The Possibility of Not Yet


This winter has tested my stamina and optimism. Snow came early with its dark skies and alternating ice and wind storms and has not abated since. It has been cold long past the time I am able to hibernate; even the squirrels are confused by the lack of spring as they run the slippery snow slopes, their bodies demanding for what the weather will not give – reprieve.


I am longing for the daffodils, those happy optimistic heads dancing, challenging the sun and my mood in a game of “who can be brighter”.


As I slowly take in the creeping daylight of dawn I hear myself ask, as I have done every morning since mid-February, … it spring yet?


Defeated, I hear my disappointed-self respond, “no” and I deflate with a punctuated sigh, audible enough to wake my sleeping cat.  The weight of “no” sits heavy in my pockets throughout the day. It taints my normal optimism and labours even the easy moments.


But this morning I inadvertently stumbled into an experiment with hope. Though nothing has changed outside - the weather forecasts snow for the day after tomorrow and I can still see snow banks at least 3 feet high - this morning I heard myself answer differently…


“not yet” …

And what followed was not a deep shoulder-slumping exhalation, but a sharp intake of breath, a moment of curiosity, of hope.


Not yet.


I shifted in my chair… instead of the usual resignation to what is, I held a moment of possibility. Not yet –A statement that speaks of what will come instead of focusing on what is not.  


Not yet.


Those two words started me imagining the squirrels waking up, the bulbs beneath the snow beginning to stir, the birds stretching their wings, the rays of the sun extending themselves to me.


“Not yet” in on the spectrum of  “soon”. It flirts with “yes” and lives on the horizon of what is to come.


So, I’ve been experimenting with hope for the remainder of the day. I’ve intentionally replaced No, with Not Yet.


Have I lost those ten pounds?  - No Not Yet.

Have I found the perfect jeans? No Not Yet.

Have I found the location for my next retreat? No Not Yet.
Does my new business initiative have a sponsor? No Not Yet

Have I followed Marie Kondo’s tips for tiding my closets? No Not Yet

Have I had that difficult conversation with my client? No Not Yet

Have we solved climate change? No Not Yet

World peace? No Not yet


There is momentum in these two little words along with wiggle room, optimism and a mindset of what could be.


The biggest pay-off is the confidence with which it assumes that the awaited action is in motion and will emerge. It is not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when”. The desired result only a matter of timing.


I’ve heard of a school that moved from “pass/fail” to “pass/not yet” signalling very clearly to their students, “this remains a possibility for you”.  How powerful to know this is not the end of the road, but rather beginning of a new try. The vision is kept alive alongside hope and faith.


Hey Spring, I know this change of season hasn’t been easy, but you’ve got this. As I longingly ask for your arrival every morning, I will inhale into Not Yet and anticipate with confidence the first day of bloom and a corresponding YES!


…now that has put a spring in my step.


In Celebration