Friday, September 13, 2013

Wishing My Life Away

Photo property of Linda Rettstatt. Permission for use required.

  Wishing time away—how often do we do just that. Earlier today I caught myself saying, “I can’t wait until September 24th when my vacation starts.” How often we say, “I can’t wait for _______.” Fill in the blank. How many sunsets do we fail to appreciate because we can’t wait until morning for something to happen?

            This week we were reminded of the tragedies of 9/11/01. I wonder how many of those who lost their lives that day had said, perhaps just that morning, “I can’t wait until…?” Time is precious, every day a gift. I think about the time I wish away wanting to get to another time. We spend so much of our attention and energy looking forward to what’s next that we miss what is right here in the moment.

            The other day, I was given the gift of time. I had a staff meeting in the morning and, when it was over, my boss asked, “Do you want to go back to the office?” Do I ‘want’ to? Was it a trick question? I honestly said, “No, I don’t want to.” So she said, “Take the afternoon. You’ll put in the extra hours somewhere along the way.” Here I was with an unplanned afternoon to do whatever I wanted. And I couldn’t, for the life of me, think of what I wanted to do. Well, it didn’t really take me that long to decide. But it did make me think about time and how I see it as a commodity instead of a continuum.

            Writing demands attention to detail—every moment, every action of the character has to be shown for the reader to follow. The story has to have a continuum that draws the reader through to the end. How easy it is to do this as a writer, then to forget to live this in real life.

            My new goal—to be better at living in the moment. Not ‘for’ the moment, but ‘in’ the moment. Being present to the now, rather than wishing that time away to get to something down the road. How about you? Are you wishing your life away or living each day to the fullest?

Linda Rettstatt


January Bain said...

Linda, some days I'm really good at living in the "now" and other days I wish for the weekend so I can write full out. I think it's very important to be aware of wishing our lives away.

Why give up one precious moment of living on this earth?

Best, January

Anonymous said...

Cancer made me realize to live the moment. Before that I'd wish away each day, now I absorb each moment. Weird how bathing in the misery of hell for 11 months will do that for ya.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Jude Johnson said...

That's one of the reasons I started writing. I didn't want to look back and say,"I wish I would've written that novel. "Now I try not to let things pass me by while waiting for the next big event.
Great post, Linda.


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Excellent observation. Our characters live in the moment while we are keeping our wrists busy flipping them to see our watches.

I'm with you!