Me versus My Calendar

I swear, my inspirational calendar is mocking me.

I’m not even sure where it came from—maybe the printer my company uses gave them out. It’s big and glossy so I hung it up in my gray cubicle. All year it has sat up there, giving me smug messages:

Focus: People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.

I know where I’m going and it’s away from here and that’s WHY I can’t focus you stupid flowery calender.

(refreshed) Kalender März 2010 , March 2010
F Off Flower (Creative Commons License photo credit: eagle1effi)

It’s getting harder and harder to be a good employee, when I know I’m leaving in just a couple short months. I spend a lot of time staring at that bastard calendar. A lot of time counting:

…3 hours until I can go home…

…4 days until this weekend…

…5 weeks until I can give notice…

…9 weeks until I’m done here…

I’ve never loved math so much as I do right now. I’m a patient person, generally. I can wait. I can wait a long time. I’ve BEEN waiting a long time for this travel experience to finally start. Besides the odd week here and there I’ve been stationary for two years now. Saving, working, plotting and planning.

Two years is too long.

This incessant restlessness is one of the worst side effects for sufferers of the travel bug. It’s a creeping antsyness that sneaks up your leg when you’re just trying to enjoy your Sunday coffee. It’s an almost irresistible urge to get up. Go. Somewhere. An urge to see new things, navigate new roads, to learn.

You can sometimes put off the urge for a little while. Distract your restless mind with a bar full of friends, or an afternoon at a museum. But for the real travelholic there is no replacement, and there’s only one way to soothe the restless cravings within. And that is to go.

So I try to fill my life here with distractions and things that I love. With friends and family. I am trying to enjoy the fleeting summer I have here (maybe my last summer in DC). Most of the time I can do this. But every so often, more often than I’d like really, the restlessness creeps back in and the counting game starts all over.

Sorry, DC

I also have a countdown clock on my laptop. It’s been counting down since sometime last year. I remember when it was in the 200s, and as I write this now it’s telling me I have 78 days until I fly to Japan. Whenever the strain of waiting seems unbearable I check my little countdown clock and it does make me feel a bit better.

Sometimes I worry about this recurrent desperation. Will it ever go away? Will I ever be able to just stand still and be content? To appreciate what I have and not yearn for new mountains to tackle? Maybe. Maybe if I were happier with where I’m currently sitting I wouldn’t be in such a rush to get going. But I feel like a snail that’s too big for it’s shell. So I’m anxiously hopping from one foot to another, waiting, trying to wait, for my life to get a move on.

I’m waiting for the day that I don’t have to wait anymore. I really hate wishing my life away, whether I’m wishing myself into next week or next year. I don’t want to always be the person waiting for something big to come, or for my life to begin.

I’m waiting for the day when I can stop waiting and start living.

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47 thoughts on “Me versus My Calendar”

  1. If you’re always waiting for the day you won’t have to wait anymore…might you miss out on some great moments along the way? Here’s the thing, I go on RTW in April as well, and that wait feels hard to swallow for me as well. Yet in the meantime I’ve found that focusing on little things that are good right now, actually make the time seem to fly by faster. And I get some great experiences I otherwise might not have.

    But yeah, in short, I totally and completely understand!

    1. Definitely that is the danger in constantly looking to the future. It’s important to enjoy the here and now of life as well!

  2. I remember feeling like that but the last 99 days went by so fast. It may have helped that I had a job to come back too though. That said I’m a bit lost right now, I’m not sure when my next trip is coming and it is disheartening.

    1. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have a trip to look forward to at this point. But I hate my job so that’s a big part of it.

  3. An inspired post! My calendar mocks me on a daily basis-filled with things I need to get done and the length of time before I get to escape from the day-to-day routine. I feel like the “waiting game” feeling is one that is inextricably linked to being in your 20s. I always feel like I am waiting to live life, which I am finally realizing in my mid-20s is not a good way to live life. So I fill my days with as many thing as I can fit in after a long day at work: cooking, going to the beach exercise, reading, watching movies, playing music, making art, writing. But none if it will ever feel as satisfying as that sense of freedom and and adventure that comes with travel. May our days of waiting come to a close quickly and our living be everything we want it to be!

    1. You are right, there could definitely be an age component to this. I am trying to remind myself constantly to enjoy what I have. Cheers!

  4. I can relate. I keep calculating the days until lift-off, but another part of me secretly fears the major change coming. Time never changes speed, only the perception of time as we focus on it. Remember to focus on it while you’re on your trip so it doesn’t whiz past you.

    1. It’s funny how perception works isn’t it? I’m sure once I get very close everything will start moving far too fast for my liking.

  5. I count down the days to my next trip, no matter how small, like the one I’ll be taking is to Vancouver for TBEX in June 2011. And I’ll be feeling it for a while since I’m going to school for four years. I’m sure many people look forward to the future, to something different and exciting. But it’s important to appreciate wherever you are in the moment, even if it’s at home or at your crappy job. When you finally get to Japan (and everywhere else you’re going) and you’ll get to experience all sorts of new/bizarre/amazing things, it’ll make those mundane moments and restless feelings worth it.

  6. I’m a counter, too. But sometimes you can get so sucked into the “what will happen” that you miss out on truly enjoying the “what is happening”. This was a biggie for me with my wedding/honeymoon. I had a month in between each, and I can barely remember anything from then because I kept looking forward to the next thing. Enjoy the awesomeness of having a fave local haunt, because you won’t have that for a while. I keep looking forward to moving from Nashville, but I need to enjoy what’s here before I go.

  7. stop counting! i hardly ever knew how many days I had left until I was leaving. I just knew the date and that was enough for me. oh and distractions are a good idea. plus they’re fun! but at least for me I couldn’t talk much about my future travel plans with my friends just b/c they didn’t really want to hear it.

  8. I can and can’t relate. I have 21 weeks till I get to visit Japan until then nothing but waiting and weekend adventures. Although I hope to land a job offer while there and escape from the mundane mild Midwest.

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