We’ve all gotten lost in a countdown at some point. Some of us get lost in them all the time. Maybe it’s because we’re excited for something. We build it up SO much in our minds that the anticipation takes hold of our concentration and focus. Maybe it’s because we’re stuck in a rut that makes us so unhappy that we count down the days in which we get a break from it.
Regardless of the situation, we’re robbing ourselves of something great.
We become so fixated on where we want to be; what we wish we were doing, that we miss out on where we ARE. And I know. Sometimes you want to escape where you are now or what you’re doing, but this is your life. We are on borrowed time. If it’s 25 years; 55 years or 100 years, it flies by so damn quickly.
So instead of counting down the days to vacation, come up with a plan to create a life you no longing have to escape from. Instead of counting down the days to your wedding, enjoy the process! Soak up every snippet of joy you can get from every situation. And yes, you can find joy in any situation.
I was 16 and sleeping on the floor next to my bed as my mother lay in there so sick from her latest round of chemo treatments. Although I was terrified of losing my mom, I found joy in her good days. I found joy in her excitement when she could finally keep down more than a Popsicle. I found joy, in her joy. If I had been simply counting down the days left to the chemo treatments I would’ve missed those moments with my mom. I would’ve missed seeing the incredible strength she carried with her. I would’ve missed enjoying what was very possibly the last moments I would’ve shared with my mom. If that had been the case I would’ve been left with a lifetime of regret. Instead I focused on creating little moments I could carry with me always. And I still have those. Thankfully my mom beat the odds – twice – but 14 years later I still have those memories.
Don’t get me wrong. I still catch myself counting down the days left for my vacation or even my wedding, but then I’ll stop myself and shift my focus on the here and now. I start to think about why I’m counting down to my vacation. What is it I’m trying to escape from. That’s my goal for 2015. To remove the things that create the need for a countdown. To remove the things that rob me of moments I could be doing something that makes me smile.