Anticipation

I will publicly state that I love television.

Enlightened intellectuals eschew such mundane entertainment; anyone not wanting to appear common would never make such a proclamation. At least not in public. I am not one of those pretentious individuals. I am a child of the television era and I am proud to say so.

The Good Old Days

In the days before cable, the internet, cell phones, video games, You Tube, Netflix and streaming services, home entertainment options were somewhat limited. Television, radio, record players and reading. I guess people talked to each other back then as well, or they just allowed themselves to become engrossed in the newspaper or a book, tuning out whatever was going on around them. Thus the lack of entertainment options was no guarantee of closer personal relationships.

This topic is on my mind right now as the current television season is coming to a close, and along with it my favorite tv show of all time, Big Bang Theory. The impending loss of this beloved Thursday night staple has caused me to panic just a little. In my logical and occasionally rational mind I know that life goes on and these actors must be anxious for something more in their lives and careers besides bringing these fabulous characters to life year in and year out. I know that I am being selfish in wishing that this would never end. But it must end. The stories have been told and it is time.

As a child and teen mid to late summer did not mean preparation for school. No it meant the much anticipated announcement of the new shows coming out in the fall. My family never subscribed to TV Guide; I always wished we did. Back then everyone subscribed to the newspaper and the television guide for the week was delivered free in the Sunday paper. The all color comic section and television guide all on one day. It was the best! With these I could plan my week. I still miss the importance of the Sunday paper.

With the new television season came new shows but more importantly for me the return of beloved favorites. The folks that come to me every week and with whom I develop an attachment. Writing this out almost sounds strange and worthy of a trip to a therapist. But admit it, we all do it. We feel we know these folks – or at least their characters – and spending thirty minutes a week with them is comfortable and fun.

I have always been a sit-com person. With very few exceptions (The Waltons, Dallas, St. Elsewhere, and currently British dramas) I am all about the fun. For whatever reason my husband is not a fan of these so I simply record them and watch them the next morning. Thus I get to anticipate just a little longer than everyone else.

Myth of Instant Gratification

In our world today we do not know how to anticipate and wait for even the simplest of things. Networks “drop” entire seasons of shows so that we can sit in front of the television for hours on end watching all episodes at once. I don’t like doing that. I want to watch, digest, ponder, and then anticipate what happens next. Even for shows that I have immediate access to, I only watch one at a time. I find there is more pleasure this way.

I love DQ Blizzards. But I have noticed that about half way through my taste buds have gone numb and I can no longer taste with the same degree of acuity that I could with the first few bites. This is a truth that can be applied to many things in life.

Waiting is a Gift

What do we wait for these days? Football season is something I wait for every year, but now we have a new league so that even that will be available year round – should I choose to watch. We don’t wait on mail. I have started mailing cards to my granddaughters just so they will know the wonderful anticipation of getting mail. I miss letters. That will be the subject for another day.

Patience is a virtue, or so the saying goes. I believe that is true and patience is not given it is learned. How is it learned? Through waiting. I see a lack of patience in the generations that have grown up with everything immediately available to them. They have not learned to wait, watch, anticipate and then celebrate when the waiting is over. These are vital life lessons and it is up to the parents and grandparents to help them learn. We must not only teach it we must model it for them.

Life is a gift to be savored, one small bite at a time. I don’t want to binge my way through life and miss all the tiny nuances that make it rich and meaningful. Do you?

And that’s what Sheryl says…until next time.

Never Too Old

I have a love affair with children’s books. Specifically picture books. Authors and illustrators of these books tell stories, teach lessons, make us laugh, make us cry, and some become life long friends. I don’t have many books from my childhood and have no clear memory of being read to, nor special stories from my early years. What I do have is a life long love for books. Just being near books envelopes me with a blanket of comfort and peace.

I’m not going to lie. I have not always been the reader I wanted to be. As an elementary school kid, I spent one whole summer reading. I kept a record of the books, challenging myself to meet a goal. I wish I still had that list…and the drive. There was no library program or mandatory school reading list. Just a girl who discovered the joy of exploring new worlds through books.

As I got older and life got in the way I let go of reading as a habit. This is something I am working on correcting. I love it while doing it but I get so easily distracted by other things that need to get done. Anyone out there relate?

With picture books I can pick up a beautiful book and spend a few minutes in another world and I always have something to think about when the book is finished. This love affair began when I became a kindergarten teaching assistant. The joy of reading to children opened my eyes to the amazing range of children’s literature. And then I became a grandmother. I bought books for the girls, but they were really for me. None of them became readers despite Mimi’s best efforts, but Mimi has a nice collection of books.

Yesterday I stopped at Barnes and Noble looking for a magazine (which they did not have) but what I found were two books that spoke directly to my heart and life at the moment.

This is the latest in a series of books by this creative duo whose titles begin with “What Do You Do With ……..” This just spoke to me. I stood there in the store and read it. At first I walked away. The words and the message just kept running through my mind. I went back to the stack. It came home with me.

I read it again this morning. And I asked myself, “What would I do with a chance?”

Will I recognize a chance when it comes my way?

Will I be distracted and not know a chance when it presents itself?

Will I be brave?

Will I persevere?

Will I grab the chance and make the most of it?

These are all questions I hope I know the answers to. The truth is we all are given chances every single day. Chances to smile. Chances to be kind. Chances to say something. Chances to try something new. There are more chances than I can list here. They are out there. They are fleeting and may never come back around again.

See a chance…take a chance. It doesn’t matter what the outcome, what matters is that you tried. Oh, and read a children’s book sometime. I promise you will be glad you did.

~Sheryl