Wednesday, December 18, 2013

easily excited

I'm the type of person that enjoys life the most when I have something to look forward to. Sometimes I think I enjoy anticipating things/events even more than I enjoy the thing itself once it comes or happens. Like if I have a gift card for a massage...I will hold onto that sucker for MONTHS (sometimes they even EXPIRE) because the joy of just HAVING it and knowing how awesome the eventual experience will be is just SO GREAT...I want to hold onto it forever. In other words, I get way more than 1 hour's worth of enjoyment out of a massage gift card. I get more than a week's pleasure out of a vacation. I love to anticipate.

And I can see where that puts you in a precarious position sometimes. I have certainly been guilty of living in the "when ____, then I'll be happy/fulfilled/complete" mindset. When I graduate. When I get married. When we have a baby. But our inability to complete that last one has all but cured me of this issue. After a few years of that nonsense, I realized if I kept waiting for ____ to be happy, I may never get there. So I stopped, and I'm glad for that. There's been a lot of happiness in the last five years...I'd have hated to miss it just because I hadn't accomplished one thing. So the kind of excited anticipation I enjoy living with is not necessarily for the 'big' things like babies and careers. I like having smaller, predictable, somewhat controllable goals to look forward to. 

Last week I was chatting with a girlfriend (in REAL LIFE! I know, this really never happens) and she was expressing how she felt kind of sad right now because she had nothing to look forward to. No vacations on the horizon. No engagement (or any of the things that follow). Just...nothing big to look forward to. Because I love her and we are basically twins, I totally understand where she's coming from. But apparently I've come up with the solution, by getting overly excited about smaller life events. I whipped out my little countdown app to show her all the things I am currently looking forward to-- the little, silly things that I deem exciting enough to put their date into my app. She laughed at me (so what if most of them are movie, TV, and book releases/start dates?), but she agreed, too. In the absence of impending Huge Life Events, what's wrong with getting jazzed about the small things? The good news there is that if the small things don't end up happening or being as great as you'd hoped...well, they're small things. It won't even hurt that bad.

So here's a few of the things on my mental (and electronic) list of Things I'm Looking Forward To:

1. Divergent movie release- March 21

2. A fun long weekend trip to the second-best state (nickname: The Lone Star State) in early 2014!!

3. Using a Fandango gift card at the fancy new movie theater!

4. Seeing the bulbs I planted in the fall come up in the spring.

5. A new season of The Bachelor in January and the ensuing Twitter fun and silly drama.  
6. Using an Ulta gift card I got for my birthday.

7. A fun weekend getaway in Atlanta that some friends generously gifted us.

8. Making and accomplishing my New Years Resolution (more to come on that!).

9. Celebrating my one-year anniversary at my 'new job.' And knowing that going into the next year, I will have a MUCH better idea of what's going on, what's coming next, and how to do what I'm supposed to do!

10. The Winter Olympics!!!! I looooooove Olympics...maybe I'll have to schedule myself another surgery/bedrest so that I can be as dedicated to this Olympics as I was to the 2012 Summer Games!!

11. Receiving the copy of Jesus Calling I won in Caroline's giveaway and starting it on January 1.

12. Continuing to get better at running. I'm hoping to be able to run two miles without stopping to walk by...I don't know. February? 

So...not really huge or life-altering things, but nonetheless-- things I'm looking forward to. Things that give me something to be excited about when life feels really sad. Anything you can think of I need to add to the list? And please feel free to share your most mundane personal thing you get excited about. Make me feel like I'm not alone here!!


  1. This is such a great mindset to have! I feel like I need to go make a list of things to look forward to so that I can put them down in a countdown app!

    Also, you're coming to Texas?!?! How fun! You should totally host a blogger meet up {never mind the fact that Texas if ridiculously big and the odds of you actually coming close to where I live are slim to none...}

    1. If we can't have a Texas hoedown together, I think we should at least be able to plan her getaway for her. You down, Erika?

    2. Plan away!! Just be sure to include my grandmother's 90th birthday party in the itinerary!!! ;)

  2. What great things to be looking forward to! I picked up a copy of Jesus Calling over the weekend and plan on starting it on January 1, too.

    I'm looking forward to Archer Season 5 starting in January and to spending time with my parents, niece, and sister ALL AT THE SAME TIME for the first time since June. Yay!

