Last month, I announced my word for the year: expectation.
It's a fine word, but one thing I've come to realize about the word of the year is that it needs a little maintenance, a little attention. Once it's out there, you can't just abandon it. It's always evolving, and it won't grow into the theme it's meant to be if you just put it in the corner and let it sulk.
So I've decided that I'm going to return to expectation from time to time -- maybe even monthly -- to report on how things are coming along with it. In what ways is "expectation" meeting the...well...the expectations that have been placed upon it by having been named my word for a whole year?
First, let's start with a visual. This is one of the things expectation can look like:
Expectation is what's around the corner. It's a lot like another one of my favorite words: hope. It has something to do, too, with this curious little kitty in that it's about anticipating the exciting things we're about to encounter.
The thing about expectation is you know something's coming but there's mystery involved. You can't know the full shape of it until you turn the bend. And even then there's still more to experience before you can actually look expectation in the hindsight eye.
Oh, I do love looking forward to good things! And as I think on those coming up in my life, I am filled with another great and applicable word: gratitude! I'm fairly certain that we start the process of dying the moment we have nothing to look forward to. We must have things to anticipate and get excited over to in order to live!
I'm happy to report that at present I have many reasons be living fully. Here's a little of what I'm talking about:
- LOVE! Later this month, my hubby and I will attend a Couple's Night Out our church hosts annually for its married parishioners. This year's event will take place at the Bluestem Center for the Arts across the river in Moorhead, Minn. I'm expecting a great meal and an inspiring talk by our new bishop, who has impressed me by his gentleness and faith. I am looking forward to this fun night of celebrating love!
- YOUNG AUTHORS! In March, I will return to Thief River Falls, Minn., to join other writers, authors and creatives to give a presentation at an annual young author conference. My talk will be "Truth, Dare, Double Dare," and in it, I'm going to spill the beans to the young people present on what the life of a writer is really like.
- NYC BABY! At the end of March, my oldest daughter and I will board a bus bound for New York City to experience her high school's choir tour 2014; me, as chaperone, her as participant. I'm just a little excited about this. There's nothing like a great adventure. The itinerary includes a couple Broadway musicals, time at a soup kitchen and a host of other fun stuff. Weee!
- HOLY SPIRIT COME! In April, our youngest will experience First Eucharist and Confirmation, and Easter will be in there somewhere, too, along with his ninth birthday and visits from extended family. At long last our littlest guy will be able to join the rest of our family in the Communion lines on Sunday. Yippee!
- AUTHOR VISIT! I'm still wrapping up details on this one, but it's looking like I'll be spending a full day with a school in our state at the end of April talking about books, writing and dreams. There's nothing like entering a school with a box of books and being surrounded by a hundred smiling, eager faces.
- SPRING! It is coming, really! We've had quite a winter so far and as one friend said, it's getting old talking about how old the winter is getting. But boy is spring going to be fantastic this year. Bring it on baby!
- SUMMER VISITS! Summer plans are still in the works, but there are a few things brewing that have me super excited about summer 2014, including a possible visit from a faraway friend, a trip out of town to visit a great college friend, and maybe a faraway visit to another part of the country as well. Details are a little hazy yet, but that's what makes the expectation factor so full of expectation!
- FALL SURPRISE! The fall promises to be extra fabulous, but I'll give only one hint for now: it has something to do with a book. The rest will be revealed in good time.
Life comes full of hills and valleys, but I feel like I'm riding along a very nice hilltop right now, and though I know the bumps and dips will be inevitable too, I'm going to embrace it while I can.
Q4U: What about you? What great expectations are around your bend?