“Life is largely a matter of expectation.” –Horace
Today’s entry is the sundae and the cherry all in one because I get to talk about the things that I love so much that I’m happy to wait for them. My husband tells me that I live in the future a lot, and I suppose I do, partly because I’m a bit of a worrier and a bit of a planner, and partly because I love looking forward to things. So here is my list of *six* (yes, I couldn’t quite limit myself to five) things I wait for with sincere pleasure.
6. Food: Enjoying the aromas filling the house as dinner stews in the crockpot or cookies bake in the oven is part of the fun. And I was looking forward to our anniversary dinner at Chez TJ for several weeks before the fact. My sweet tooth doesn’t help matters either. Does this make me a foodie?
5. Friends: I look forward to seeing people or hearing from people so much. When I make plans with you for next week, you can bet that it makes me smile whenever I think about it. Getting a long e-mail or, heaven forbid, a real physical letter, is good in the same way. Granted, there’s not as much waiting involved, but I still get a frisson of anticipation when my eye scans down the page or I see a promising sender in my inbox (I save the exciting e-mails for last). This also includes looking forward to seeing my dog (I’ll be driving home and get excited about this, which goes to show how extremely dorky I can be) and wondering when my husband will get home from work.
4. New Book Releases (and movie, album, theater, etc.): Sometimes this crosses the borders into painful (GRRM, I’m looking at you), but in general I enjoy looking forward to the release date of a book I want to devour. Here are the books I’m currently waiting for with baited breath: Monsters of Men, by Patrick Ness; Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins; Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis (I’m waiting for the second half to come out before reading any of it); Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold; and many, many more.
3. Holiday/Special Occasion: It has been known to happen that I will create a special occasion in order to look forward to it. I love all birthdays, and particularly my birthday, for this reason. The wedding anniversary is a good new occasion in my life, and I also celebrate the anniversary of when I met my husband, which is in October. My favorite holiday by far, however, is Christmas, and I’ll make a confession: I’m already getting excited about Christmas right now, and it’s only August. So apparently I get about five months a year of wonderful anticipatory glow from a one-day holiday. How awesome is that?
2. Completion of a project: Who doesn’t love the twin feeling of satisfaction and relief when you type “The End” at the end of the novel you’ve been working on for the past x months? Sometimes it’s only the fact that I know how pleased I’m going to be at the end that keeps me going during the murky middle. Short stories are great because you get to experience this thrill of completion more often. The same sort of thing happens after a concert or a run of shows or a big project at work. Of course, the anticipation of completion can be better than the actual finishing, which tends to be bittersweet, but I’ll take whatever I can get.
1. Travel: I love to travel; it is one of my enduring hobbies. People who know me well but don’t often see me will ask me where I’ve been in the last year because it’s a question almost guaranteed to act as a conversation starter with me. I structure my life around travel instead of the other way around, and now that I’m traveling to attend various conventions, conferences, and workshops, this has only gotten worse. When I’m feeling particularly down or stressed, I plan a trip – it doesn’t matter if the trip won’t happen for six months or even more because just looking forward to it will begin to make me feel better. The closer the trip gets, the more excited I get. So for instance, I’m traveling to the UK in a little over a week, and I’m internally bouncing just thinking about it. The difficulty of waiting just adds to the general aura of excitement.
Well, writing this post has put me in a fantastic mood. Here’s your personal invitation to add to it by telling me about things you like anticipating.