Monday, December 29, 2014

On Filling the Gaps

Life is a series of gaps.

Gaps between things, gaps in things, gaps around things. Waits from Point A to Point B. Skips and beats from wanting to having. Holes right in the middles of situations and relationships. Vacancies in knowledge and science and faith.

I thought tonight, while watching a movie that was about 5 hours too long (*cough*Into the Woods*cough*), that life really is largely composed of what we do with our gaps.

Irrelevant side note: I am constantly amazed by my unparalleled ability to make messes. My room/kitchen/bathroom/living room/hallway (OK, entire apartment) were clean like......mere hours ago. And now? Hurricane war path. I mean, I might be more amazed than I am upset about it. What HAPPENED? Is there an Olympic event for this? Ima Michael Phelps my way to the top of that podium, I tell you what....

Back to the real topic.

Lately, I'm not sure that I like what I've been doing with my gaps. Maybe I've been trying too hard to fill them, is the thing. When did I get so uncomfortable with all the little spaces? Like sitting at a red light without looking at my phone...or lying in bed in the morning without checking my email (well, work demands that one, but I check personal email as well, etc.) know. Do you ever think about what we all used to do before we had smartphones in our hands, and Netflix on demand, and constant constant constant stimulation and entertainment and input and noise?

This isn't one of those "hey moms, look up from your phones and pay attention to the kids at the park -- your lack of parenting skills is probably ruining their young lives" articles. No. This is just a post about me. Me and my gaps. I'm not about to tell you your business about you and yours. No life coach license over here.

I live with one roommate, but with conflicting schedules and holiday travel and whatnot, lately I've had a lot of alone time in my apartment (uhhh....hence the aforementioned hurricane mess. I'm so much better at cleaning up when other people are around). I think I've run out of things to watch on Netflix.

I used to read more. I used to read more in a month than a lot of people read in a year. I've had a small appetite for books this last year or feels like nothing can hold my attention very well. Did Netflix do that to me? Did the easy entertainment of the screen ruin my library-going ways for me? (No, that was the library fines. But you get my point.)

I'm not into guilt. But I am into constructive....reconstructing......of know what I'm saying. And I think I've got some things to reconstruct, over here.

I want to love my books again. I want to read them like I'm thirsty for their pages and there's never enough words to fill me up. I want to sing more. That used to be my whole life, and now I only ever do it in my car, here and there. I'm going to audition for a choir this month that I really want to be in. I know, right? Haven't done that in about a decade. Speaking of decades off from things, I brought my violin back from Arizona with me after my Christmas trip last week. I played for like 8 years, did you know that? I barely know that anymore. I was pretty damn good at it, too. But muscle memory is a magnificent beast, and I'm going to get that talent back.

And besides filling the gaps more constructively, I want to OK with the gaps. I spent years sitting at red lights or waiting for movies to start or seated in waiting rooms of appointments without having the Internets to fiddle with, and I don't remember being in agony over it. I want that back. I want to wake up in the morning, and, before work emails beckon, just look at my ceiling and the trees outside the window and simply entertain myself with my own garbled morning thoughts and post-dreamworld mental shenanigans. There's so much clarity in the morning when your head is fresh. I want to sit in waiting rooms and at bus stops and in airports and take in the people around me.....when I'm not buried in a book or my latest playlist, that is. Just me, my books, my music and whatever little delights are happening in my world around me.

Maybe this post has wandered into weird philosophical land. I don't know? But it's my blog so I do what I want. And.....thanks for filling one of YOUR gaps with my words. I hope it's felt worthwhile!

(I grew these peas. They are delicious. Pretend it's relevant to this post.)


Annie Citrine said...

Katie, this is me exactly lately. Wanting to get back to that hungry reading, using my musical talents (swap violin for cello), putting the iPhone/iPad down to just BE. To just be alone in my own mind. But then there's that NEWBORN situation.

But then again, I think that Jack and I will both be happier if I'm more of a reader/writer, musician, baker/chef, and mommy while being less of a Facebook/Instagram/NETFLIX consumer.

Thanks for the post. Breastfeeding takes up about 10 hours in my 24 hr days right now and this was the kick in the pants I needed to try reading during that time instead of binge watching 30 Rock on Netflix.

Unknown said...

This post has just summed up a problem I am having, but couldn't actually put it into words. Thank you

FWIL Sentimental Blog Content said...

AMEN! I do think it's those moments that define us! I used to call people and see how they were when bored or waiting, now I Instagram. Talk about wasted opportunity for human connection.

I guess I'm saying don't be shocked if you get a literal phone call in the near

Unknown said...

I've been feeling this way lately too, especially with the reading thing. I read more books in the last few months than I have in AGES and it felt SO GOOD. Time to start rediscoverng, or recreating, or redefining how I use the gaps in my life.

Jenna Foote said...

Yep yep I hear you. I had the same thoughts about books just last week. I never read anymore. It's sad.

Good luck with the choir! I have really loved being in one for the past 3 years.

emi said...

why are you so good at writing. love your posts. also -- i expect a violin solo at our next team meeting.

Cammie Smith said...

It's so true. I love this. And, it was the library fines for me too! Haha. I need to get back there--thanks for the reminder.

Maren T. said...

Perfect post- one book I love on this topic is called idisorder- I vowed I would read it at the start of this year to help with my tech dependency . Thanks for your thoughts I always love them