Friday Five: Hard to Live in the Moment When…

I know. Living life well and with good mental health is about staying in the now. It’s about not worrying about what’s gone by (which I’m actually okay at) and not spending a whole lot of time thinking about what’s to come. Which, you know, is just the littlest bit hard if you HAVE AN IMAGINATION!

Today’s Friday Five is a quick toss-up of things that are taking my brain into the future, near and far, dropping pictures into my mind about what might be and what exactly those “mights” will look like.

  1. Plot-planning session with my critique group tomorrow. I can picture us all now, planning paper spread out, heads bent, the occasional shout of “Eureka!” along with a celebratory bite of chocolate. Some struggles, I’m sure, but I would also bet on camaraderie, hard work, and lots of inspiration.
  2. The 2013 SCBWI Spring Spirit conference in two weeks. I’ve sent a picture book up for critique, am SUPPOSED to have a one-page synopsis of the new WIP done by then (see #1 above and send power synopsis vibes!). I can see myself listening to Richard Peck do the keynote speech, sitting in awesome workshops, and meeting old and new SCBWI friends. I’m also heading up early on Friday to give myself some tourist time in Sacrament. I may hit the zoo and just commune a little with the giraffes, and/or I  may drop in at The California Museum to see the Ray Eames exhibit. One of my favorite great-aunts (I had and have  many great-aunts of awesomeness) was Charles Eames’ secretary, and I can so imagine the feeling of pride and love and missingness I will feel if there happens to be a photo of her anywhere in the exhibit.
  3. Spring break. Two weeks from now, we’re heading down to So Cal to check out a couple of colleges for our son. I have CDs by George Carlin, David Sedaris, and Terri Gross to keep us entertained, and husband just handed me his Starbucks gift card to stash in my wallet, because–as he says–there’s a Starbucks about every 200 feet on Highway 5, and we might need all of them! I imagine long stretches of silence in the car, mixed up with laughter and math and philosophy. I can see us on campuses, but only theoretical ones, because I’ve never been to the schools we’re looking at, and our son’s response (and ours) to each one is an open book right now. Which, as we all know, is a good thing.
  4. Summer vacation. Yes, you’re seeing a trend. One thing about going back to work–all of a sudden, vacations take on a whole new meaning again. Going away takes on a whole new meaning. We’ve decided on Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I’ve been, but husband and son haven’t, and we all love Shakespeare. Plus life is feeling just a little bit like, hey, two more summers and then…College. Son moving out. CHANGE. (see #5 below). What can I imagine? Us all coming in and out of whatever lodging I find, together and independently, because now we’re all old enough to do our own thing and then join together for a play or four. I can see husband and I jabbing each other simultaneously at some moment of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, and all of three of us making judgments on whether this MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM got Puck right or not.
  5. College. I know, I know, that’s WAY in the future. Not so much, it doesn’t feel like. Besides, I can worry/think ahead with the best of them, as far out as you can follow. And this is the one that stretches/challenges my imagination, as it probably should. I can see myself in the house, with Son miles away–who knows how many. I can see husband and I hanging out and, of course, talking about our son. I can see myself adding hours to work, hours to writing, and hours to yoga, and then coming home from it all and calling or texting my son to “hear” his voice for a minute or two/a line or two. I can worry and I can dream. And, yeah, as long as it doesn’t get out of control, I’m allowed to do it all.

Because, yeah, that’s what imagination is for.

Leave me a comment and finish of the line in the post title. “It’s hard to live in the moment when…” What’s coming for you that is lighting up your imagination?

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5 thoughts on “Friday Five: Hard to Live in the Moment When…

  1. It’s hard to live in the moment when… I’m imagining spending days (and days) in the ocean-side village where my new novel is set, as well as steeping myself in the history that informs the parts of the plot that happened two hundred years ago.

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    • beckylevine says:

      I keep thinking you should book yourself just a couple of days there to go and have your ow mini writing retreat. You know, for research.

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  2. Kelly Ramsdell Fineman says:

    It’s hard to live in the moment when . . . you let anything else into your brain. Any thing at all. Like grocery needs, or cleaning you have to get to, or books you’d like to get and/or read. My foray into mindfulness continues to be a struggle, in other words.

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    • beckylevine says:

      Exactly. I am starting the mindfulness with baby steps, meaning I am working mostly on not letting myself do the WORRYING part, which is quite the challenge. I’m trying to let myself roam, but remind myself that I can’t know what will happen, and I certainly DON’T know that it won’t be wonderful.

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  3. it’s hard to live in the moment when…you get paid to live in the future. The only job I currently get paid for (fingers forever crossed that someone will someday pay me for writing) is event planning. And I am gooood at my job. Good at imagining the 4000 possible outcomes of a gathering or the 6 impossible things that need to be done at 6am when every store is closed and a celebrity needs a face mask (true story.) And, of course, writing is all about imagining outcomes. So being grounded in the now is something I am terrible at – but fervently wish I could do. Still, I try. And sometimes that’s enough!

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