Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

And So The Countdown Begins...

by : 
Bethan Morgan

I don’t know about you, but my life often seems to be one big countdown. There is always something I am counting down to, whether it’s a holiday or the end of exams. But does this mean I’m not living life to the full?

I remember on my year abroad in Spain that along with my housemate I was counting down the weeks, days, and eventually hours until I could go home and see my family again. This was perhaps an exceptional example as I do suffer from homesickness and just wanted to be back with my family and friends, but at the same time I can’t help feeling that maybe I would have appreciated my time there more if I hadn’t been so focussed on my countdown. Obviously I still did things like go on trips to new places and make sure I met up with new friends, but looking back I think I sometimes took my time there for granted.

Another more recent example is when my countdown until the end of exams (and therefore the end of university) began. It is understandable to want to look forward to the end of exams, as they aren’t something that anyone enjoys and I think everyone wants them over as soon as possible. But my time at university has been incredibly enjoyable, so why did I count down until it ended?

There is even technology to help you countdown, if you don’t fancy using a plain old calendar: I recently downloaded an app onto my iPad into which I put the date and time of my holiday and then it automatically started a countdown for me. I have seen many of my friends on various social network sites uploading photos of their own countdowns, usually towards a holiday. And yes, I am also guilty of doing this, as I think it adds to the excitement.

I think it’s a question of finding a balance between enjoying what you are doing at the moment and looking forward to something in the future. Countdowns seem to help the time go faster towards the thing which you are looking forward to, however that sometimes means missing out on something which is happening now. So as long as you are making the most of now, I say keep on counting!

Discussion

Do you think it's a good idea to do countdowns? What kind of thing do you count down to?