[This was drafted before we went… I’m a little late posting it, after the fact. I’ll tell you how it went sometime soon…]

Right now I am seriously looking forward to an upcoming holiday. We will be trekking in Patagonia and then heading to Mexico! It’s ok, you can hate me.

But don’t worry, to put it in perspective, I can also get quite excited about a three-day camping weekend a few hours North. I can be thrilled about that weeks before and after such a trip. Still, Patagonia, here I come.

What do you have to look forward to? What plans are coming up? Holidays, adventures, coffee with a friend, a dance class.

We all need things to look forward to. Every day is new but many of them feel like copies of each other. You need a lot of mindfulness to honestly feel like an ordinary day is interesting. You can always aim for the mindfulness of a Buddhist monk but until you get there a few cool plans can make a difference.

How do you create things to look forward to?

Ideas

What ideas seem cool? What would you love to do? Are there classes you would like to take, a sport, veteran athletics, art classes, pottery, gardening, dancing, singing, painting… rally car racing. We’re all different, we like different things. If we didn’t there would be more crowds.

Plans

On your list of “seriously cool to do” stuff, what is feasible right now? What is possible in the near future? What would you need to save for? What could you do a year from now?

One to three months

I think a medium term plan feels good. What can you plan to do in the next few months? What do you need to do to make it happen? This can be smallish: a weekend away, a camping trip, a health retreat, a beach weekend, a course.

What appeals to you?

Why have something to look forward to?

Anticipation can be a large part of the pleasure. You often anticipate for much longer than you actually experience. Already I’ve been training for over a month for a trek which will involve only five consecutive days.

It sounds funny but walking to work (an hour each way) with a loaded backpack makes me smile. It’s tough and sweaty (Sydney in Summer is warmer than Patagonia) but every step reminds me of our upcoming trip. I can feel my frame getting stronger. I can feel resilience growing with my muscles. I love this much exercise and I didn’t think I would.

All this effort helps me look forward to the trip. There’s also a Patagonian mountain scene on my enormous desktop at work. And I check temperatures in El Calafate more often than I should… and hiking tips for women. It doesn’t need that much “research” but I’m enjoying it already. Anticipation…

It’s the best thing I’ve ever done, and I haven’t even done it yet.

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