Anticipation


We just booked a marvelous, overseas holiday and I’m simply bubbling over with anticipation, even though we won’t travel until cool weather.

I have all summer to look forward to our autumn adventure! I’ve already bought an inflatable neck pillow, eye mask and backpack for the flight and a new swimsuit, serape and sun block for the Mediterranean. We’ve figured out to ask the neighbor, who owes us a favor, to feed Mr. Tom, the feral cat. I’ve emailed a friend who has travelled to this place, for advice on things we don’t want to miss while we’re there.

On the Med

On the Med

I’ve realized that anticipation and planning is half the fun of an exotic vacation. As a matter of fact, anticipating things to come is probably half of life.

When we’re kids, we anticipate every little thing and it slows time down—the last day of school, a trip to the mall, grandma’s apple pie smelling good in the oven and then cooling on the counter—these things take forever.

Young people look forward to beginning their lives as a couple, wait impatiently for the first baby, baby’s first words, first day of school, job interviews and date night away from the kids.

The older we get, it seems like we have less to look forward to and time speeds up. We stop anticipating ordinary things, perhaps because we’ve experienced them before and they didn’t live up to the eager anticipation. When tomorrow looks just like yesterday, time flies and days blur as we race through them.

I’ve watched helpers in nursing homes try to get the residents excited about life. They bubble and fizz about bingo night and what’s for dinner and the preacher’s sermon on Sunday. A visitor practically sends them into outer space.

I catch myself falling into the everyday doldrums, thinking, Is today Tuesday or Wednesday? The trash can is at the curb so it must be Tuesday again. When that happens, I remind myself to celebrate ordinary things. I get happy when the floors are waxed, the AC is working and I have on my dancing shoes. Wait! They’re only fuzzy house shoes but they will work just fine.

And when days fly by? I try to anticipate something ordinary. Like Sunday lunch out or having clean sheets on the bed, the new season of Downton Abbey or the cookies I’m going to bake tomorrow. Should it be oatmeal raisin or peanut butter? I have all night to think about it. That ought to make for a long evening of anticipation.

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About janets123

Children's writer, newspaper columnist, essayist, poet, storyteller
This entry was posted in Short Takes on Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Anticipation

  1. Great blog! I like your analogy, so envious of your planned holiday and mindful of each moment is a major focus. Thank you girlie!

  2. John says:

    Wow, so true! Well said, wish I could put thoughts down this well.

  3. John says:

    great post, so true.

  4. Mamasava says:

    Anticipation!  Most of my best memories have started with anticipation playing a very big part of the joy.  When my 3 children were little, we anticipated going to the lake in our little RV.  It would take about 5 days to get everything ready from cleaning the RV & boat, to meal shopping & prepping as much beforehand. I had a 4 page list!  That anticpation & all the work ahead of time felt like our vacation had already begun. When company is coming over for dinner,  I take joy in setting a nice table, candles, favorite dishes, in anticipation of their arrival. 
    Then there are those times when the anticipation is greater than the actual event…like xmas.  We haven’t celebrated xmas in 14 yrs but I remember the anticipation (nothing to do with gifts) was always greater than the actual event.
    Now I’m anticipating the arrival of my first grandchild by my daughter!  I know the real thing will be much greater than the anticipation.  So for now, I’m basking in anticipation until March.  Hooray!

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