“I want what I want, when I want it,” she said. She was my client, and was taking great pride in knowing what she wanted and how to get it. Instant gratification can be wonderful. Other times, having everything without waiting is a soul-draining trap.
Christmas stores that are open all year round is an example of too much of a good thing. There is something that makes a holiday more precious when you have to wait for it, when you can anticipate all the things you love about it.
Years ago, some fruits were available only in season. Grapes, cherries, pears, pomegranates were all available only at a certain time of year. Then they were gone. Sure you could eat canned ones, but they don’t taste anything like the fresh ones. And the wait made them more delicious, more tantalizing for the weeks you could find them. A month away, we would start to anticipate the fruit coming into season.
In the vacant lot next door stood a giant mulberry tree. As much as I wanted to climb the tree and eat mulberries, I knew that first the white flowers covered the tree, then the small green fruit appeared, and then, achingly slowly, the fruit turned white, pink and finally, purple. Only then did it taste good.
In spring, cherry trees were somewhere blooming, their fruit invisible for weeks. The anticipation was exquisite. When the first ones arrived in the store, they were too expensive. I could see them, but not have them. Finally, my mother brought home a bag or firm, dark red cherries.
Several weeks ago, I placed an order for Japanese papers. I love these colorful, intricate papers. Nothing makes a better journal cover–fully saturated color, delicately silk-screened and available in hundreds of (relatively expensive) designs. I’ve been anticipating the papers since then. There was a delay, and I began to anticipate their arrival like the cherries of my childhood. Tonight they arrived.
I left them packed until all the coaching sessions for the evening were over. Only then did I go upstairs, and unwrap the papers, running my fingers over each one, happy that the beautiful papers were finally here. I knew how the notecard would look with the sage/gold/bittersweet waves. I had prepared the journal cover base for the purple/blue/floral paper. Anticipation made them so much more important. Made them so much more delightful. Made me happy for each sheet. Anticipation is the fragrance of waiting. Take a deep breath and enjoy it.
–Quinn McDonald is a life- and certified creativity coach. She is also an artist who makes notecards, journals, and paper bowls. See them at QuinnCreative.