Anticipation Has Left The Building



It looked like a graveyard.

Christmas blow-ups. Deflated and dejected in their decompressed sadness.

We went walking a few days after Christmas, and I felt despondent when I saw the dead-looking blow-ups. It was the let-down of the after-holiday rush. The anticipation was past. Nothing immediate to look forward to.

And I was tired.images

My kids noticed it before I did.

“You’re slamming around, Mom. What’s going on?” Debbie’s comment caught me off guard.

“I’m not slamming. I’m putting things away.”

“You’re slamming drawers, doors, anything that can close with a bang. Are you upset?”

I didn’t want to admit it. My slamming was my response to the end of the magical season. The finale had played. All I was doing was cleaning up the mess.

By myself.

Passive/aggressive slamming. Very effective when you want to let others know you’re a little irritated without saying it in so many words.

It was fueled, a lot, by the excess amount of sugar I’ve been inhaling over the last two weeks. The moody, foggy-brained syndrome of too many Christmas cookies.

I wasn’t angry at anyone. I was sad that the bigness of Christmas was over. The family was starting to peel out and return to their homes. The noise I’d loved was now just the reminder that it would soon be no more. The house would be quiet. Everything would be picked up. There wouldn’t be excess trash all over the garage because we created more than they’d pick up in a week.

Back to the every day.

I don’t want the every day.

I want the fun of the holidays all year. Family around. Playing games. Taking walks. Hearing laughter from every corner of the house. Quips being traded faster than desired baseball cards.

Fun. Family.

And now frustration. I’m left with having to be responsible.

It’s so easy to live for the big things. The next exciting adventure. Things that I naturally look forward to with the anticipation of a child. Fun is more enjoyable than duty.

It’s less complicated, less demanding to do what’s enjoyable in the moment. To not count the cost of my reactive choices–like the extra piece of Christmas fudge or toffee–just because it’s sitting in front of me. Thinking, “I’ll care about what I eat next year. I’ll consider the consequences next week. I’ll take into account what other’s need tomorrow.”

I don’t live on Pleasure Island. My decisions matter. What I do matters to those I love and work with.

Maybe I need to find the joy in the moment and not look for the moment of joy to embrace?

Jesus calls us to be present and aware of what’s happening around us. To be reflections of a good God who lives in and through us. To care for others with kindness and love because people matter.

My pleasure, convenience and comfort don’t trump the needs of others. Not looking for the next fun thing but looking to offer what’s truly valuable to others. Loving attention.

Maybe the next big adventure is learning to care deeply for others–without expecting something in return?

I can learn to anticipate that.


4 responses to “Anticipation Has Left The Building”

  1. Pleasure island… an honest evaluation of what life could be like …but that would not include Jesus who is at home in the mess….


    1. He most certainly is at home in our mess–and boy, are we ever messy! Thanks for reading, Daniel.


  2. beautifully written, my friend. my favorite line is this: “Maybe I need to find the joy in the moment and not look for the moment of joy to embrace?” the post-Christmas slump is a bug, but I love the beauty you found in it and the humility that took you there. ❤ you


    1. Thanks, Ames. It continues! January 1 is coming!

      Liked by 1 person

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