Ten years ago this month much of my extended family was eagerly awaiting a planned trip to Ireland. Mom would travel with the boys and I, we would meet my brother and sister-in-law in Dublin. It was a wonderful trip and we still bring up highlights today, particularly poignant because mom died later that year.
Mom did most of the actual planning – she had been to Ireland twice already herself and she had more time. I didn’t really care too terribly about specifics, I had just always wanted to go. I did want to see a castle (and saw the outside of several, but we went in off season and most were closed, so a reason to plan a follow up trip one of these days).
There is plenty of research that gets touted that tells us anticipation is better for us than the actual event. Planning and preparing, imagining how it will be, having something other than or regular routine to capture our minds – this is powerful stuff.
I have been so busy slogging through the every day, and trying to catch up to a to-do list that is overfull that I haven’t given my anticipation deficit any thought until today. At Christmas my sister-in-law asked if this was the year for a family weekend at Wisconsin Dells since we have tried to plan one every couple of years. I had to nix it due to finances, darn it all. (There is something to be said for extending yourself for an experience, but also something to be said about getting yourself to a certain financial stability, too.)
I am good at planning for the practical both personally and professionally, but I am woeful at planning for enjoyable future activities. I get the idea to go somewhere and will start to read about the place, or I hear about an event that I probably would like; but then I get bogged down in the logistics or something else comes up to claim the money I would have put toward the experience.
When I do manage to get out of my regular routine, I am rarely sorry. But it is often last minute, therefore no boost from anticipation. Any suggestions to push through my planning barrier would be highly welcome.
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