Anticipation v’s Reality

It’s day seven of the Blogging University Course and for this I was to embed a Tweet to my blog and then discuss. I thought I’d find a tweet related to todays daily prompt ‘Anticipation‘ and go from there. Having found the perfect Tweet,  paranoia set in  that the tweeter (lets call him Dave), would find this and be offended that I used his words. So I wrote a similar tweet and embedded my own:

My anticipation has somewhat dulled over the years.  I used to have sleepless nights of excited anticipation for school trips to the beach (5 miles away), but now I can’t muster that same level of anticipation for long-haul exciting holidays. I do still  look forward to things and believe that part of the fun of something is the build up to it. My life isn’t a bed or roses at the moment and I need to make little plans to fire some enthusiasm for the future.  That said, it’s been scientifically proven that anticipation is usually better than reality or retrospection – but it’s still good for you.  Here are a few examples when reality didn’t live up to my anticipation:

ANTICIPATION                                                     REALITY
Black Friday Mega Bargains. I can buy all of my Christmas gifts! I’ll be on there at midnight (adrenalin pumping)! None of the good stuff is reduced. Bought a six month Sky TV Box Thing for myself that I let run on and ended up paying for 11 months. I never watched it.
Christmas – the decorations, the warm fuzzy family closeness, It’s a Wonderful Life on DVD, smiling faces unwrapping treasured new gifts and the fun parties. The pain in the ass tree that takes hours to build; the bitter resentment you feel for selfish family members who never visit their parents; Supermarket Christmas tunes in November; feeling like the Michelin Man. Fake smiles as you open another unexpected gift choice and wonder if people know you at all. Majority of time spent taking twisty wires out of the back of the child’s toy boxes and frantically looking for batteries. In 2015, those who lived alone sat crying as they watched the John Lewis Christmas advert.

*I do love most of Christmas though 🙂

The festive holiday period – rest, relaxation and special time with the family 🙂 Dull, boring, skint, disgusted with your own gluttony and stuck inside in miserable weather with a post-Christmas spoiled child and a lethargic husband. Being unable to fit into any of your ‘going out clothes’ when meeting friends.
New Years Eve. Let’s party like it’s 1999! Friends and booze and singing and dancing and general all-round merriment. Flu/cold, and in the house with nothing on the telly. You begin to question what you’ve achieved this year as a feeling of inadequacy and apprehension engulf you. Around this time Carol Smillie (tv host) raises a glass for all those sitting at home. She has a patronizing glint in her eye. You switch over to Jools Holland to watch the 80 year olds being wheeled out to sing. Toast in the New Year and go to bed at 12.10am (earlier than usual). You feel down.
Burns Night – your child has practised his Scottish poem for weeks. You’ll be so proud when he recites it! You’ll have a wonderful Scottish dinner and read some poems to the children. Your son loses the contest and throws away the (losers) certificate shouting “this is rubbish!” You forget about the food and rush to Sainsbury’s at 6pm for a pre-packaged Haggis meal. It’s not very nice. Forget about the poems and watch The Good Wife.
Chinese New Year – Perfect night for a great Chinese meal from your favourite takeaway. Looking forward to it! The Chinese takeaway is closed because it’s Chinese New Year.
Valentines Day – The romance, the gifts, the special meal Restaurants are all booked out and you can’t get a babysitter anyway. The three of you sit in the house with a fish supper. Your gift is underwear 2 sizes too small. You go to bed with a headache.
St. Patricks Day – You’ll all go to that Irish pub and have a rare time listening to the Irish music and singing! You’ll drink Guinness! You can’t get into the Irish pub, so go to Weatherspoon’s. There is no music in Weatherspoon’s or any atmosphere. You can get a bottle of wine for £7.50 though. You wonder why every Scottish person knows when St. Paddy’s day is but can never remember St. Andrews day.
Easter – We’ll have an Easter Egg Hunt in the garden, eat chocolate for breakfast then decorate boiled eggs and roll down a hill. It’ll be idyllic!   Torrential rain, so you have an Easter Egg hunt in the house. Your son finds them in 5 seconds. Nobody wants to leave the house. You have egg sandwiches for lunch. Overwhelming feeling of guilt because you eat your sons chocolate when he’s not looking. You feel more guilt for not talking about Jesus once.
Summer holidays – Relaxing quality time with the family and/or friends. Swimming, sunbathing, reading and eating – bliss 🙂 Airport fights; near drowning incidents; more fights; wondering where all your money is going; disgust at the amount you’re eating; being bored to tears by the pool. Looking forward to getting home.
Halloween – Cute children popping in to trick or treat. An entertaining fun evening! No children come to your door. You eat all the food. Feel Guilty.

