“Unthinkably good things can happen even late in the game.” – Under the Tuscan Sun

Our left brain is all about finding the meaning, categorizing, fitting things into patterns, etc. and because that’s what it does, it does it ad in finitum which can be a detriment.  That’s where snap judgements stem from and absolutist thinking and such.   We see the grand version of this through the media, and sometimes in our daily lives -heaven help us-, but we rarely recognize when we’re doing them ourselves.  It’s a habit that shows up every day and one of the big things that holds us back from wonder and a “glass half full” perspective on life.  But recognizing the problem is the first step towards resolving it, right?

So yesterday I took a road trip.  I had been planning this for a couple of weeks and was fairly excited.  As a writer and a reader I’m fairly much a homebody.  While my work is potentially mobile, if there’s not reason to mobilize it and if there is a comfy chair and cable at hand, why would you be going out?  🙂  Well, I had reasons to go out on this trip and it was out of state and somewhere I haven’t been in years, so yay!!!  I had stops to make all along the way, all of which were new places for me, so it was an adventure too!  Double yay!!!

I like driving, I navigate to and from places fairly well so the first place I stopped was easy.  However the power was out, the staff were grumpy until I explained why I was there, and I wasn’t able to stay because the power was out.  Harumph.  OK, on to the next place….which was nice, but that’s about it.  No spark, no magic.  Same with place number 3.  Place number four was nice and the people were nice and I did have a couple of quick conversations with folks so…good…but for something I was really excited about, it was pretty ‘meh’.

So then onto the crown jewel of the trip, my favorite author is on book tour and was giving a free talk and, for the first time in years, the illustrator was there as well as this was one of his YA books.  Double Pow!  The talk was lovely and better than I expected.  The illustrator (an amazing artist in his own right) did a quick presentation on his career, then showed before/during/after photos of a number of the illustrations in the book, then sat and started drawing.  He drew a large illustration for the library that was hosting the event, which was a lovely gift.  Meanwhile the author had brought his wife and their instruments because the book references songs and for the book tour he had actually composed them in their entirety and they played for us.  It was worth the hours of driving.

Then came the book signing.  I realized I was a bit tired from all the driving and the doing so I set my *scintillating wit* expectations to low so I wouldn’t try to say something and make some horrid social faux pas.  But when it came time for me to speak with the author, I went completely into starry-eyed fan mode!  *OMG!*  I hardly tracked what he was saying because all I could hear was the Peanuts adult speak while my brain was whispering It’s him!  He’s talking to me!  Some things would require response and I’d nod and small and um hum at him while hearing It’s him!  He’s talking to me! in my head.  The one thing that sticks in my mind is that, this being a fantasy author and the Green Man being one of the themes that show up in his writing periodically, he mentioned he’d just been to a convention where people were cosplaying Green Men and he asked if I knew what a group of Green Men was called.  I had no idea and he said “A Hedge.”  Which he brought up because a hedge escorted him from venue to venue during that convention and he was delighted by the whole idea.  8)

I believe I managed to extricate myself from the event with, if not dignity, then at least a modicum of decorum.  Self-respect had left the building 20 minutes before me and I’m still hoping it comes back sometime this week.  Sheesh!  But the day wasn’t over.  I had one more stop to make at a venue on the way home.  By this time I was exhausted and my left brain was pointing out that this day was in the red on the enjoyment side of the ledger and was heading towards disappointment.  I was setting up the conclusion of life being mediocre and heading in that downward spiral of “Why did I do this to myself?” mitigated by the fact that I had a great time at the presentation and trying to erase the fan girl moments when I got to the last stop.  There I was met by people who, knowing nothing of who I am or what I do, were thrilled to see me, excited for why I was there, asked me to sit down and relax, fed me, and most important, had a phone charger since my phone had died and graciously charged mine up while we had a good conversation and listened to good music.  There was even a cute guy who was friendly and encouraging….

So even I fall prey to the judgement game.  It seems like making meaning out of things, sorting the wheat from the chaff, being on top of things, but all the sorting might be sorting out the potential for good things.  The labels we put on things might be completely wrong.  Good things might be coming.  It’s not about waiting for them to happen, but holding off on preventing them from happening.  Just hold off on the conclusions for one more moment, ok?  Meanwhile I’m going to go take a nap.  That was a long, long road trip day. I’m still tired….