Looking forward.

Early this morning I remembered something. A few years ago, a GP asked me if I was able to look forward to things in the future.  Sadly, I couldn’t think of a single thing I was excited about. All the stuff I was dreading and worrying about had pushed out anything good.

So today, my challenge to you is this: can you find something you feel happy anticipation over? Every time that heavy, dark dread threatens to grab you again, can you focus on the happy event instead? It’s a mental exercise but I think it’s doable.

When the radio or TV reminds you it’s only seven weeks to Christmas, how do you feel? When you look at the week ahead, do you just want it over with?

All my life I have coped with difficult things by saying, ‘it’ll be over soon’, you know, stuff like exams, times away, child birth, sleepless nights, medical procedures, the dentist’s, moving house and so much more.

That’s more than thirty years lost in wishing things over.

When does the loving life bit begin?

Christmas is a really good time to put this into practice. Already, I’m stressing about the dinner, what to buy in this anti-plastic, anti-waste age, why I have completely lost sight of the actual meaning of it all. Someone said to me yesterday how much he loved Christmas, ‘because my wife does it all’. Let’s leave a moment of silence after that…

Can you ‘do it all’ and still be excited about it? Can you stop the torrent of thoughts, to-do lists and tasks and re-discover the excitement you had when you were small? Can you look forward without dread? I hope so. Just get other people to stop stuffing themselves with chocolate orange and step up and share the burden. Or let someone else do it all for you. What a present that would be.  And give some time to those who are facing it all alone this year. That in itself should stop you thinking it’s too hard. They need us to be bright and strong. They need us to give them a reason to look forward without dread.

Did you notice that the binoculars in the photo are facing inwards? It’s time to flip our perspective and focus on what, who, really matters.

Write a different list. Not of the things to do or buy, but of the people you need to look after this Christmas. And another of the times you’re looking forward to. I’m off to start mine now.

No need to check this one twice.