Why We Should Stop Counting Down

Based on this title, you might think I’m a boring, grey human who hates count downs because I can’t bare things like excitement or joy. And while this might be true before my cup of coffee in the morning, that is not what this article is about. I’m all for the 25 Days of Christmas. I’m a huge fan of getting overtly excited for the little things in life (like a Panera date with my best friend). In fact, in high school, I used to count down every five minutes that would go by in my Calculus class because I just couldn’t wait to be anywhere else.

But the more I find myself saying “just two more hours and I’ll be done with class,” or “just two more days and it’s the weekend,” I wonder if I’m being excited, or if I’m actually missing out on my life.

As I type this I’m sitting on a train in Italy. In less than twenty-four hours I’ll be on a plane to Berlin. Just thinking about it makes me jittery with excitement. The places I’ll see, the food I’ll eat, seeing my best friend. I’ve been looking forward to this trip for about a month now and with every passing day I find myself more anxious for it to begin. Earlier this week when I was cramming out papers, I just kept thinking “soon you’ll be on vacation.” But then I realized that also meant my study abroad journey would be coming to an end. And why would I ever wish to be away from that?

It’s a fine line between being excited and wasting your life away wishing for the future. In many ways, it’s almost as bad as being nostalgic for the past. How do you find this balance? Well, to start, you take a deep breath. Appreciate the ground beneath your feet, the clothes on your back. Look around at the people around you, the adorable little Italian boy who just sat down next to you. Life is so short. And I don’t want to spend another second of it wishing for what has been, or what will be.

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