Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Counting down the days ...

by : 
EmilyW

Many people, myself included, find it very difficult to live in the moment: that is, to appreciate the present and never look backwards or forwards. For me, it feels like there is so much to look forward to that wishing that time would pass faster becomes a terrible habit.

I was so excited to start my year abroad in October that I spent the whole summer counting down the days until I could move to France. But once I arrived, although I loved it, I couldn't wait until the Christmas holidays. At home in December, I was looking forward to going back so much that the countdown began again! Now I'm left with only seven weeks left in this wonderful country, but I'm caught in a dilemma. On one hand, I can't wait for summer – no more work, lots of sun and a holiday with my best friends. However, on the other hand, I don't want my time in France to come to an end!

I have realised that I spend a lot of time looking ahead to what's coming next in my life. I can admit that this may sometimes stop me from living in the present. If you're always more excited about the future than the present, it is almost impossible to properly enjoy or appreciate your everyday life.

Looking back on my time in France, I wish it had gone even slower than it has. I do feel like I've made the most of my six months here, but I did spend a lot of time counting down. Whether it was wishing the weekend would come faster when I was having a boring day at school, wanting January to disappear because I was too cold or wishing a few weeks away because I wanted my boyfriend to come and visit me sooner, I spent a lot of time looking at the future, not the present. Now I'm actually dreading going back to university: I won't be getting paid anymore, I won't have as much free time and I'll have to start thinking about essays and presentations again.

I wish I could slow down the time I have left here but as I know that is impossible, I have instead resolved to make the most of the time and enjoy every day. Whether I wish for the time to go faster or slower, nothing will change, so I might as well stop worrying about how long I have left and enjoy it! That way, when I look back on my year abroad I will never feel like I wasted time by counting down until the summer.

Discussion
Do you spend more time thinking about the future or the present?