Some friends of ours are relocating from the mainland to Hawaii. For the past months, they have chronicled their journey - making the decision to follow a dream. We have watched them sell furniture and cars, obtain licenses to work on the island, say goodbye to friends and coworkers at parties, post pictures of glorious sunsets at their new destination. It all boils down to four suitcases in an otherwise empty front hall. Tomorrow they catch a plane. The anticipation for them and for all of us left behind has been acute. It has enabled a smooth transition from one world to the next. If that sounds morbid, it’s not meant to. Anticipation has allowed them to peel off an old skin while putting on a new one. That is a good thing
I have my own experience with anticipation though While my friends have been setting their sails for Hawaii, I have been preparing for a trip to England This is no radical life change, it is only a week-long trip, a response to an invitation to share some of my poems at an international poetry festival That said, it could be life-altering So this is where my anticipation enters
Anticipation is a complex thing It takes me out of the moment while, simultaneously, submerses me in reality I become so myopic that I do not see the world around me- forget to blow out candles, neglect healthy meals, read books without seeing the words on the page, walk mindlessly Is that anticipation or is it anxiety? They are kissin’ cousins, after all But no, I don’t think I have anxiety over my trip I have surrendered every step of the way and left God with the outcomes
Anticipation, the looking forward, breeds both delightful excitement and expectations - the demon child that turns an adventure into a prison sentence and robs time of its ability to just have fun.
People have remarked about me that I think too much This is an interesting assessment I believe that I think just enough to make my life interesting Wouldn’t my life be tedious without wonder? Without the little word games - anticipation/anxiety, excitement/expectation ? Combing through my tangled thoughts, the way my grandmother combed my tangled hair, smoothing the ideas out,makes my experiences easier to engage in Mindfully - literally mind-full - I embark on each new adventure with curiosity, reaching for new growth
So, sing on, Carole King! And Bon Voyage to all happy travelers whose hearts are filled with the mixed bag of emotions as we anticipate what is to come!