Sunday, October 30, 2016

In The Meantime

Back in the 1990's, one of Oprah Winfrey's friends (also known as a FOO, or Friend Of Oprah) wrote a book titled "In The Meantime." It was a book for women about relationships, and was good in a New-Age-y, self-esteem-y kind of way. It talked a lot about being "in the meantime" until you found your soulmate. People talked about soulmates a lot in the 80's and 90's. I blame Ronald and Nancy Reagan, as well as every crappy book ever written by either Richard Bach or a FOO.

Anyway, that phrase, "in the meantime," has been sticking in my head a lot recently, and it's not about my chakras aligning so perfectly that I attract the perfect mate into my life. He's here already, thank goodness, a little grumpy on occasion but Eastern European DNA and a stressful job will do that to you. And perhaps he's also grumpy because we are both smack dab in the middle of what I'm calling our Meantime Experience.

A Meantime Experience happens when you are between places, jobs, or anything else; it's a point in your life which you will look back on someday and see a big line in the sand between "before" and "after." But you can't see the line right now because you don't have the perspective, so it's a little like trying to see those giant south American Nazca Lines from ground level. You could be on a line and not even know it. 

 A Meantime Experience can be bad -- people go through divorce or health concerns in The Meantime, and I feel it's important right away to state those things are NOT the case with us. We're blessed, certainly, to not be facing them.

But we have seen some possible signs that our life here is going to be changing soon. And unfortunately, because the internet is a very public place, I can't say more than that. Which is why blog postings have been a little sparse recently. Sometimes when you can't say anything, you say nothing.

But I can talk about what it's like to be in the meantime.  You basically stop investing in your current life (beyond the minimums) because you don't want to throw time, energy and money into something that isn't going to be in your life forever. You don't know exactly for sure where you are going to end up, which is a strange feeling in and of itself. 

In the 40 years the Israelites wandered around the Middle East, they were having one whopper of a meantime experience, whether you believe the actual story or that it's a metaphor for Life. By day, a cloud shaded them and kept them cool, and by night a pillar of fire kept them warm. But God indicated to them it was time to move by moving the cloud and the pillar. In other words, they had to pack up and follow their comfort if they wanted to survive. They'd get a little overheated, and realize it was time to go. The cloud of shade had moved on and was calling them onward with it.

I know that feeling. The cloud could stay here a week, or another decade, but we're definitely getting the impression that it's moving, and so we have to be ready to go, too. 

In the meantime, and I do really mean that phrase, we are making our best attempt to enjoy the present. A nice dinner out, a day working in the garden at the winery, a beautiful sunset and the changing colors in the vineyards are things I'm savoring and will probably be sharing more of in the weeks to come.

But serious plantings? Renovations? No, probably not. Because "in the meantime" days are not the ones where you nest, dig in and pull up the drawbridge. They are where you eye the horizon and pack lightly. And watch the clouds.

Welcome to my meantime, friends. 


  1. Oh I love new age spiritual books. Maybe I should read this one. I've been stalling in a meantime for a littttle too long. I think for me it's because I've been such a shitshow in the past and I have things moderately together and am worried about jumping and messing them up again! I see meantimes a lot in my work, too. Hair is often a thing we turn to for control when we struggle to control outside forces.

  2. I have never paid much attention to Oprah, so I'd never heard of Meantime. I like it! Gives a name and a purpose to what we would otherwise call Limbo. Being in the Meantime sounds like a perfect opportunity to celebrate the present, as it happens. The future? It will be here soon enough.