Usually when I see the one-word prompt for Five Minute Friday, a specific story will flash to mind, and I’ll know exactly where to begin when the timer starts.
But not today.
No, when I saw the word “when“ as the topic on which to write this week, absolutely nothing came to mind. No story. No vision. No ideas. Nada.
I thought, “Well this should be fun!” (apparently my subconscious has a sarcastic bent), but I decided to go through with the exercise and see if anything share-worthy might bubble to the surface. And I’m glad I did because it was quite a thrill to start tickity-typing, not knowing where my fingers would lead. And then, to see them lead to exactly what I needed to be reminded of…oh, I never should have doubted the freewriting process.
My hope is that the text below will be a word of encouragement to you, dear reader, wherever you are in your journey.
For those just tuning in and scratching your head about what exactly I’m talking about, here’s what Five Minute Friday is all about:
Five Minute Friday
- Five Minute Friday was started by blogger, Lisa-Jo Baker, and the tradition lives on over at Kate Motaung’s blog, Heading Home. Each week, she provides a new topic on which to write. This week’s topic is when.
- You set a timer and write for five minutes only. No more. No less.
- This is freewriting, which means there’s no stopping, no going back, no editing. (Scary, I know.)
- She invites you (yes, you!) to participate and then link up your post at her blog. Or if you’re not a blogger, you can share your prompt in the comments section. You can read all about it by visiting here.
If you’ve never done something like this before, I highly recommend trying it. Even once. It’s a really thrilling (and terrifying) exercise, especially if you’re a perfectionist. It amazes me sometimes the kind of writing that spills out when I am focused on a single word for a set amount of time. It’s always way better than the first efforts of most of my post drafts. Whad’ya know!
Here we go again.
As a girl, everything was, When will I be old enough for that? Or tall enough for that?
In college, I started to wonder, When will I find my true passion? When will I meet the man I’m going to marry?
After graduation, I asked, When will I land the big gig? When will I finally get to do what I love?
And then of course, you find yourself in your dream job, only to ponder, When will Friday arrive? When will summer get here?
It’s all too easy to fall into a pattern of living life from when? to when? Especially when others are asking the whens for you. When will you guys start having kids? When will you buy a place?
But there’s a real art to being present, isn’t there? To saying, I may not know all the whens, but what I do know is that right now, I can enjoy this moment. This quiet by the lake. This breeze on my neck. This warm cup in my hand. This sweet sight of the turtle poking his head above the surface as if to say, “Hello up there.” This sound of the helicopter overhead, shuttling high risk patients to the hospital across the way. This Friday before Valentine’s Day in 2015, which will only come once and never again.
That’s part of what it means to SURRENDER, isn’t it? To live moment to moment, not when? to when?
This is the time to practice opening up to the here and now as exactly where we’re meant to be. And like all practice, it is fraught with failure, but worth the attempt.
Dear reader, what have the been the biggest “whens” of your life?
What “when” are you asking right now that might be holding you back from enjoying the present?
What helps you to open up to the here and now?
(Feel free to ponder these questions in the comments, in your journal, or in your heart.)
And if any of you decide to jump on the “Five Minute Friday” train and link up at Heading Home, let me know! I’d love to read your when tale.
Here’s a look back at past Five Minute Fridays…