For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been musing on a companion to the phrase/idea/distinction of “Over and Next” that Norman Lear expressed back here in this post* : “Notice and Next.”
As in, Notice what’s so, or notice what was so, and notice what’s there for you about it… and then look towards what’s Next.
“Oh, hey, I felt too embarrassed to talk about that thing back there…”
“Well, things are right now not as I’d like them to be.”
“Ugh, I did that thing again.”
“That was glorious. Bet that was the best anyone’s ever seen.”
That’s the Notice. And Notice is just that, a Notice. A “hmmm” sort of moment, a taking stock that remains in that realm, and doesn’t become a further well of story spinning and interpretation and decision sentencing. It’s a call to avoid going down the rabbit hole that these thoughts can often lead us.
In many ways, it’s a reminder to, not take ourselves so gosh darn seriously.
And then, what’s Next?
“Next time, I can and will talk about that.”
“I will institute a plan with my friend to hold me accountable to get this cleaned up.”
“I will do the notepad exercise to see what’s there, and create something new.”
“I had fun. I will play that game again in the same spirit of fun.”
It isn’t, to be clear, that the Next is just waiting for the situation to come up again. The Next includes inquiry and action and intention and more. But at the same time, it is also totally about Next time. And it might be as simple as “huh, ok, next time I’ll be this way instead.”
I think the two phrases also work great coupled together: Notice, Over, and Next. Notice, remember/recognize it’s Over, and look towards what’s Next – while also remembering the hammock in the middle that Norman labelled as living in the moment. And, be in that hammock when Next arrives.
Simple and succinct, and thus far has proven to be quite empowering for me to try on, a way out of reflex self-recrimination, a release from significance, and an invitation to breathe, to practice, and to play.
* Itself a good thing to go back and (re)read anew, and get re-grounded in the idea.