A-ha. I Am Not Crazy.

I will be the first to admit that I often march to the beat of a drum only I hear. I can sometimes tend to find my own (ahem, albeit sometimes the hard) way to do things or get things done and sometimes find myself feeling like the little dog with its head tilted sideways and one ear up and the other down as I watch many around me. Huh?  Oh well.

But…in  a recent post, I wrote that:

I will admit that anticipation is probably one of my favorite things. I save gift cards for far too long because I savor what is to come much more than what has already happened. I love to plan trips almost as much as take them because it is as exciting to me to consider the possibilities as it is to actually be there.

And not too long before that one…I wrote a post about realizing that I could live with less and find that I have so much more and in that post I wrote:

…that I often was consumed by the next purchase, desperate in my attempt to acquire, to fill so as to avoid the void;  and that now I shop with intention for what is truly needed and appreciated. Time spent in good company far outweighs things, ten to one. So does saving for a rainy day. Or a sunny trip.

And then…last week, while scrolling through my Facebook feed I saw this…

anticipation

It’s been over a decade since American psychologists Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich concluded that doing things makes people happier than having things. “To Do or to Have? That Is the Question” was the title of the study they published in 2003 (PDF), and it’s been cited hundreds of times since.


All of the studies indicated that anticipation of an experience is more exciting and pleasant than the anticipation of a material purchase—regardless of the price of the purchase. In the case of crowds queuing up to make purchases, those in line for an experience (such as a play or admission to a theme park) generally are in better moods and on better behavior than those in line to buy material goods. In a press release, Gilovich said one reason the research is important to society is that it “suggests that overall well-being can be advanced by providing an infrastructure that affords experiences—such as parks, trails, beaches—as much as it does material consumption.”

Source:  The Positive Benefits of Anticipation


Ah. I am not crazy (well, ok, maybe a little!)

Isn’t it so great when science backs us up?!  🙂 It’s like a nice little pat on the back from the Universe – ‘yep, keep moving along, you’re doing ok! (but I’m going to keep an eye on you anyway!)”.  

Hmmm….I am already anticipating my next adventure!  What do you think?

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20 thoughts on “A-ha. I Am Not Crazy.

  1. This is SO true, Bonnie! I love the fact that the study revealed that people are better behaved waiting in a queue for an experience rather than waiting in a queue to buy something. This is a very interesting observation 😀

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    • Diane,
      I loved that observation too! And, how it led them to make the conclusion that we need more spaces where we get to experience something! 🙂

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  2. Well, from the woman who can make a chocolate bar last 2-3 weeks, I get it, Bon, I really do. I LOVE the anticipation…savoring it the way one nurses a fine glass of wine, a favorite album (what’s wrong with playing a beloved song again,and again, and again?), well, you get the picture. A quick virtual jaunt down memory lane tells me that while the gifts I’ve been blessed with are lovely, the experiences linger and may be trotted out to enjoy again and again, long after the heel has fallen off a hot pair of pumps. In the end, it is our memories we will carry with us…. Thank you for framing that up so beautifully….

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    • OMG. I get that, I totally get that- I can make a chocolate bar last too! And there is NOTHING wrong with playing the same song,again, and again and again and AGAIN! Nodding, yes, it’s the memories that come along with – for they can never be lost or misplaced or taken or used up. I am savoring being in your good company. xoxo

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  3. Many times….anticipation creates anxiety for me. I think it’s probably the introvert in me. (p.s. I spend my gift cards the same day…or close to it! 🙂 What’s wrong with me?!?!? ) Love this post Bonnie! #noblackfridayforme

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    • What a totally interesting perspective, I am so glad you shared that. It’s interesting to think about anticipation in a whole different light. Nothing, absolutely nothing is wrong with you (but I am not telling you where my gift cards are stashed!). We are on the same page with #noblackfridayforme…I can’t thing of a single thing I need so desperately as to wait in that kind of line or mess. Here’s to spontaneity and enjoying the moment that is right now in front of us!

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  4. So true! But I knew this already ’cause I go to BonsEye U and you schooled me with this…
    “I will admit that anticipation is probably one of my favorite things. I save gift cards for far too long because I savor what is to come much more than what has already happened. I love to plan trips almost as much as take them because it is as exciting to me to consider the possibilities as it is to actually be there.”

    and then you educated me with this…
    “…that I often was consumed by the next purchase, desperate in my attempt to acquire, to fill so as to avoid the void; and that now I shop with intention for what is truly needed and appreciated. Time spent in good company far outweighs things, ten to one. So does saving for a rainy day. Or a sunny trip.”

    So the way I figure it…if you say it, I listen and learn. And to think…I thought I hated science! 🙂

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    • Ahhh…Rhon, I love this. I love that as I slowly figure stuff out, or as the light comes on that it makes sense beyond the scope of just me. And BonesEye U…that is the best!! Cheers to science…just think, science is a big part of wine and beer too 🙂 We heart science! xoox

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  5. As Carly Simon sings “Anticipation” in the background…interesting results from the study you cited – and yet, I think about those lines outside some stores on Black Friday, the jostling and aggressiveness and I nod my head at their findings. Compare it to the people waiting in line to parasail (ok, I’ve done this once and would never do it again, but hardly the point…;-) ) – the laughter and chatter…Your adventures await you BonBon with delight and joy and I wish you a gazillion more…xox

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    • I really honed in on the differences highlighted between the two different kinds of lines that people will wait in and agree. I would parasail 10x before ever waiting in line on Black Friday or any other retailers product release. In college a group of friends and I all waited overnight to buy concert tickets to see Sting. We all had fun despite ‘sleeping’ on cold concrete in the wee hours of the night. But it was all for a fun experience we would share together. Interesting findings for sure and it was a definite moment of resonance! Cheers to more adventures, line or no line! 🙂 xoxo

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    • David, I am so glad there is resonance for you too. It was such a moment of things coming together – I feel so often like I am finding my way in a dimly lit room and to find something written and researched that fits with two things I think about..well, that was a great day!

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