Anticipation can be intense, like the build up just before you squeeze off a perfectly centered shot.
There are a lot of things unfolding in my personal life right now that have been fueling a strong sense of anticipation lately.
I shape my entire life around my passions. That would include time with my wife and kids, exploring trails around the desert southwest, cooking for family and friends, and my ongoing pursuit of a home in the woods where we can live in a completely self-sustaining way.
Here’s the rub: the anticipation is the hardest part, maybe even the best part.
It doesn’t matter if I am looking forward to the next hike, the next meal, or the next day’s plans with my boys, I find it very difficult to patiently wait. The anticipation rivals the feeling I had as a kid the night before Christmas.
On any given day, even this week, I have a few life list hikes in the works, a menu planned for the next few days, an ongoing test of a Camp Chef stove, a school event for my oldest son, and a pending move that keep me thinking and plotting all day long.
On the positive side, I am excited by a handful of possibilities everyday. And on the downside, there is a need to be flexible, to take set backs in stride.
It could be bad weather, something at the clinic that keeps my wife late seeing other patients, or a canceled contract on the sale of our home that abruptly changes the course of the week as it unfolds.
What I have come to realize is that there is enormous transformative power in anticipation. Looking forward to what I expect to happen is energizing and it drives me each and every day. The key is to be open to alternative outcomes. I am not as married to the outcome as I once was.
Anticipation is a very powerful influence and it is something that I have grown to appreciate for exactly what it is. It delivers that emotional tease for what could be. It moves the needle for me every day and it’s often more rewarding the activity or the outcome itself.
After all, talking about a 2-3 mile hike with my 4 year old for the entire week lasts much longer than the few hours we spend on the trail that Saturday. We embrace that anticipation and explore what might be as we move from Monday to Tuesday and on through the week. We plan, and speculate, and laugh. We break out maps and we even learn along the way.
That’s the real value. Regardless of how it all turns out in the end, we have fun just trying to get there. Finding enjoyment in the anticipation of it all.
In the end, anticipation has made me a bit more open to possibility. It’s revealed a new way to enjoy the things I’m passionate about. And it can be just a rewarding as the adventures that seem to come along too infrequently.
I’ll take it!
How do you see anticipation? Nerve wracking or a fun part of the process?