There are four stages for enjoying a happy event:
So, with each happy event, we should think about:
actively looking forward to it
relishing it in the moment—which may mean, among other things, not talking on your cell phone or checking your emails
talking about it with other people, writing about it, etc.
thinking back on it—a task for which mementos like photos or scrapbooks are very useful
So, instead of just thinking, “Wow, I can’t wait for HP7 to come out” and waiting for the book, I’m doing as much as I can to wring every drop of happiness out of that event.
I re-read all six books, so that I’d remember the twists and turns of the story. What a pleasure.
I bought MuggleNet.com’s What Will Happen In Harry Potter 7, which was so much fun.
I’ve had many happy conversations with friends and the Big Girl to speculate on what might happen, and we’re already planning to have long talks as soon as we’ve finished, to debate the ending.
A good friend of mine has a son who is the Big Girl’s good friend. We’re not sure if two eight-year-olds will be able to stay up until midnight without crashing, but we’re going to try. We’ve planned a night of watching the first Harry Potter movie at home, then going to the countdown party at the Barnes & Noble at Union Square. Jim Dale will be reading.
I’m going to take pictures to help us remember the night, later. I hope that it will be one of the Big Girl’s fondest memories of her childhood. It is an historic literary event – and she gets to stay up until midnight! (that’s the most thrilling part for her).
Funnily enough, the hardest part of enjoying Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be the third element – savoring. The suspense is so enormous that I fear that I’ll gulp down the book too quickly to savor it. On Saturday (we decided—no peeking at the book until Saturday morning), I’ll have to use tremendous self-control to read slowly enough to drink in the details. Also, I plan to cut off all communication with the outside world, for fear of a spoiler. I’m confident that the New York Post will have a headline like, “Harry Lives!” or “Harry Dies!”
Sometimes, anticipation is greater than the happiness actually experienced in the moment – that’s known as “rosy prospection.” The publication of HP7 is one of the rare occasions when I’m confident that my prospection will not be disappointed.
Gosh, I’ve gotten so sentimental. Today the Very Short List featured a lovely 60-second ad for Lloyds bank, and I found myself sniffing. It makes me think, once again, that only the fact that life unfolds very slowly preserves it from being unbearably poignant.
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