Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What If You 'Won the Lottery?

My favorite creativity coach, Cynthia Morris, sent out a little round-up of inspirational tidbits about her life over email today in her post Latest from the Magic Treetop Studio. She talked about the life she would want to have if she won the lottery and concluded that it was pretty much the life she has already.

That set me to thinking about my life. If I could create my ideal dream day, what would it look like? This is an exercise that Barbara Sher recommends in her wonderful book Wishcraft, which my sister and I have practically memorized. You envision your ideal day, in the present tense, starting from when you wake up in the morning until when you go to bed at night, putting in all kinds of delicious details about what you eat, where you eat it – everything! It’s not supposed to be an ideal vacation day, but an ideal day of regular, ordinary life – not a day of getting away from your life, but a day of fully living it.

I used to think my ideal day would involve writing all day long, but then I had a chance to do that when I spent two weeks as a writer-in-residence at Hollins University. There I discovered that even when I had a whole gloriously empty day to write, I actually preferred writing for just an hour or so and then filling the rest of my day with other stimulating activities.

So my ideal day would go like this: I wake up in my sweet little house two blocks from where the Rocky Mountains begin. My cat Snickers is purring next to me. I make myself a cup of Swiss Miss hot chocolate and write for an hour on a new book. Then I head into the university for a day filled with teaching, meetings with students, maybe attend a top-notch talk, have lunch with a smart, interesting graduate student, tea in the afternoon with a friend. In the evening, I reconnect with my boys over dinner and go for a long evening hike on the mountain trails with my friend Rowan; back home again, I curl up with a book and read until I fall asleep.

Wait: that is my life! I need to remind myself more often how much I love the life I already have.


  1. Lucky you! We writers are a lucky bunch, aren't we? It's a beautiful life. My husband plays the lottery quite often, and I know he'd quit his job if he won. But my life wouldn't change a bit (except for maybe some nice vacations and more charity giving!)

  2. I, too, am living my dream life and appreciate it with every breath. I also realize I might not be so grateful if not for past difficulties so I welcome them into this life as well, ever thankful to have them in the past tense. :)