Anticipation

The day has arrived. I’m packed and ready to leave. What ever I forgot will be at home waiting for me now. It’s too late to turn back. Forward motion.

Busy again. I volunteered to pick up a birthday cake for one of our colleagues. Two stops before work, no luck. This one’s too small. This one’s too yucky. Why did I agree to get the cake? Why didn’t anyone else step up? Breathe, JoAn, breathe. This is a good distraction, I remind myself. Waiting for my favorite bakery to open, I slip out to get the ‘right’ cake. I’m back in my office. I take care of an email here and then another calming glancing at the clock. After the birthday celebration, I’ll leave. I mutter to myself.

Finally, I head to my car just a bit ahead of rush hour traffic. I hope it’s not too bad. Oh LaDonna, text me. What’s happening? She was at a district meeting waiting to be cleared to return to work. This day is important to her too. I want to share this moment with her. I look down at my phone for a text. Anything. No word. I exhale a heavy sigh.

The wind is blowing hard. Just one more layer to focus on. I guess the universe doesn’t want me to focus on what I can’t control. There is so much I can’t control. It’s hard to keep my mind clear and calm. As I’m barreling down the 210 freeway, I see a red jeep. Could that be? Going a little faster than I should, my curiosity was behind the driver’s seat. I look and sure enjoy, it’s my partner. She has been cleared! I feel a weight released. It’s going to be alright.

Together we met up at the convention center get our badges, check out our room, and giggle. Together we try to calm our nerves and excitement. Off to dinner, we go.

It was a long day piled on top of lots of long days. Knowing I need to get some sleep. However, we had to review the slides. She hasn’t seen them. She needs to become familiar with them. We need to assign roles. We need this to flow. She pulls up the schedule to look at our session to see how many people have registered. I pull up the slides and share with her again.

“173,” she gasps.

“What?” my heart pounds faster. I look at her and say, “Are you sure you’re reading this right?” She tilts her computer my way. Sure enough. 173 people have signed up for our session.

With a sense of urgency, we go over the slides and make some final decision and what to keep and what to delete. I catch a glimpse of her in the corner of my eye. I look over at her, “Are you feeling okay?” She has gone pale. I wonder to myself has she pushed herself too far and wasn’t ready to return to work. I know this day was important to her. She so badly wants to be a part of it.

“I need to lie down.” She replies. Quickly, we pick slides to share and I write them down. Not long afterward, we head to our rooms. As I try to sleep, I drift off hoping this isn’t a setback for her and that she’ll be okay.

I was too tired to post last night. It was too late to post anyhow by the time I climbed into bed. I wanted to capture the anticipation of this big moment for us. Any suggestions to build anticipation would be greatly appreciated.

9 thoughts on “Anticipation

  1. I think you do convey your excitement and nervousness (173 people! Wow!) and all the stress that built up in all you had to do before getting to the conference and giving the presentation. The way you write, telling us the story as it unfolded for you and sharing your thoughts in the moment, helps me feel present with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lucy Calkins’ advice to tell the story bit-by-bit is a way to practice revealing the details. The outcome is a zoomed in picture which takes time to read, thus naturally building anticipation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you’ve done a marvelous job building the tension in this story. The combo of short sentences mixed with longer ones definitely gives us the sensation of being pulled along with you (in a good way!). 173! That’s a big crowd!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not a trained author, reader, educator, or critic. But, as a complete novice at all of this, and, of course with a bit of favoritism, I surely can tell you that, from my perspective, your talent at writing is worthy of sharing widely. It is, simply put, beautifully enticing.

    Liked by 1 person

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