I started writing this a little over a year ago and don’t know why I never finished it, but now seems like a good time. I’ll italicize the original.
I watched the Season 7 finale of How I Met Your Mother today. I discovered the show years after it started, but it’s one of my absolute favorites of all time. I referenced it to Val last week and she shared with me that she stopped following it a few years back after having watched closely for some time. I didn’t understand what would cause her to stop. She explained that she has several friends that started watching the show at different times and the result was the same with each. You see, the plot is set up by a first-person narrator telling his children the story of, well, how he met their mother. Val and her friends watched for a season or two, but eventually they grew weary of not knowing who was going to end up as the wife. The has a great premise, but they lose a lot of viewers because everyone knows the ending; they know that Ted gets married, but also realize that they won’t learn who he marries until the show ends. And it could run for a very long time. The execs are now letting on that there’s probably only a season or two left. With all the twists and developments, it’s hard for some to watch a show where you know the ending, but are made to wait for it.
I’ve been back from Bike Out Hunger for 2 weeks now. As you can imagine, when I returned, there was a mountain of work waiting for me. I found myself asking, “Was the week off really worth the stress of coming back after having been gone for so long?” I’ve shared before on fb and G+ a study that basically says that the majority of benefits at a vacation actually come before you leave. It turns out that the physiological response to a vacation builds long before it comes and often peaks before what may be the climax of a trip. [For the record I certainly enjoyed my time away and it was totally worth the extra work]. You see, the body responds to the planning process, the building of anticipation for what’s coming, more even than an actual destination or culmination of the plans. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Now, a year later, if you’ve seen the HIMYM Season 8 finale, you know that we finally get our first glimpse of the mother! Fans already know where it happens, but now we have a face.
And I think I know now why I stopped where I did. There are so many directions to go…
First — because it’s on my heart right now — as a long time single dude, it’s really hard not to put a lot of my heart into a relationship before it’s ready. When you’re getting to know someone, it can be a killer to put too many expectations on a person (see Fairy Tale Love). I’d be willing to bet that applies to you engaged folks and newlyweds, too :-)
Second, looking forward isn’t a bad thing. There are benefits to that planning time for a vacation and, likewise, there are definitely benefits to planning for the future. The prep time before a promotion, future relationship, trip, or whatever, can make all the difference in actually getting there. It’s not to be wasted. How would your vacation turn out without booking a flight or hotel? Would you go into an interview without knowing about the company you’re applying with? Of course not.
So whatever you’re waiting on or hoping for, get to it. Train, plan, study, save, read, exercise discipline, and be ready.
Thirdly, I am so thankful that no amount of anticipation and no hype is more than the joys of eternity with my God. No matter how wonderful I think Heaven will be or how much I try to brace myself for true awe and the experience of meeting the Creator face-to-face, I will not be let down. What great anticipation! Now excuse me, I need to go prepare.