I recently remarked to someone I was talking to about my trip that it is odd knowing I will not be in Washington, DC at this same time next year. I've lived in Virginia for the past eleven years (4 @ JMU, 2 in Arlington, 2 1/2 in Charlottesville, 2 1/2 back in Arlington). It's easy to fall into a trap of taking things for granted when you know you always have them at your disposal. For instance, I don't check out the national monuments at all except when I have family or friends visiting from out of town. It's easy to get caught up in thinking that you can do that sort of thing whenever. Whenever often turns into never.
It's important to know that you will not have forever to experience the particular advantages of your location. Knowing your time is limited forces you to enjoy the things around you that you know you'll miss once you're far off. Jumping forward one year and knowing that I will likely be in Seattle at that time allows me to realize how limited the remainder of my time here will be. Of course I'm planning to come back to DC after my trip, but who knows where life takes me once I'm traveling across the country. Better to use limited time I have here and truly enjoy DC rather than continue to in some ways waste the great parts of this city by not taking advantage of its unique aspects that I won't get anywhere else in the US.