Last night right at bedtime, my daughter’s iTouch started blowing up with quick hits from her friends that the teacher lists were posted and everyone was declaring which teacher they would have for the 2013-14 school year. She came running down from her bedroom (where she should’ve been fast asleep) saying, “so-and-so has so-and-so as a teacher,” and, “this person has this person,” (I’m leaving off names to protect the innocent).
My wife got just as excited and within moments our living room resembled the MSNBC newsroom on an election night, with text messages and emails flying back and forth, sticky notes on the walls tracking who had who as a teacher, and my 3rd grade son and his friend were brought into the mix. There were reasons to dance and high-five (the discovery a good friend had the same teacher), and some other reasons to reflect on what could’ve been (a friend was given another teacher).
Overall, it was exciting, I have to admit. I had to play the role of “Dad” and pretend to believe “all the teachers are good” and “I don’t think I really care if your BFF isn’t in your class, I send you there to learn and not hang out with your friends,” but deep down, the excitement was contagious and I was reminded what excitement for the future looks like. I was no different as a kid …once I heard the class lists were taped up on the door of my school, I’d haul ass on my bike up there to look. Heck, I might’ve ridden up there more than once, just because.
Anticipation is a powerful emotion for motivation. Christmas morning breeds buckets full of anticipation. The night before a great vacation brings anticipation.
What follows anticipation? That’s the thing …nobody knows. Anticipating who your teacher is and who’s in your class happens when you don’t know what’s going to happen, and you dream and wonder. Will that trip to Maui or Disney World be the greatest thing you’ll ever do in life, or will the airlines lose your bags and will it be 100-degrees in Orlando? Will your BFF be in your class, and will you both have the “nice teacher”, or will you be split up?
A life full of anticipation should tell us something – life is full of unknowns. The “unknown” breeds anticipation. Will this new job be my golden ticket? Will this conversation with this very beautiful woman lead to love, romance, and a magical life together. Will writing and finishing that book idea lead to a best-seller?
Truth is, we don’t know, and when we can’t bring ourselves to deal with anticipation, it is only then that we fail. My kids will have a great school year, and it doesn’t matter their teacher or who’s in their class. Christmas morning will be great even if there isn’t a puppy under the tree, yet again. As the wise father, I know this when it comes to my kids. But do I know it for myself?
I’ll never “anticipate” what a publisher or editor will say about my book(s ) until I actually finish it. I’ll never know if the 8 or 10 writing projects I want to try will succeed until I actually pick up the phone and call.
It’s time I start putting myself into situations where I create anticipation. How about you?
Thanks for reading.