Anticipation: an every day delight!

I love this extract from one of Gretchen Rubin’s blog posts in 2007 about anticipation (and one of her more recent posts).

“Pleasant anticipation is an important source of happiness; having something to look forward to makes you “feel good” and may also give an “atmosphere of growth” to your life, because the future seems bright.

There are four stages for enjoying a happy event:

  • anticipation (looking forward to it)
  • savoring (enjoying it in the moment – remember to turn off your cell phone!)
  • expression (sharing your pleasure with others, to heighten your experience)
  • reflection (looking back on happy times – which is why it may be a good idea to take pictures, keep a one-sentence journal, collect mementos, etc.)

Anticipation is a key stage in happiness; by having something to look forward to, no matter what your circumstances, you bring happiness into your life well before the event actually takes place. In fact, sometimes the happiness in anticipation is greater than the happiness actually experienced in the moment – that’s known as “rosy prospection.”

Of course, anticipation requires two things: something happy to anticipate, and the mindfulness to do the anticipating.”

What I like is how she made me look at anticipation in a new way. And, more importantly, connecting it to an everyday delight. When I think about it, it turns out that I’m anticipating a few happy things coming up in the next few months.

The long December break

How will spend my long December break? I’m anticipating days without structure, reading the mountain of books on my reading list and watching movies all day if I feel like it.

Moving into my colleague’s house in early December

I’m looking after it whilst she is away on sabbatical next year. The house is palatial, has a huge garden and a gym in the garage. I’m looking forward to new photo opportunities in the garden. Elliott Erwitt says that “it’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them”. I think I am beginning to agree with him and it links so nicely to my happiness resolutions to be observant and showcase the local!

I want to (and need to) get fit – to be more healthy. With a gym in the garage I won’t have any excuses, will I?

Anticipation-planner

Using my wonderful 2018 organiser / year planner / doodle pad by Tori Stowe

I’m itching to write and doodle on it, to answer the questions that are scattered across the pages. But I’m holding back to be able to enjoy the anticipation of using it next year and take delight in each month as it unfolds. I have filled in events for January, but have not done anything else. Such willpower!

Savouring and being present

A big part of the reason for this blog is my continuing search for Everyday Delights in every ordinary day. Part of that is being aware of what makes up my everyday world and my everyday routines – what I read, listen to, watch on TV, photograph, what I do every day. Much of this connects to my happiness resolutions (click here to read these) for the year and I think I need to be more aware of these things.

So often, I look forward to things but fail to appreciate them when they happen. Sometimes I know this is because I have spent so much time organising them that the pleasure seeps out of them. Above all, I am looking forward to appreciating everything when it happens – to be in the moment, to be present.

With so much to look forward to myself, I am wondering what you might be anticipating in your near future. Do share in the comments.

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