My daughter and I have just returned from her college orientation. The time to spread her wings is coming, but not until September. In the meantime, anticipation is settling in for both of us. Emotions bound to engulf us are on the horizon. That far-off feeling of excitement or the looming thought of dread is the anticipation I’m talking about. It’s the build-up of emotions we’re destined to experience in the future. The time between “now” and “then” is where anticipation resides. Projecting what we’re going to feel makes staying in the present challenging. Not staying in the present means missing what’s happening around us. Precious time that should be enjoyed is then lost.
Life passes us by when we preoccupy ourselves with too much of what the future “might” hold. The future will unfold as it is meant to, with or without our thoughts advancing us. Feelings will develop accordingly. There’s no need to lug expectations or emotions around in the meantime. Like the weatherman predicting rain, maybe the storm won’t be so bad. Being prepared is the best we can do. I’ll pack my umbrella in case of showers but focus on each day Hailey is still at home. The flood of emotions can hit when the time comes to drop her off at the dorms. Mixed feelings will surely be present on the drive home.
Most things usually turn out better than imaginable—the less the expectation, the lower the prospect of disappointment. Waiting for what’s next, be it something exciting or dreadful, isn’t easy. Removing the anticipation associated with an event doesn’t take away from future happenings. It allows today to be enjoyed for what it’s worth and for us to be prepared for tomorrow. Be it sunshine or rain, confetti or Kleenex, we’ll be ready.