Looking forward

What am I looking forward to?

Initially this seemed such a difficult question to answer because I was trying to think of specific events in the future and I could only come up with one: my cruise next summer. The realisation that there was only one ‘event’ in my life that I was anticipating with pleasure filled me with a sense of sadness. Can there really be so little in my life to look forward to? Something must be seriously wrong.

Then I thought again, looking at the situation from different perspective, but instead of getting better, things took a turn for the worse. Looking forward to an event is a bitter-sweet experience. Taking my cruise as an example: yes, it will be wonderful. It will be so sweet when I’m floating around the Mediterranean visiting beautiful and breathtaking places, being spoilt and generally indulging myself. But it will come to an end, and all too quickly. After months of anticipation, it will be over. I’ll return home. A feeling of loss will envelop me. The bitter taste of real life and all its mundane routines and struggles will appear.

The problem with looking forward to a specific event is that it comes…and it goes. We can waste our lives wishing away the days, months, even years, waiting for it. In the meantime, the rest of our life passes us by. We live for a point in the future: next weekend, our summer holiday, our retirement.

So returning to the question, what am I looking forward to if I don’t have a stack of events on some kind of calendar list waiting to be ticked off? I’m looking forward to…

Making the most of new experiences that come my way and creating those that don’t.

The opportunity to try new things, not worrying about whether I’ll make a fool of myself in the process.

Taking every opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, even if it means putting myself in situations where I initially feel uncomfortable – it will pass.

Grabbing the chance to learn something new, broaden my knowledge, extend my horizons, becoming in the process better able to appreciate and understand other people’s perspectives, which might be very different to my own.

The pleasure of accompanying my children as they embark on their journey through life, sharing their successes and disappointments and watching as they develop and take on their own world.

I could go on. I really have so much to look forward to – it’s called living, and it happens every second of every day.

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