Struggling with depression as I do, I tend to look at my life as a series of widely spaced stepping stones in a pond. I look forward to hopping to the next refuge, the next awesome thing. That’s what gets me through the rough, wet, clammy patches.
That’s why I love to travel so much. Who wouldn’t get excited, looking forward to a trip to Italy, for example? But it doesn’t have to be that elaborate. It could be a day trip to the seashore, or even a drive to a nearby city to check out a restaurant. I just know that it’s important to me to have something to anticipate.
Travel isn’t the only thing in life to look forward to, of course. It could be starting a new job, or graduating, or finishing a project or achieving a goal. You might be excited about going on a date or talking to a friend on the phone, or choosing what color to paint your bathroom. Heck, I even get butterflies in my stomach when I go to the library, because from there you can go anywhere in your mind.
And the older I get, the more I realize that no matter how dark the cloud is that’s currently over my head, some good experience is surely in my future. I know that for a fact, even if I don’t yet know what the wonderful thing will be. So if I can’t focus on something specific, I put my head down, keep trudging, and hold on to the knowledge that the clouds will break eventually, and that even if it’s obscured at the moment, the sun is up there somewhere.
Sometime in the next few days I’ll be taking a ferry from Seattle out to Port Townsend, and I’m so excited. I’ve been itching to explore the surrounding area for quite some time, and Port Townsend is said to be an artsy little Victorian seaport. One of my coworkers even says there’s a beach near there comprised entirely of sea glass. I can’t wait to see that. I have no doubt that I’ll be blogging about it!
I’ll be staying with a new friend and her parents. It will be a rare treat for me to have that much human contact. They seem like amazing people.
Then, about a month after that, I’ll be going to Yellowstone National Park with my sister and brother-in-law and an unbelievable menagerie of our pets. I’ve been to Yellowstone before, and there’s no place like it. I’m looking forward to seeing how my dogs react to a bison. (From an extremely safe distance, of course.)
It occurs to me that it’s a delicious experience, having things to look forward to. I highly recommend it. I also enjoy living for the moment, although I find that to be difficult sometimes. Anything that keeps me from dwelling on the past or brooding over stressful stuff is quite welcome. I do tend to brood.
I am prone to depression, but I’ve found that I can sort of skip over the top of it like a stone skipping over water if I can hop from one “Looking Forward To” event to the next. My idea of hell is having nothing to anticipate. And being in that state is entirely under your control.
Don’t just sit there! Make plans! It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. I’m looking forward to making Toad in the Hole for dinner tonight, for example.