Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Scribblings # 97 - Anticipate

Is it wise to anticipate?
Anticipate what? Danger? A warm welcome? The weather? My future needs?

The steadfast Girl Guide rule "Be Prepared" suggests anticipation is beneficial.

I anticipate, I am prepared. Anticipation = preparation = I'll always have my umbrella when I need it, I'll always have milk because I'll buy more before we run out, and I'll have that "rainy day" money when I need it.

Yet from another point of view, consider the synonym for the word anticipate: expect.
Expecting ups the ante; it suggests desire. In that context, then, maybe anticipating is not helpful.

To expect anything usually results in disappointment. The energy of expectation clogs the drain of possibility.

But perhaps on the continuum of conviction, anticipating is a little less intense. It's something one is "hoping" for and perhaps one is not as invested in the outcome as when one is expecting something.

Either way, anticipating ties us to the future and takes us away from the present.

Am I better off being in the moment than being prepared? Are both possible?


  1. Yes, there is a feeling of the heart leaning into the future when I anticipate. It takes away from the present. Still in order to create a vision is helpful, so it is a mix of things going on with the spirit of anticipation. I enjoyed your exploration. Perhaps anticipation without attachment, making it more about the journey would serve us well. Not sure.

  2. Very good question. Being in the moment and prepared I think go hand in hand. I may live through the toughness of the now, but my heart anticipates and is prepared for things to get better in the future. Or prehaps it's all a mind trick we play on ourselves to get through the day?

    Great post!

  3. I, too, liked your journey through the words. I do differentiate between "expect" and "anticipate." I kind of envision "anticipate" as a happy-dancing-I-can't-wait kind of thing. "Expect," to me, leaves me drumming my fingers on the table, waiting for it to happen, rather impatiently no less.

  4. In order to survive, we all anticipate one thing or the other!

    white curtains bellow from open window

    Please don't forget to post your creative works at Monday Poetry Train Revisited too!

  5. I am thankful that we are able to live in the present, past and future. We need to be able to live now but memories and hopes and fears are all a part of us as well. Very thought provoking.

  6. Your post has caused me to think ... anticipation ... expectation ... the future. I agree that sometimes we focus so much on the future we forget to live in the here and now; to enjoy who and what are around us. What came to mind as you pondered expectation and the disappointment it can bring is the word 'trust'. Trust in a higher power, in God, in a future in heaven - for the final future we will face. Trust in God allows me to rest in the present and anticipate the future with joy.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and stimulating mine!

  7. Thanks for the juicy thoughts..For me, "Anticipation" feels different inside...Kind of an open joyful sensation that wants to be alive and engage with the world. "Expectation" comes from a different place; like I waant something to be a certain way so I don't have to deal with self examination or the rest of the world.