Lately I have noticed my serious addiction to anticipation. That state of curiosity, anxiety, waiting and wanting, about some some future event. An example of anticipation is the feelings and idea’s that are generated when I wait for an order from Amazon, the mail, or one of the independent carriers. I order a book, and then the anticipation starts. If I can track a package it starts immediately. Then there is the anticipatory waiting, that exalting curiosity, the soon to be fulfilled wanting.
When the book arrives the feelings fade. I may feel good about obtaining something but am no longer anticipating or waiting. Oddly enough, in paying attention to my process, the anticipation levels are always the same, regardless of what I anticipate. So what’s being delivered doesn’t matter, it’s the fact I’m excited about the process that gives the whole thing that “kick.” The anticipation of waiting for a new synthesizer is the same as a book, magnets for my posting board, or new connecting cords for the electric percussion kit. (To which I am almost also addicted. Sigh.)
Lately I have been seeing how addictive that anticipatory state can become. So I spent some time inquiring and looking at the process and decided I would experiment a little. I started waiting a full day after deciding that I “must” have that whatever it is. For the most part I’ve found that “wanting” simply disappears into the fog of memory. And later, if and when the memory of what I just had to have rises, it no longer has the juice it once held. It reminds me of anticipating holidays as a child, intense anticipation, but then when the holiday arrived it never held the same energy as the anticipatory state. After waiting the 24 hours there is a clearer vision of whether it’s a want or something I actually need. It feels as though the emotional content diminishes and the perspective clarifies a little.
Who is it that wants to feel that anticipation? How is anticipation useful? Or perhaps it’s not. More will be revealed.
Be kind to yourself today, you deserve it.