  3. Yes to Divergent and the Olympics. I love both of those things!

  4. Speaking of the Olympics... we don't have cable (still) and Sam is already sad he's going to miss CURLING... ahhh! of all of the fabulous winter sports, he wants to watch curling for HOURS!

    And a trip to TEXAS!!! Eek! How fun! Are you going to get to see Amanda and/or Allison?

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  6. I am the same way! I thrive when there's something to look forward to. During this time after we were married but before we have kids, I learned to appreciate the small things and to plan things to look forward to. It has helped a lot.

    I also do the same thing about gift cards and stuff. Especially food. I'll buy a snack or something that I don't purchase a lot and I like to have it for awhile. I don't eat it all at once or even in a week. My husband will eat a little every day and then I get mad when I only ate it once and he's already finished it off. He makes fun of me for it all the time!

  7. Watching/ waiting for my one Meyer Lemon to turn yellow brings me immense joy. So much, that I often worry that something might be wrong with me! I should be able to squeeze that sucker into a drink sometime by the end of Q1 2014. And it will either be the sweetest vodka soda I've ever tasted, or the saddest because that little lemon will be all used up. But tomorrow is a new day...I have two tiny new budding lemons!! Moral of the story. Get a lemon tree. Or get a life? It's the small things!

  8. I love this. This is so great. You are so a glass half full type of girl, huh?!

  9. Preach! My husband and I were just talking about how nothing will ever be perfect all at once (at least, not for long.) That's what heaven will be!

    In the meantime I'm looking forward to the premier of Downton Abbey, getting Christmas presents (is that shallow or what?), giving Christmas presents, and seeing Divergent when it comes out!

  10. Hmmm... Mine are all over the map.
    Feb 24- I can make my Fastpass+ selections for our 10th anni trip at Disney!
    March- surgery during "Spring Break", but this surgery has the possibility of creating a chain reaction that could be very, very good in a variety of ways. (Womanly surgery LOL)
    April 4- TEN YEARS MARRIED without us killing each other. *smile*
    Late April/Early May- Our vacation.
    Each time I finish a set of classes, I am ridiculous excited!!! (currently on a one month break!)
    And then all my weight loss milestones. Last night I hit 5% of my total weight lost. I celebrate every 5 lbs, 5 and 10%, and then I plan to celebrate the big ones 25 etc. Now to think of some NON food ways to celebrate!
    We are back on the Dave Ramsey journey (after being barreled over with medical bills) so I will celebrate those milestones too!

  11. Love this mindset!

    Mundane things I get excited about. . . Thursday nights so I can watch Parenthood, deciding what I want to eat for breakfast every day (I know. Sad. But true), anticipating using the mani/pedi gift card I got for my birthday, and this time of year b/c I love all the lights, Christmas movies on tv, Christmas music etc!

  12. Hmm... most mundane thing might be snacking during nap time. Right now I have about 1 hour until Davis is tucked in and I can be downstairs eating my beloved trail mix (assuming Avery cooperates and allows me to do that in a timely fashion)!

  13. Ooh, I am right there with you on the Olympics!
    I look forward to Thursday night every week because it means I don't have to iron dress pants for the next day (Hurray Casual Friday!). On a similar note, I am looking forward to putting on my fleece pants when I get home from work today because for once we don't have to go back out after dinner.
    I am looking forward to dinner tomorrow, because it is a work thing for my husband and spouses are invited, which means we basically get a date night (rare) and don't have to pay (even better). I am also looking forward to seeing what sort of holiday-esque martini they have on the menu :)
    Apparently I look forward to food and comfort more than anything...

  14. Love this. I also love how the Lord puts things on blog writers' minds just for blog readers like me who need to read them :) Blessed by this today.

    That being said, the OLYMPICS!!! Totally stoked about that. My mom had just had me two weeks before the 1988 Olympics and so, while nursing me, would watch them. I blame her for my insane fetish and obsession with all things having to do with the Olympics.

    Other things I am looking forward to: early Christmas with my husband on Friday, a new Year starting to be able to start fresh (this past year has been one full of hurts, trials and stresses), my 26th birthday, the Olympics (it totally deserves another mention), the birth of my son in March, March Madness, and, in TV world seeing Ted *finally* meet his wife and every episode of White Collar.

