Today found me growing increasingly frustrated with the space bar on my keyboard. It was sticking – so all the words I was typing kept bunching up.
I tried to accept it, deal with it, move on and just remember to bonk down harder every time on the space bar between each word I was typing. But I realized something more significant was missing. That something else was the flow.
Space give you flow. It’s hard to experience flow when everything is bunching up and you have to deliberately force the issue to keep things moving.
So all of this started me thinking about the significance of space in our daily lives. Today’s world promotes a culture that is addicted to being busy. There are so many demands on our personal time, that it can result in the same feeling as my bunched up letters caused me – frustration. When we begin adding on too many extras into our lives – and our children’s lives – those extras are going to crowd up and ruin the “flow” – take up the spaces.
We need the spaces in our lives just as I needed the spaces between my words – for meaning, clarity and understanding.
There’s a story I heard a long time ago about a French author and 1947 winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, Andre Paul Guillaume Gide. Gide was traveling through equatorial Africa with native guides. After having had one speedy traveling day, he urged his guides to get moving early the next morning. They looked at him and with firmness said: “Don’t hurry us. We are waiting for our souls to catch up with us”.
I can really relate to that phrase – waiting for our souls to catch up.
Take stock of your days, your weeks. Are you feeling burned out, frustrated, experiencing emotional mood swings? Are your children having meltdowns, or sagging spirits?
Observe the times you crawl into bed with a satisfied sigh feeling all’s really well with your world. I bet you had some space during that day, some flow. I bet you swayed to the rhythm that you felt.
Sometimes we just need to pull back – slow down in order to create the space our family might need, wait for our souls to catch up. Let phone calls go to messages, take a stay-at-home-day even if you are a stay-at-home-parent. Don’t get dressed til noon, sit with your children and read every book you just brought home from the library, one after the other. Fill the wading pool, sit in the wading pool, have breakfast for dinner.
Find the time – check your space bar!