Dear 100 Hour Board,
I've recently realized that right now is a point in my life that I'll likely look back on and feel nostalgic about in the future. I'm young, single, have a job that I enjoy, and a lot of options in front of me. I hope to get married and have children sometime soon but I know that once that happens there'll be moments when I wish that I could go back to having the freedom and lack of responsibility that I have now. So how do I appreciate what I have especially knowing that one day it'll change and I'll wish I could be where I am now?
Keep a journal. Write down all the memories you think are worth remembering. Write down events, but also write your thoughts and impressions. Write the good, but also write the bad.
This will help you recall the good times, but also appreciate the progression and changes that come naturally in life. It's wonderful to think back on times of freedom and happiness, but nostalgia can often skew your perception. I know that at least personally, I tend to view the past with rose-colored glasses, forgetting the bad but remembering the good.
That's not always a bad thing, but sometimes it causes me to yearn for the past instead of looking forward to the future. But even my limited journaling helps me see how much I've grown in recent years and therefore puts in perspective that the past wasn't actually as perfect as it might seem.
Deliberately practice gratitude in the moments where you find yourself loving life as it is right now. Enjoying right now can make you feel vulnerable when in the back of your mind you know that one day you will miss what you currently have. Gratitude is a way to embrace the vulnerability and savour the moment anyways. Ironically, I have found that doing this makes it easier for me to cope with change because it helps me to feel more like a participant in the happiness rather than a mere recipient of it. It makes me feel like there will be plenty to be happy about in the future, too.
-Sheebs, channelling Brené Brown
I agree with Luciana wholeheartedly. Keep a journal or a blog. Even if you feel like nothing of report happened that day, write down your feelings about something--maybe a current issue or topic that's been on your mind recently. Someday you'll appreciate being able to look back and smile about your college life. Also, your spouse and kids will appreciate it, too.
Because life is inherently full of changes, nothing lasts forever. This can be sad but also wonderful because there will always be opportunities for happiness left, even if it doesn't feel like it sometimes. I think getting through these feelings is a mixture of gratitude for those moments (like Sheebs said) and appreciating the good in your present situation.
I've felt this from time to time. I've found it's easiest to enjoy life when you're not too worried about enjoying it.
Also, life generally gets better and better. Just because it's great now doesn't mean it can't be great later, even if it's different.