I don't believe in countdowns.
I no longer count the days, the sleeps, the nights, or the time until a certain event happens.
I read an article once that said that the majority of people measure satisfaction by reaching conclusions, milestones, and fixed events. The high point of their pleasure was reached once they got to a certain point after a long period of waiting and preparation.
However, people who take pleasure in the journey of getting somewhere or doing something end up achieving more and feel more satisfied because they enjoy the process as much as the conclusion, if not more.
I used to countdown to things when I was a kid. I did it for a while into adulthood, until I realized that the period of counting down basically eliminated those days from my sense of time. Nothing mattered but the excitement of reaching whatever goal, event, or conclusion was on the horizon. I would feel impatient with the period of time which blocked me from that horizon. I can't count the number of times I said
"I just have to get through the next x number of days/weeks"
...as if days and weeks were a series of obstacles through which I had to plod.
One of the biggest changes for me since returning to Canada has been the strange sense of timelessness. This is because we have nothing 'looming' in the future. In every single year previous to this one, I have had at least one major upcoming event to plan for: ending or beginning a period of post-secondary education; moving cross-country or cross-ocean; searching for work or a new place to live. A major trip. Not least of this were the many tumults in my personal relationship.
Now, everything is calm.
It's making me restless.
I'm not restless for a specific thing, however, and that might be the problem. For so many years I just had a lot of 'things' that needed to be done, they formed a part of the long-term plan that I had formulated for myself in my early 20's. I'm really happy that I've accomplished and even outperformed my goals (of which I have a word document, written on one of many 5-hour greyhound trips from Fort Mac to Edmonton in the early 2000's)...
Looking back, though, it's the process of reaching those goals that has been the most enjoyable for me. Some of my goals became obsolete because my journey led me to even more exciting and interesting places than I could have dreamt of while barrelling down Highway 63.
So now what?
I feel like at this stage of life (steady job, fixed address, stable relationship) most people put the idea of goals and accomplishments behind them to focus on staying where they are.
I can see years slipping by, sticking to 'the grind', accumulating things, making a home so cozy I'll never want to leave it. Working my way 'up.' Building 'business relationships.' Getting all that dental work I've been needing done properly. Throwing weekly dinner parties. Nesting. The next thing you know I'll be 40 and all I'll be able to say for my 30's is that I worked hard and stayed out of debt. Maybe went on an all-inclusive or two.
I can't do it..
I need something new to put forward for the next 10 years. Something outrageous and seemingly un-achievable. Something to plan for and work towards, that will involve multiple stages and important decisions along the way. Something with many disparate forks leading in ridiculously opposite directions. Because it won't be the end goal that matters; it will be the challenge and process of getting there.