The Joy of Anticipation

The new season of Downton Abbey began on PBS last night. It’s too soon to say if it will be as fabulous as Season I, but it’s sure enough GOOD.

I’ve been looking forward to Season II since I watched the final episode last year, when war was declared. And frankly, I’ve gotten a good deal of pleasure out of that anticipation. January is not my favorite month, but I dreaded the cold, dark days less knowing my favorite program would air once again. I went on-line and watched the teaser. I revisited some favorite scenes from Season I (Maggie Smith in the swivel chair!).  I enjoyed the waiting.

We are an instant gratification society. We want what we want and we want it NOW. E-mail, texting, TiVo, fast food, microwaves, on-line everything. And when we do have to wait, we behave as though it’s a huge imposition (red lights, doctors’ offices, slow restaurants, commercials).

There’s a real pleasure in anticipation that I think we speed by all too often. Remember Christmas when you were 10? The exquisite agony of Christmas Eve? Now Christmas is like a hit and run accident. We’re left dazed, wondering what just happened to us. I remember looking forward to August and the WV State Fair. Anticipating my birthday. Even television used to be a big deal–we’d settle in as a family once a week to watch a favorite show (Hee Haw anyone?). There would be popcorn or peanuts and it was an event that we looked forward to all week.

Each time I send out a query or enter a writing contest, I experience anticipation. When will I hear back? What will I hear back? Could this be the one? What’s delightful about anticipating a response, is that as long as I’m still waiting, the answer could be “yes.” Once I get a “no” (and let’s face it, in the world of publishing it’s mostly “no”) then I have to pick myself up and start over. And even a “yes” means I need to buckle down and do some major work. So, there is joy in anticipation–it’s called hope and I think we underrate it.

I’m glad Downton Abbey started last night. I’m also glad there’s a whole season left to hope will be as delightful as last year.

Q4U- What are you anticipating right now?

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