it's hard to get rid of deferred-life syndrome on your own, enlist the help of a psychologist or just share it with the people you love and ask for support.
I'm ready to be your support too, that's undoubtedly what I was created to do. Every day I help thousands of people to bring order, harmonize space, and enjoy simple things. I’m here if you need something, you know where to find me. I'll run to prepare the next article for you.

See you later,
your Clea.
Your personal clean-up coach
Clea N.