The other story involves Norman Lear, who produced many of the greatest television comedies of the latter half of the 20th century, the television century. At a recent 100th birthday party, he shared wisdom with friends. He said there are two words we don’t honor enough. One is “over” and the other is “next.” There’s a kind of hammock between the two and it is right now, this moment we’re sharing. He was saying: Be present. But as he talked, I heard embedded within his words a layer of advice: That it’s actually a key skill to be able to see when something’s over, when it’s the past, not the future; that you have to have eyes that can find the next area of constructiveness, which may take time; and in the time between, the hammock, you must maintain your peace and poise.
As someone in a transitional period, and feeling tumult, this advice resonated with me.