We’re at the halfway point of our one-year experiment living in the US. And so far it’s been everything we could have hoped for.
The kids have adapted well to the school (although they would tell you they’re bored out of their minds). We’ve met some new good friends. We’ve seen over 50 family members, including my parents multiple times most weeks. And we’ve driven through 18 states, from the Grand Canyon to New York City.
And now half of it is gone. This week we confirmed our return flight to Barcelona. We have to respect the terms of my wife’s visa.
When that flight confirmation screen appeared, my wife and I went silent. We were sad. The first half went so fast, and we all know that the second half of everything always goes even faster.
But there’s another way to look at it. We think of all those things we’ve already done—those 18 states, the visits with family, that time with new friends—and realize that we can do it all again. We have the same amount of time in front of us that we’ve had so far.
It’s a change in a single word: from “we’re already halfway done” to “we’re only halfway done.”
I suppose the half-full/half-empty glass comparison comes to mind. It is just a perspective change. But it’s also different. While the first and second halves of the glass contain equal amounts of stuff, it’s all the same stuff. If the first half was milk, the second half is milk too.
With our experience here in the US, the first and second half contain the same amount of time. But the contents of that time can vary. We don’t have to visit the same places. If we were upset or preoccupied some days in the first half, we don’t have to repeat those same moods and emotions in these next months.
If the first half of the glass was 2% milk, the second half can be chocolate milk with marshmallows.
This doesn’t just apply to this particular experience. It applies to all of life. The only wildcard is how much time we actually have. So use your time well. And remember that what has already passed need not reflect what you do next.
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