One of the keys to happiness is anticipating the accomplishment of a goal. You could be looking forward to going on a trip, moving to a new residence, finishing a project, joining a group, picking the first tomato, or being able to walk around the block. What is it that motivates you to peer into the future with at least a wee bit of excitement?
My latest project was transferring all 137 letters that my Daddy wrote me while I was away in college from a plastic bin to three-ring binders. I just finished 10 minutes ago. There is a real sense of satisfaction when a project is completed, especially a project what is meaningful. As I get older, the “guardian of the legacy” role has taken on more importance.
Whipping yourself up to get a project done after years of talking about it is a feat. I know you’ve had the epiphany that it often takes less time to do what you planned to do than the time it took to think about it. I sometimes think about a small task far longer than it took to actually get it done. Giving yourself a pat on the back as you realize that the job is really done sure takes a load off the shoulders.
When you know that your life is a gift and your time is precious, the urgency of completing what’s important or interesting or even just fun gets the blood pumping and the mind clicking on all cylinders. When I was in middle school, the anticipation of the dance on Friday night consumed a lot of energy and time seemed to drag until that anticipated event. What will I wear? Who will be there? And on and on we go. With the Friday dance behind, the next day was spent waxing over the memories, and then it was time to look forward to the next event.
Yesterday, I picked the first two jalapeno peppers and the first cucumber. I wanted to shout “Look! Look! Look!” to everyone in sight. Last week the neighborhood was thrilled to watch a young girl riding her bicycle for the first time without training wheels. “I’m doing it! I’m doing it!” she exclaimed for all to hear.
What accomplished goal would re-claim that youthful thrill and you can exclaim, “I did it!”