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Excited for the Future!

'Karen and Jay share thoughts on the excitement of anticipation.’

Good things about to happen. That’s ‘anticipation’ in a nutshell. It’s excitement. It’s a feeling of wanting to speed up the future. And interestingly, while you’re experiencing this sense of anticipation, you’re generating positive energy. We anticipate because we have faith – faith that some future event is going to happen. And this very faith and positive energy that it generates helps ensure that the anticipated outcome will actually occur. A sort of a virtuous cycle and self-fulfilling progression.

I wonder if you can identify with these following experiences. You know that feeling when you’ve got an exciting trip coming up that you’ve been planning for weeks, maybe even months? Or perhaps it's not a trip, but after a long week of work, looking forward to spending time with friends or family. Whatever it may be, we all know that magical feeling we get when we’re looking forward to something. Having anticipation for things has an incredibly powerful impact on everything from our decision making, to our physical and mental health. What we choose to be excited about, or worry about, greatly influences how we navigate the uncertainties of life and can be a decisive factor in our own long-term happiness and well-being.

You might be asking, well, how does looking forward to something that hasn’t happened yet, and that I haven’t even experienced yet, positively impact my mood, stress levels, my health? When we have things to look forward to, we’re subconsciously expressing gratitude for what we have. We’re telling ourselves that we’re on the right path, increasing our motivation to complete a task, look at the future more optimistically, maybe both. This too can make us more patient and less irritable in moments when the alternative would be the easier choice.

When we visualize what we have ahead of us with positive outcomes, even in negative situations, generally that’s what we’ll end up receiving as a result. When we anticipate something with anxiety or stress, and with negative outcomes, the same too can be said. The wild thing is that there are now whole bodies of research that have looked into the psychology of human anticipation. As one study reported, when we’re able to positively anticipate what’s ahead of us, and not just when we’re going on a long-needed vacation for example, but even in high stress situations, it helps us envision positive outcomes, which in turn guides our decision making in that direction. It also helps us improve our coping mechanisms in the event something doesn’t go our way. As we’ve discussed in previous editions of the Sunshine Report, challenges or obstacles can also be leveraged as opportunities to learn, grow, and overcome.

What’s important to remember here though is that the choice is, once again, ours and no one else's. We can choose to guide our behavior in a direction where each and every day, we can anticipate something with a sense of excitement. And it doesn’t have to be some big event, it can be even the smallest of joys. As one researcher put it, “Anticipating a smattering of small, delightful experiences can be as enjoyable as looking forward to one big event.” It could be something as simple as anticipating your first cup of coffee of the day after a warm shower or going to see a movie you’ve been looking forward to. When we start anticipating and enjoying the small things, we develop the underlying habits that guide us toward a succession of positive outcomes. In a real sense, it is anticipation – that magical phenomenon - that leads us to a life of success and ultimate fulfillment. So, what is it that you are gleefully anticipating as you think about later today, next week, next month, next year and beyond?

Zipping around New Hampshire and the World!

What a fascinating pastime, ziplining. Strapping into a harness and traveling above and through nature at a brisk pace averaging 30-40 miles per hour. In fact, the New Hampshire tourism website lists 10 locations around the state with ziplines. Many thrill-seekers report wanting to immediately go again right after their first run. Interestingly, Northern Wales claims to have the fastest line, clocking speeds as high as 125 miles per hour, on par with skydiving. By comparison, the average speed of 30-40 miles per hour begins to look less intimidating.

As a fun fact, Jack Reynolds of England gained the Guinness World Record in 2019, for oldest person to zipline, at 106 years old. He had previously won records for oldest person to ride a non-inversion roller coaster and oldest person to get their first tattoo. What a great testament that even at an advanced age, you can still have anticipation of doing something exciting for the first time.

In the Granite State, the majority of our ziplines are located around ski resorts and all have other related attractions to enjoy as well. One really great example is just a 7-minute drive from our Eagle Times office, just across the Claremont line over in Charlestown, NH. In addition to ziplines, Morningside Flight Park, offers hang gliding, paragliding, powered paragliding, laser tag and camping. In the White Mountains town of Bartlett, Attitash boasts the longest single zipline span in the East. And nearby, Bretton Woods, one of the largest resorts in the northeast, offers ziplining - boasting a 3 ½ hour time to complete the full course. But the prize for ‘first mover’ goes to Alpine Adventures in Lincoln, NH. Alpine was the first to bring this great sport to New England, in 2006. And, while the phenomenon of ziplining has recently gained major momentum on a large commercial scale, I recall collaborating with friends in the neighborhood when we were kids and rigging ‘ziplines’ on a much smaller and probably much more dangerous basis many years ago.

The history of ziplining actually dates back to many centuries ago. In Ancient China, people used ziplines to cross rivers and other hazardous areas. Due to the poor safety record of the first zip wires, these lines ended up being replaced by bridges. Then, in 1974, Donald Perry, with the nickname Monkey Man, started using ropes in Costa Rica to traverse through the jungle. You could perhaps think of him as a cross between researcher and Tarzan. In 1979, he built the first recreational zipline, also in Costa Rica. Twenty years later, he was able to get a patent on his technology and the rest, as they say, is history.

