Have you ever noticed how, the more you look forward to an event or occurrence, the more lackluster the big day actually seems upon arrival?
I don't know if it's because we mentally build up occasions to an impossibly hard-to-meet reality or if we somehow sabotage ourselves out of a good time - even if it's great! - by giving in to let-down syndrome. Either way, the bottom line is: sometimes the things we most eagerly anticipate wind up fizzling out before they even get off the starting block.
You know of what I speak - the birthday that ends in an argument; the Christmas party debacle; the weekend getaway gone horribly awry.
The upside is the reverse: sometimes the things we dread most end up being super great and fabulous.
Case in point of the former, the dismayed road trip my friend Sandy Miller of Liberty took with her husband Harry and their two (then) toddler girls several years ago.
"We had this wedding in Michigan for cousins, like four times removed or something, and I really, really didn't want to go," recalled Sandy.
She recounted how she was absolutely in fear of the multi-hour car ride to the Upper Peninsula, especially because both of her daughters were in diapers at the time and the wedding was a winter affair.
"All that time in the car, the iffy winter weather, I didn't know a single soul who was going to be there ... what was there to look forward to?" she said.
And just when she least expected it, there it was, a weekend in a veritable winter wonderland that wound up becoming one of her favorite memories of all time.
"Oh my gosh, the weather was perfect, the kids slept most of the trip there and back and the wedding setting was like something out of 'The Nutcracker,'" Sandy gushed.
She and Harry and their little gals had such a ball and bonded so deeply with other cousins from Florida, that they've been visiting them nearly every winter since that fateful journey.
Ah, but when the pendulum swings the other way, friends, sometimes it's like a machete slicing your happiness to ribbons.
"Oh, I totally will never forget the vacation to Disney in 2005 - as hard as I try," winced my friend Beth Wharton of Hubbard.
Not only did both of her sons vomit on the plane ride down to Florida, one of them developed an ear infection once they arrived in the Sunshine State and they spent the beginning part of the trip in an overcrowded, less-than-friendly urgent care center.
"When we finally go to Disney World, we went on that teacup ride and both kids went into meltdown mode. We not only didn't ride any more rides but we didn't make it to any of the other parks, either," she said.
They wound up cutting their trip short because, in one final insult to injury, on their third day there, her husband got sun poisoning so severely that he couldn't leave their hotel room afterward.
"It was a total bust. Worst vacation, bar none," she said.
But the funniest thing about life is those awesome moments that shine "like a rainbow in the dark," as Ronnie James Dio would say, when you can't even see them coming.
Such as this past Monday, Presidents Day, when Kerry, Kyle and I spent the morning lounging around, leisurely munching breakfast and watching a 1980s classic comedy film on television.
Warm and toasty, basking in a rare, coveted day when all three of us were home together and not under some type of deadline (work, school, musical or sports practice, etc.) - it was one of the best Kimerer family mornings we've had to date.
Maybe the trick is to just take the events as they come, hope for the best, imagine the worst - and appreciate the smiles wherever you're lucky enough to find them.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at email@example.com