I feel like I’m living every moment of my life in countdowns.

There are those exhausting countdowns. Years until I need to find a full-time job. Semesters I have left to complete my graduation requirements. Day I have left to complete my tasks for this week. Hours I have left to sleep tonight. Minutes before my phone dies. Seconds before this exam ends.

But some of these countdowns are somewhat constructive. By “constructive”, I mean instead of simply being a source of stress (which… they still are, in a lot of ways), they also serve as a reminder. An urge for me to do more, do better. Months I have as the leader of a club, but I’m not making enough changes. Weeks I have left in this internship, but I’m not learning enough skills. Days I have until winter break ends, but I didn’t finish this side project.

These constructive countdowns exist without a consequence. If I don’t do enough as a club leader, the club is probably going to survive. If I don’t learn faster in the internship, I still learned a lot. If I don’t finish this side project before break ends, oh well, it’s a side project.

This sounds almost masochistic to some, but I like living in constructive countdowns. And I’m starting to put every part of my life in a constructive countdown.

We take time for granted way too often. If there’s only a limited amount of time for me to do anything (which, universally, there is), I have to do it well. In 11 months, I will no longer be able to change how this club is running. In 16 weeks, I will not be able to contribute to the direction of the product that we’re building. And no, I didn’t finish that side project during winter break, and it looks like it’ll be a while until I can work on it again.

And there’s more. Some of these countdowns point towards a “variable”, thus I have no control over how much time there is left. My last relationship was almost like that, so I tried to enjoy every day we spend together. Having switched schools a lot when I was younger, I’ve grown to realize that most friendships are like that… you never know when it’s the last time you’ll be talking to that friend in a while. Life… in general… is like that.

I honestly don’t know why I wrote this piece. It feels like very shallow thought to me… and everything feels like common sense. But that’s okay. In an hour, I’ll be off this flight, and I’ll probably never edit this piece again.