When I'm really excited about something I feel over the moon. I can't wait for it to happen. Something like ice cream on a crap day or a vacation to somewhere fun or to see a friend I haven't seen in a while. Sometimes, I get excited about time I get to spend by myself or about a new movie being released. These are all good things to excited about.
But then there are other things that are made worse through anticipation. That logarithm test in college algebra in high school that I knew I totally bombed. I got a 25 percent. (It was only beaten by one other student's 14 percent.) Thank goodness we had a math project and wrote a paper on a mathematician at the end of the semester so I could get uber points back that semester in my math grade. Anyway, other areas where anticipation basically gives me an ulcer: when my grandmother was slipping away at the end of her life, when I fell down four steps 20 weeks pregnant with X-man and started to have spotting, sitting in the waiting room at the old cancer center in the bowels of Carle getting an ultrasound on an unidentifiable lump in my breast...
Now that I'm 40, I'm learning that anticipation is pretty much a strong indicator that I'm still living... and that I have lived. I know to anticipate how something is going to turn out. It helps me predict that which is good and bad and -- what doesn't matter at all. It also helps me temper my responses now that I'm older.
But at six years of age, X-man still has a long way to go to learn that what is in his head is often much worse (or better) than the real thing.
For example, this morning, the family went for a flu shot. X-man has had one every year. He only had one bad experience and that was with the H1N1 Nasal drip. He hates the nasal stuff. So we skipped the flu mist clinic they had at his elementary school. I told him if he didn't do it there, he'd get the injection at Carle's flu clinic near our house. He's always happily sat through the flu injection without incident knowing there was a piece of candy when he was done. And today from 7 a.m. to noon, is the last day of the flu shot clinic at the Curtis location. (They have others around town and Public Health is always available.)
MacTroll and I got ours first. We were so fast that X-man didn't even notice that I got mine done. Then when it was his turn, he flipped out. MacTroll held him on his lap, and he turned to look at me while the needle went in. He screamed out loud and cried. Now he's obsessed as to whether or not his bandaid is falling off or not. To him getting a needle poked in his arm (before it actually happened) was the worst thing in the world (even if it was followed up with MacTroll taking him to the Fire Institute Open House).
It's hard to convey the "life gets better" message when you're on the other side of the emotional upheaval.