Hopefully, we have when your appetite and stimulated an interest in ziplining. If you haven’t experienced it yet, why not give it a try! When in New Hampshire, take a trip to one of our many wonderful options for ziplining fun, even in the winter, and you’ll likely be going again, at different times of year for different views and experiences. Take the time to step out for an adventure.

Anticipating a Birthday – Portsmouth’s 400th!

It’s not often that you get to celebrate a 400th birthday – but that is exactly what is happening this year in Portsmouth, New Hampshire – and with great anticipation. Founded in 1623 and now about to celebrate in 2023. Portsmouth is an incredible city. Karen and I love living here. And we, like thousands of others, intend to fully enjoy this exciting occasion. The city is organized and ‘ready to celebrate.’ To learn about the amazing events, you’ll enjoy taking a look at Portsmouth 400 - the website:

But to start – how about a little historical context. While the seacoast area that is now Portsmouth, originally had been part of the Abenaki territory for centuries, the founding of the City of Portsmouth was the beginning of a permanent colonial settlement. Originally, the city was called Pannaway by David Thompson, who is considered the first non-native settler in New Hampshire.

As the main port for New Hampshire, Portsmouth served as the capital of New Hampshire before it was moved to Exeter during the Revolutionary War. In fact, shortly after the war, in the fall of 1789, George Washington made his way to Portsmouth, staying for four days, and famously making a speech from the balcony of the city’s North Church. There is an historic plaque that describes this occasion located today out in front of the church. In fact, right beside it is another marker that commemorates the reading of the Declaration of Independence at that same location on July 14, 1776.

Over the years, Portsmouth has been well known for its connection to shipping, naval history, and the Portsmouth Naval Yard. Not surprisingly, the city was home to the first submarine base in the nation. It was also the location of the historic Russo-Japan war negotiations in 1905, culminating in the Treaty of Portsmouth. This major international event took place, of course, right here in Portsmouth, was largely brokered by President Theodore Roosevelt and marked one of the first times America played a role in peace negotiations in world affairs.

400 years of achievements in history, art, and culture are worth celebrating, and the celebration will continue throughout the year. Events include a time capsule, creating a sculpture garden project that welcomes visitors into Portsmouth’s bustling downtown, and a speaker's series. Museums like the Shipyard and History Museum and Strawberry Banke will also host special tours. And make sure not to miss the Grand Parade, scheduled for June 3rd in the heart of Portsmouth.

The 1600’s may have been 400 years ago, but Portsmouth's rich history will be made fresh and new for all to enjoy during the balance of this wonderful year. We encourage you to take time and visit this thriving city! Happy Birthday, Portsmouth!

Positive Profile of the Week: Rich Girard - Sunshine Communications Gets Brighter!

This week I am proud to announce that newsmaker and local political legend Rich Girard has joined us to lead the team at Sunshine Communications. Rich is the right persona at the right time to lead our Sunshine Communications team as we expand our reach and capabilities and promote the positive stories that are making a difference in our local communities. We are delighted to welcome Rich aboard, and we are also delighted to highlight Rich this week as our Positive Profile of the Week.

If you have been around the Manchester political and public policy scene, then undoubtedly, you know the name Rich Girard. A native of the West Side of Manchester, Rich has the Queen City’s values running through his veins. Rich worked in the office of the late Mayor Ray Wieczorek. Then, in 1997, Rich was the first elected Alderman at Large under the city’s charter revision. He helped push the downtown revitalization, the SNHU arena, and all the while holding the line on taxes. Rich would go on to serve on the city’s charter commission and on the Manchester School Board. It's quite a resume when it comes to public service and one that is hard to match. But it's Rich’s transition to marketing and community news coverage that has helped him build an unparalleled base of experience to lead Sunshine Communications.

Rich founded ‘Girard At Large,’ a media company committed to local news - his catchphrase, which is perfect for Sunshine Communications, has been "News from our own backyard - connecting local people, places and things."

Meanwhile, It wasn’t just his radio presence serving southern New Hampshire that reported the news, it was the team he built and the model he established via an online presence that made the difference. What started in a cramped conference room in downtown Manchester with a small radio signal quickly grew to a large listening audience via a state-of-the-art studio in Pinardville. It was an experimental and first of its kind approach to reporting and providing community news in southern New Hampshire, and it’s a formula we are excited to leverage as a blueprint for success in our Sunshine Initiative communities.

Rich will be leading a set of publications that include the Eagle Times, which is based in Claremont and serves western New Hampshire and parts of eastern Vermont, as well as the Newport Times Online and the Newport Argus Champion. And this is only the beginning.

Rich and his wife Jenn have raised an amazing family in Manchester. They are loyal to the Queen City and are committed to making a difference in the Granite State and beyond. I'm honored to call Rich a friend and excited to have him as the leader of Sunshine Communications and as a key member of our growing Sunshine Team!

Quotes of the Week: Anticipation

“Anticipation leads the way to victory, and is the spur to conquest”

-Nicolas Chamfort

“The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.”

-Andy Warhol

“Never forget that anticipation is an important part of life. Work's important, family's important, but without excitement, you have nothing. You're cheating yourself if you refuse to enjoy what's coming.”

-Nicholas Sparks

“We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.”

-Samuel Johnson

“We need the sweet pain of anticipation to tell us we are really alive.”

-Albert Camus


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