Anticipation is a really important part of my life. I’m easily excitable, somewhat by nature, but also in large part by choice. I used to try to hold myself back from getting too excited about upcoming events and excursions for fear of inevitable disappointment. No matter how amazing a party of vacation might be, it’s hard to even imagine what could live up to months of anticipation. But I’ve found that while it’s a good idea to make sure your enthusiasm isn’t obnoxious or cloying, a healthy dose of anticipation not only allows you to enjoy the event for days, weeks, or months before it happens, but also often makes the event worth the excitement. The more excited I am about an upcoming trip, the more likely I am to do a little research about where it is I’m going, to come up with ideas for things I’d like to do, to pack appropriately, to spring for a new book to read on the plane or to bring a little gift for whoever it is I’m visiting. Excitement really does help make things more special. The trick is to transition gracefully from anticipation to experience. To let go of your expectations once you have actually embarked on your journey or started your party and transfer your enthusiasm to your actual experiences rather than trying to manipulate situations to make them fit your expectations. Get hyped, then relax. That’s my advice.
So for those of you who want to amp up your excitement levels, a countdown is a good starting point.
- Create an advent calendar. Christmas is the traditional end point for an advent calendar, but why not create one for an upcoming trip? Put pictures of your destination or little travel accessories in small paper bags and clothespin them, garland-style to a piece of twine. DesignSponge has this guide that you might you for inspiration.
- Think of all the things you have coming up to be excited about. Make a list and post it where you’ll see it every day.
- Create an online countdown. Countdowndays.com lets you create an online countdown to any date that you can share with others. My college friends and I will be gathering in D.C. for our yearly “Frienaissance,” so I created a countdown to share with them.