Answer me this #17

May 28, 2010

in Answer me this

Which, for you, is more fulfilling?

Looking forward to a happy event?

or

Looking back on a happy event?

Why?

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

WiseGuy May 28, 2010 at 7:07 am

Ideally, I would say looking forward….But knowing myself, I did say…’Looking back’.

It would so because I would have been through the experience, and I would actually know how it went for me personally….more realistic.

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a May 28, 2010 at 7:37 am

Looking back, definitely.  Looking forward is always done with at least a small amount of dread.  Looking back means I can forget the bad parts and savor the good.

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JJ May 28, 2010 at 7:56 am

Hmmm..definitely made me think!!
I enjoy looking back–reliving special moments in my head always helps keep me zen :)

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Quiet Dreams May 28, 2010 at 10:30 am

I want to say “looking back,” but I put a LOT of energy in looking forward to events and how they might play out.  On the other hand, often those unexpected or unplanned events stay with me a long time and become sweet memories, without all of the lead-up.

Great question.

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Lavender Luz May 28, 2010 at 11:06 am

Right now I’m anticipating something exciting that will happen, I hope, in late Summer (details to come).

I think I will feel a let down after it’s over! I am enjoying the state of suspension I’m in right now!

This is what made me think of this question.

Thanks for your thoughts on this, everyone!

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Kristin May 28, 2010 at 11:08 am

I truly prefer looking back on happy events. While anticipation can be sweet, there is never a guarantee as to how things will turn out. When you are looking back, the even is over, the memories are made, and you can savor it all.

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Betsy May 28, 2010 at 11:28 am

i think that living in the past, although it can be fun to re-visit briefly, keeps one from fully living in the ‘now’. personally, when i look back for too long, i get bogged down with what if’s and if only’s–all which are moot. So, forward looking for me–trying, truly to live in the moment and enjoy what is presented to me right now. :)

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Lavender Luz May 28, 2010 at 11:39 am

Oh, I do the what ifs, too!

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niobe May 28, 2010 at 11:29 am

I think I like looking back more than looking forward. But I like looking forward about a zillion times better than (eeeek) being in the moment.

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Lavender Luz May 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I had a high school teacher who argued there was no such thing as now. Everything either had already happened or had not happened yet.

I wish I could have introduced you to him ;-)

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Betsy May 28, 2010 at 9:05 pm

So there is no happening? i think your teacher is/was missing out.

The Casual Perfectionist May 28, 2010 at 11:42 am

For me, I really try to enjoy the actual event as it’s happening. That’s most fulfilling to me.

I am a planner to the n-th degree, and I enjoy that, so looking forward brings me joy. It also opens up the world of possibilities…anything COULD happen, and I choose to plan for the worse while expecting the best. It’s a blank slate of excitement.

When it’s all done, I love remembering. I am pretty good at sugar-coating the things that could have gone better and enhancing the things that went as according to plan…if not more so. I learn from mistakes and revel in the happiness that was.

My challenge is enjoying the very thing I put so much work into planning. THAT is what is most fulfilling to me: acknowledging the now, patting myself on the back for a job well-done and knowing for for as long as we anticipated this day, it would be over in a flash.

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Lavender Luz May 28, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Sounds like your casual part and your perfectionist part work well together!

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Nicole May 28, 2010 at 12:30 pm

I tend to find looking back more fulfilling; enjoying the good parts and chosing to ignore the bad parts. I have a hard time looking forward because the pessimist in me is always playing ‘worse case scenario’, thinking of all the things that could go wrong (even though most of them won’t.) I am working hard on living more in the moment and seeing the joy in the everyday rather than relying on the good of the past or the potential for good in the future.

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Leigh May 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Finally an easy one for me! Definitely looking forward. I think it’s SO much fun to anticipate an exciting, happy time. Every day leading up to it is filled with joy and promise. Afterwards, you have the potential to either have been let down by the event, OR it was just so awesome and now you miss it and wish you could relive it.

So my answer is forward :)

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furrow May 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I am a forward thinker for a couple of negative reasons and one good one:

1) I’m chronically dissatisfied with the present, so I’m always assuming the future is where the good stuff is
2) I don’t have a very good memory for events, so often there’s not so much to look back on. I’m like a goldfish that way.
3) Deep down, I’m an optimist who assumes that the best is yet to come. Shh… don’t tell anyone.

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Kami May 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I would have to say “it depends”. I love looking forward where it is all potential and I often look back and notice what didn’t go as I hoped. But then there are times when things went really well and I will relive and relive it for quite some time. Sometimes I won’t think about it for a bit in order to relive it again with renewed joy.

Makes me sound a bit crazy doesn’t it? Maybe I am. :)

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Lavender Luz May 29, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Makes sense to me, so maybe we’re both a little crazy.

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caitsmom May 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Neither. I like best figuring out now.

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Lavender Luz May 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I have long aimed to be like you are. Of course, “now” is the third option here, such an elusive one.

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Mel May 28, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Oh! That is a really good question. I often get sad anticipating an event because I’m so excited and I know that the excitement will be over once the event is over. So I think I get more out of having it in front of me than remembering it when it moves to behind me.

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Phoebe May 30, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Looking forward, definitely. It’s like Christmas where you are all excited over the hype, yet when it’s over, it doesn’t feel nearly as great as what you were working it up to be. Ok, not everything is like that. My wedding was a lot more spectacular than I could have imagined it. The weird thing is that I can’t recreate that feeling. It was one of those in the moment feelings that could not be reproduced by photos (which disappointed me) or memory.

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Kir June 4, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I got this in my email on on mini Mem Day Vacation. I thought about it all weekend and I can now tell you that I am an “ANTICIPATION JUNKIE” I look sooo forward to things…I hop up and down (metophorically of course) in anticipation of things, imagining how they will go , what will be said, what could POSSIBLY happen…movies, TV, Life, everytime I log onto facebook, a new book being opened…etc.

I honestly love thinking about what’s “COMING”
while I love thinking about what happened…the before is always better than the after for me. Must be the FOREPLAY (sorry) of it all. :)

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Erica June 12, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I immediately thought looking forward. Not sure why. I guess cause I am a planner. I love having things to plan and look forward to.

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Lavender Luz May 29, 2010 at 1:22 pm

That’s what WE said! (the students)

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