I realise I sound doom and gloom, but there are exceptions to the rule. The dreaded camping trip in September turned out to be wonderful. I wasn’t looking forward to hosting a big Halloween party, but that was the best time I’d had in ages. That’s the wonderful thing about life – it can be full of pleasant surprises when you’re least expecting them.

22 thoughts on “Anticipation v’s Reality

  1. Please forgive me but I’m going to hop on my soapbox for a second. I think it’s better not to have expectations when disappointment and/or exaggeration is possible. You could play something up to be way grander than it actually is, and then reality isn’t good enough for you. You can also blow something out of proportion and make it way worse than it actually is and lose sight of things. Without either of those premonitions weighing on you, I think, it’s easier to value reality for what it is. Ok I’m stepping off my soapbox now! I totally understand that you just write this for the sake of your Blogging University course and the Anticipation daily prompt, I just really wanted to say that. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand what you’re saying. I lower my expectations of new year (I exaggerated bits to make it more interesting) because I know I don’t particularly enjoy it, but if it’s good then that’s fantastic. Is it humanly possible to have no anticipation or expectations for things though? For many things, try as I might, I cannot help been feel excited and full of anticipation -even if I tell myself not to. My imagination takes over and I’m picturing the event. I value your opinion, debate is good 🙂 I await your response in anticipation (ok, that’s a joke) 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh no you will definitely have expectations. I don’t think anyone can completely eliminate that. We’re kind of wired to infer future possibilities. My point is that if one’s expectations are starting to detract how much they value reality, they need to change them. It doesn’t do you any good to hold false hope for something or hold such high expectations that they’ll never be fulfilled. You have to be able to be satisfied with insufficiency and disappointment. My dad’s had so many false alarms for job opportunities and we’re on the brink of another possibly. That being said, I’m not going to assume the worst either. That’s just as dangerous. You’re doing yourself just as bad a disservice when you write something off before it ever happens. If you’re going to have expectations, expect them to not be fulfilled. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • That all makes sense, especially in your dads situation. For me, it depends on the overall benefit of the anticipation v’s the actual event. For example we’ve been dealing with the reality that my my-in-law can die in the coming months. Months of weekend visits and worry lie ahead. Because of this, lots of mini-breaks and days out have been planned. Nothing fancy or far away, but the anticipation of those things get us through the darkness (sort of). Often not as good as what we imagined, but the reality isn’t as important as those weeks we managed to get through the stress because our anticipation for better things 🙂 Other times though, I agree with you and would try not to have huge expectations.

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      • And your point is equally fair! Sometimes you do need a little fantasy to cope with reality. As long as that fantasy doesn’t detract from your reality, I think it’s fine.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I like to believe that, while there’s no Santa, there are people who embody him. You know they truly embrace the giving spirit for the sake of doing something right. I hope things work out too but I’m not going to hold my breath.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh how I hear this one! “That said, it’s been scientifically proven that anticipation is usually better than reality or retrospection…” I’ve found that to be exactly true with our coming trip to the UK. I’ve wanted to go to Ireland and Scotland all my life, but now that we’re actually going, I can’t seem to work up any enthusiasm. I liked it better when it was a distant dream that pulled me into the future. Does that make sense. You did a great job with that assignment. When I did it mine ended up being about the last rescue dog from 9/11. It was interesting…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyable to read! I can relate, esp to the summer holidays. I laughed out loud at the Chinese New Year one! I agree – Sometimes I feel like I am just always looking for the negative – but have enjoyed many pleasant surprises when I was least expecting them!

    Liked by 1 person

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