If repetition is the key to all learning, then anticipation is the key to staying excited.
Everyone goes through the valleys of life. Sometimes I don’t even know why I’m in one, but I recognize the feeling. You know the one. The feeling of being overwhelmed by life. When it seems like every time you turn around, life laughs at you and throws you something else to handle just to see if you can handle it without completely breaking.
I try to take a step back (after a lot of coffee, chocolate or yes, wine) and take myself out of the picture frame to see what pulls me through these times. Usually, I come up with the same answer: gratitude and anticipation (and yes, coffee, chocolate, wine and a good laugh with friends or hubby). Anticipation always keeps me excited or gets me excited about life again.
Anticipation of what?
Anticipation of anything I’m looking forward to. Big or small. It could be a wedding (I LOVE weddings and yes, good wedding cake…especially the almond-flavored cake with raspberry layer) or it could be the excitement of planning a vacation full of adventures and unknown or favorite places.
But most of the time, the anticipation is for the smaller things. Like looking forward to bringing the kids to a nearby water park for the day. Or watching one of the kid’s sporting events. OR having a full 2-3 hours without the kids! Or here’s another BIG anticipation: once in a freakish blue moon, a full day of ADULT TIME. The last time this happened, we tried to cram in EVERYTHING and after kayaking the Kinni and hitting up the winery, we accidentally FELL ASLEEP! Can you believe it? We fell asleep and woke up at 2 am, realizing it. Seriously. We stay up hours later binge-watching Netflix when the kids are home. Hours. Later.
The anticipation of little things pulls me through the week, but then sometimes, there are the BIG ANTICIPATIONS. The release of my book cover is one of these. I am so excited to see the cover options for this book! It’s part of why I love working with such a great agent (Brittiany) and smaller publishing house. I have creative input in the cover. Coming up with ideas and throwing them at Brittiany is one of the coolest parts of this publishing process, even if it means trying really hard to be flexible and letting go of control (at least a little bit).
SO, beyond the 4th of July shenanigans and the craziness of sports camps for the kids and Basilica Block Party (full weekend in Minneapolis!), my BIGGEST ANTICIPATION of July is the cover release for this thing that started off as a 4-paragraph short story challenge for a writing class four years ago and now is going to become a real book. I still have to pinch myself once in a while.
Find the things. Find the exciting things, both small and big every week and especially when you’re walking the dark valleys and it doesn’t feel like there’s much in life to be excited about. Turns out, there’s usually a lot of goodness in your life, meant especially for you, but if you don’t search for it or focus on it, it’s easy to overlook.