Have something to look forward to and see how it supercharges your life

Having something to look forward to is one of the secrets of a happier life as a single person.

I like to think of these fun pursuits as "rest areas" on the Interstate of life.  Here in Illinois, USA, where I live, we have four-lane highways, and every so many miles the state has set up rest areas.  They always have restrooms (something we all anticipate with gladness), vending machines, a park, and picnic tables where you can eat lunch.

You all know how tiring a long drive can be.  The single life can get that way too, but if you plan fun "rest stops" in your future, you'll find the present is more bearable if you know something good is coming up.

Fun is fleeting but necessary

Fun is something enjoyable but temporary.  It only lasts a short time.  Fun has to be renewed and you usually have to make some kind of effort.

We all need fun things in life, especially single people.  It's something to look forward to, like a drink of cold, refreshing water when you're thirsty.  It satisfies you, but only for a while.  You'll have to drink again, and you'll have to have fun again.

Having something fun to look forward to isn't escaping into the future.  It's planning for a positive purpose:  your mental health.

That's why your future event should be something you enjoy.  It should be an activity that excites you, a break from the ordinary that rewards you with relaxation or delight.

The wise single person has something to look forward to every day.  That may seem difficult, but the way to do that is to concentrate on simple things.  Sure, in the future you may plan something elaborate, but simple, everyday rewards inject a sense of pleasure into life.  They give you a goal to work toward.

Something different for everyone

I enjoy cooking.  I try to make my meals as tasty as I can.  I don't often eat rich or expensive food, but I do work carefully to prepare an appetizing dinner every evening.

Most of us like to eat, and sometimes that can be a problem if you overdo it.  The same goes with whatever you decide to treat yourself with.  If you do it to excess, you'll end up with a guilt trip, feeling miserable.  The goal here is to feel better after your little reward, not worse.

What you plan to treat yourself to should not be sinful, dangerous, or self-destructive.  Many of those things may be pleasurable, but if your reward dishonors God, it has no place in your life, no matter how much you enjoy it.

I'm a big advocate of hobbies.  Some of mine include walking my dog, reading, working with polymer clay, wood carving, fishing, and photography.  Again, a hobby should be something you enjoy.  I also believe a hobby should not cost a lot of money.

Your hobby time can be something to look forward to if it helps you endure the bumps and bruises of the single life.  You'll anticipate it because you know something good is on the way.

Vacations are natural things to look forward to, but again, if you go into debt on a trip or spend more than you can afford, it may come back to haunt you.  Whatever activity you enjoy should have good consequences, not bad ones.

Something to look forward to: spending time with God

Something to look forward to for me is attending church every weekend.  That wasn't always true.  At one time I dreaded going to church because we were constantly told we weren't doing enough.  I belonged to a church where there were a lot of hoops to jump through to earn God's love.

I changed churches and now belong to one that teaches God loves us unconditionally.  Jesus did everything on the cross that we need for salvation.  We don't have to earn his love.  He forgives my sins and is a friend I can always turn to.  I hope you feel that way in your church too.

Do you look forward to time alone with God?  Praying can be work, but it shouldn't be something you dread.  You can tell God anything.  You won't shock him.  You can get angry with him, and he'll understand.  You should see God as he really is:  a loving Father who wants only the best for you.

One of the things that keeps me going through the hardest times is knowing that some day I will be with Jesus in heaven, forever.  I can say that with confidence because that will be Jesus' doing, not mine.  If you're a Christian, you can say that too.

Whatever other enjoyable diversions you may plan, you can always look forward to tomorrow because it will be a day spent with Jesus.  Whether you're sick or well, lonely or contented, angry or joyful, he will be by your side, encouraging you, loving you, assuring you that things are going to get better.

You can enjoy today if you bask in God's love for you, and you can look forward to your future knowing there's even more love to come.

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