Pride and Prejudice and Tempering Anticipation
“Upon the whole, therefore, she found, what has been sometimes found before, that an event to which she had looked forward with impatient desire, did not, in taking place, bring all the satisfaction she had promised herself. it was consequently necessary to name some other period for the commencement of actual felicity; to have some other point on which her wishes and hopes might be fixed, and by again enjoying the pleasure of anticipation, console herself for the present, and prepare for another disappointment. “- from Pride and Prejudice (Elizabeth Bennett) by Jane Austen
I’m not a fan of romance novels, so found myself just recentlyreading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth Bennett is my new hero for the ages. In one fell swoop, by simply standing her ground and being herself, she managed to not only land a wealthy head-over-heels in love with her husband but fixed up her sister with a man of substance as well.
Elizabeth Bennett was hard headed and stubborn in a time when women were supposed to be pliant and submissive. As a woman of means, she anticipated events, trips, and encounters as social stimulus. She looked forward to happenings, that, once they happened, became lack lustre and not as lively as she would have hoped.
Elizabeth’s words quoted above speak to my heart. In a life of much work with only tiny morsels of reward, I find myself very often anticipating an outing or event only to have my expectation far exceed the experience. As a result, I anticipate the next happening, the next trip or talk or interaction with an open heart, only to experience a sort of sad detachment as the event doesn’t live up to my hopes.
I have some work to do to train myself to temper my anticipation and learn to simply enjoy the now. To not look forward to the next event or meeting or whatever and just live joyfully in the present, appreciating all the fineness of life, love, home, health and work.
This is our moment. It’s the only one we have. Capture it and savor the seconds.