Saturday, January 25, 2014

Not What I've Been Waiting For...

I started saying this after the "Ninth Grade Dance"...
The anticipation of an event is often greater than the event itself.
I also started saying this:
I should have worn that to the "Ninth Grade Dance."

You see, I was a dancer...or at least, I WANTED to be dancer.  So I thought, "Rather than wear a formal dress like all the other girls, I'll pick out a funky, dancy "Paula Abdul meets MC Hammer" type of thing.  So that's what I did...

Of course, the part that I forgot was that I was a wanna-be dancer with a crush on a boy.  Guess how many boys thought a girl who wore a funky, dancy outfit rather than a pretty dress was awesome?  That's right, not many.  I'm guessing it was zero, actually. 

Now that I'm older and have many more life experiences, I think my "saying" which started at the "Ninth Grade Dance" still holds quite true.
 
The anticipation of an event is often greater than the event itself.

How many times have you built something up in your head, been so excited for it, waited for it with anticipation; like Christmas, or a gift...but once the moment has come, and after the moment is passed you think, "That was it?"
 
I've found a fairly decent solution to this dilemma.  Prior to an event; something like a class reunion, or a trip, set 3-5 goals.  Identify 3-5 things that you want to have happen in order to consider the event "all that you anticipated it could be." 

Here are some examples of possible goals for various events:
1.  Laugh so hard I cry
2.  Eat something I've never eaten before
3.  Talk to someone I had never talked to in High School
4.  Take a nap
5.  Visit a museum
6.  Help a stranger
When you have goals such as these written down for an event, then, no matter what else happens, you can check them off and say, "This was a great - trip, reunion, wedding day, surprise party...-".

Thankfully, I think it only took me a year or so to stop looking a dresses and saying, "I should have worn that to the "Ninth Grade Dance."  

Thankfully, we have so many experiences in life that the ones from high school only pale in comparison.  

But, life can hand you many moments where you think, "This is NOT what I've been waiting for."  It's good to be prepared with a little perspective, and a little bit of reality ahead of time.

Questions to Ponder:
Have you ever had an experience where your anticipation of the event was greater than the event itself?
Has such an experience ever made you a little more cynical, and a little less likely to get "excited" about an upcoming event?
Have you tried the idea of "goal-setting" for trips and other events?  Do you think you will in the future?
(Written in response to Sunday Scribblings 2 writing prompt "Waiting for a Gift")

6 comments:

  1. It seems as though every time I set goals for trips, they get waylaid, so I'm learning just to take what each day brings me when I travel. I'm not always successful at it, but I find that I have fewer disappointments when I "go with the flow" than when I plot out elaborate goals and never reach them!

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    1. I guess that's what I mean...having a daughter with special needs my life is ALL go with the flow...so, I'm glad that I learned early on to say, "Hey, I laughed so hard I cried, and I got a good night's sleep; that's a great weekend..." rather than, "I didn't get to go anywhere or do anything, this weekend sucked!" :) I set attainable goals that keep me focused on what really matters.

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  2. i love that the dress or not the dress for a dance is still so active... that moments stay and hang on and others possibly important disappear only to emerge later when one sees what one didn't before... sorry to say i still cringe at the some of the actions of my youth.... it is all part of what i am today... it has always been hard for me to prepare for something i have no idea what is coming... but i did participate in girl scouts and got a few badges...

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    1. That's so true...we learn and change and become who we are based on those experiences...:) I was a girl scout too. :)

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  3. Pity I wasn't there as the outfits are so quirky I might have been drawn to them!

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    1. Ha! Right? It's all a matter of taste!

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