Thursday, May 2, 2013

Don't Mind the Gap


Random Thoughts

Where do I find meaning...in the gap!

I'd heard this before and even remember reading it in a zen book.  I suppose I grasped it when I first read it, but I couldn't relate.  It finally sank in today.

It wasn't until I had my life filled with activities when I realized what the gap was.  Mind you, what I consider a lot is likely very little by others' standards, but it was a lot for me.  My family's been dealing with a lot recently.  My live-in nephew was diagnosed with a debilitating disease and the whole family has been working to help him become better. He's making progress.  It takes some effort though.

Then there are my parents that, like two kids who can't get along but don't know any other friends to turn to, can't make up their mind if they love each other or not.  They may and certainly can't find the right way to verbalize or show their real emotions.  So, my brother and I jump in to help, without becoming overbearing.

And then there's my father's on-again, off-again, forgetfulness, as well as his insistence there's nothing physically wrong with him, even though he's nearly gone into diabetic coma twice, had a triple bypass surgery and multiple bouts with other heart issues.

The beauty of life, though, is that there's still so much love and good in the family to enjoy.  The love we have for each other still comes through when family members pitch in to help with whatever life throws at us.

So, where does the gap come in?

My wife asked me tonight to barbecue for dinner.  "Sure," I said.  I had a hundred different things going through my head about family, work, and our non-profit, CanvasPet.com.  I knew I had work for CanvasPet that would take me into the late hours, but I wanted to do this.

She went for a walk with our friend, my niece and nephew, and the dogs.  I had about an hour to myself to barbecue.  I decided to take advantage of the forced time away from the desk.  I took out the hammock, a couple of beers and watched the sunset while listening to music.

It was relaxing...and without realizing it, I fell into the gap.  I let all thoughts wash over and held on to none.  I drank my beer and watched the stars twinkle to life as the sunlight dwindled away.

With every passing second, I felt more comforted by the gap: Those few moments when I didn't feel like I had to solve a business problem, work through a family need, or consider what was next on the task list.

Eventually dinner time came, with the hustle and bustle of feeding two kids as well as our two dogs, and ourselves.

I was glad I was back from the gap, not because I felt uncomfortable, but because it gave me a chance to let all of life float past me with the summer breeze, so that I could come back and enjoy the precious moments with the family again.  The gap made me appreciate all the love that surrounded me.  It helped me breathe and enjoy the moment again.

I loved it: that momentary calm separating the previous life bustle from this one.  It was like the comma separating two sentences: just a pause before picking back up again. It gave me the perspective and the energy I needed.

I get it and the gap is now a part of my every day plan!