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!!