the joy of anticipation

waiting for the ball to drop

Wait a minute. Yes yes, of course you’re busy, there’s much to do, but you can afford one minute. OK, take a deep breath and let it out again slowly. Let your shoulders relax. Now, I know it’s less than three weeks to Christmas, but picture each day as a separate event instead of letting them all run together. Then imagine that each day on the calendar has a door that you can open ahead of time and peak inside.

Before you look, think first about what you would like to find behind tomorrow’s door. It might be something as simple as enjoying a cup of tea while the smell of baking cookies wafts from the oven. Or the single perfect snowflake that falls on your sleeve when you are walking to work. Or throwing the ball high in the air, watching the dogs quiver with anticipation and seeing, for a split second, time suspended.

Now imagine what you would like to find when you open the next door, and the next. Think of things you can look forward to over the next three weeks. Think of this as your Advent calendar, full of little gifts and small joys waiting to surprise you each day. The things you aren’t looking forward to will happen the way they always do, of course, and then they will disappear into the past just like everything else you once worried about. But if you don’t stop, now, and deliberately anticipate some of the good things that might happen, you might miss them entirely.

Photo taken on November 24, 2010

9 thoughts on “the joy of anticipation

  1. That is one, great picture of the dogs!!! You can really see it in their eyes, how determined they are to catch the ball!
    What you say — and put so well — is so true, even though I, personally, am not caught up in the Christmas stress. Each day has something, and I’m all about the little things in life, big time.
    This post reminded me of my childhood’s Advent Calendar! I can see it for my inner vision … the tiny, little 24 parcels, that my Mum made and hung there. Talk about anticipation! 🙂

    • What did your Advent parcels have in them, Rebekah? Or were they decorations rather than gifts? I didn’t have an Advent Calendar growing up, but in my first year in university, my roommate’s mom sent one for both of us… there were chocolates behind each door! I really love the idea now, even though there aren’t any kids around. (The dogs are great, but they don’t like to wait!)

      • I’m trying to think now, what it was she put in them … basically, I remember candy, and sometimes some little trinket that was small enough for this.

        On TV they also have this Advent Calendar for kids. People buy this calendar with little doors, the proceeds go to some charity … Save the Children, I think, and the TV always has some really cute childrens program for this — like a series, building up to Christmas.

    • Thanks barefootheart!
      I didn’t realize advent calendars used to have pictures. I’ve seen one that a friend of mine had that was a wall hanging of a tree, and every day there was a spot to hang a tiny decoration, more like the idea of the Joshua Tree I suppose.

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