“Looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them.” ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery
Patience has never been my strong suit. When I was 10 or 12, I was so impatient for christmas to come that I talked my mom into letting me open my presents two days early. I was thrilled with the gifts I had received, but christmas morning while everyone else was tearing open their gifts, I had to admit that I had pangs of regret.
Too anxious to wait for the cowardly saps to ask me, I was the one to bring up the idea of getting married to both my ex-husbands (so how’d that work for ya as Dr. Phil would say).
My need for instant gratification has followed me well into adulthood; I rarely cook now that my nest is empty, because I just don’t want to wait to satisfy my hunger when I get home from work.
As I pass my 60th birthday, it has become particularly poignant to me that time is flying by faster and faster each year. And I have come to realize that my childish impatience does nothing to slow that. Although there isn’t much I can do about the swift march of time, short of inventing a time machine, I think there is value in being more aware of it, not in the ‘boo hoo I’m getting old’ sense but more present in the moment.
In just a few short months, I am going on a trip to the UK and to Ireland. By the time I touch down at Heathrow Airport, it will have been over 1.5 years since I’ve been able to wrap my grandkids in my arms. At times, I am so excited I can’t stand it; just wanting time to hurry on by so I can get on with the trip. As eager as I am for the trip to get here, I also know that it will be over just as rapidly.
We all know that we can’t literally hang onto time, but we can savor it. I have noticed that savoring anticipation is quite different from simply being patient. Being patient reminds me of an antsy child quietly and dutifully squirming in their seat waiting for the show to start or end. Savoring the anticipation is being present with the delicious excitement of things to come and also of being aware of the present moment.
My techniques for savoring? Planning, perusing through travel books for things to see and do, mapping out itineraries. I am also making a conscious effort to get outside more this summer, I even started running outside again (huffing and puffing at three minutes intervals is running to me, thank you very much). I am savoring time spent with my family and with friends and I am savoring glorious sunsets and, occasionally, rosey sunrises.
Savoring the anticipation of having something to look forward to, the excitement of discovering something new is intoxicating. This is quite different for me, but I think I’m getting used to it.