    Can I just add one more thing? The starting fresh thing. I know it is just one more day, the day after December 31st, but it really means a lot to me. Some years you are sad to say goodbye to and others you can't wait to close the door on. The idea of a clean slate and clean days and clean calendar to fill with new things is so exciting and hopeful to me. For me, this past year has been full of some seriously trying times and trials that I would never wish on anyone, so I am looking forward to "beginning again" in 2014. A song I wrote a couple years ago kind of echoes these sentiments, but also reminds me of Who is writing all these stories:

    "Sometimes the ink is clear
    And it's easy to see ahead
    Sometimes the road is straight
    And full of hope

    But sometimes the way is weary
    And the pages are crinkled with tears
    Sometimes I want to write
    Your "stamp of approval" I seek
    But YOUR version is better than mine
    You know best, my eyes are on You

    For Your story is beautiful to me"

    I know the story, HIS story of me, is beautiful, all put together, full of redemption, grace and mercy, but sometimes I can't see past those tear-stained pages and chapters. 2013, in a lot of ways, is full of them. Here's to 2014 and clean pages to for Him to continue writing.

    1. This is beautiful, Katie!! Thanks for sharing!! Also-- LOVE that your mom nursed you to the tune of the Olympics...she is definitely responsible for your obsession!!! :)

  15. Things I'm Currently Looking Forward To:

    Sleeping in on Saturday
    Going to church (for the first time in three weeks) on Sunday
    Our whole family being healthy again. Now it's Rachel who's sick :(
    Going to see "Catching Fire" for the second time on Friday!
    My afternoon Coke, which I am just about to open.
    Having all my laundry folded.
    Monday -- the first day in two weeks when snow ISN'T in the forecast. I'm tired of shoveling.

  16. Please add Downtown Abby Season 4 premiering January 5th and The Hobbit 3 on December 17, 2014. just to add a few. If you add "Trip to Israel" I would really be stoked!

  17. I think that celebrating the little things is definitely important! i try to find something almost every day (or at least every week) that I can look forward to. Right now my list would be:
    -Winter Wishes assembly on Friday when they are going to do amazing things for some kids at our school and there is no doubt that I'll cry.
    -Winter Break! two weeks without waking up at 5:30 and handing 120 teenagers

    ...and a week is about how far I'm looking right now. haha.

    ps. I wore some jeans today that were a little too tight (I bought them even though they were almost too small) and all day I was thinking about your post from earlier in the week. I will be pulling out those leggings tomorrow. :]

  18. I LOVE the Olympics. It is the best EVER!!!! I love that you have a countdown app. I need one. For little things :)

  19. My list would currently look like this:

    1- Thursday night- eat a Southern Comfort taco again
    2- Friday- last day of work for two weeks
    3- Sunday- Hallmark movie marathon

    I live an exciting life.

  20. So much I love about this!! Genius on starting the devotional on Jan 1! Perfect way to start the year :) Super pumped you are coming to TX and seriously, how cool if we could meet up?! 3. I LOVE THE OLYMPICS!!! Can't wait for that!!!! Such a good list with so much to look forward to!!

  21. Hi! New here, LOVE your blog! I am so guilty of the I'll be happy when_____... And seeing as, I too, haven't gotten my bun in the oven, I have soo much to look forward to, and enjoy in the meantime. It's crazy how easily we forget to thank god for the small things and baby steps we take while he's writing the rest of our story! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Aaaaw what a great topic . . . .It -is- the little things. Top three:
    1)my cup of coffee tmr morning
    2) dating a wonderful man . . . and at this time of the year . . . I feel so blessed . . . yup the goose bumps and perma grin.
    3) two weeks off starts Friday!

  23. I am so pumped about #2 that I'm going to ignore the fact that you are ranking what is clearly the best state as the second best state! Woo hoo!

  24. YES. I think I wrote about this in a post a long time ago - I read some scientific study where they evaluated people's happiness prior to the event and during the event, and as it turns out, the anticipation was proven to make you happier than the actual thing occuring. I don't know if you do this too, but once I'm on vacation, all I can do is lament how I "only have 3 days...2 days... 1 day left before I have to go home." I can't help it!

    I love that you are counting down to small things, that's really a fabulous idea. I find myself doing that with food lately... today I was thinking about mac and cheese for the majority of the afternoon, and yeah, it was pretty exciting. I also do it with my allotted one cup of coffee per day... that's totally what motivates me to get in the shower and get going in the morning, ha.

  25. 1. I need the name of that app.
    2. Most mundane--cleaning my house on Saturday mornings.


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