I got back from the cable show in LA at the end of last week, and wonder if the jet lag still is still affecting me. Or maybe 10 days of driving through crazy traffic lulled me into the habit of being able to leave whenever I wanted, and not subject to the train schedules. Whatever the reason, I have literally run for the train each day this week, and have enjoyed the kindness of Christopher the Conductor, who one day re-opened the door just to let me sprint on. That was an example of sunshine following me 🙂
But today, Friday in the rain, I noticed that the train was at the platform as I parked my car. I would have had to run like Insane Bolt to make it, and had I done so the coffee would have become a coffee shake in my tummy and I would have been a sweaty mess if I had even been able to catch it. So I let it go. I let it go.
Sitting in my car, listening to the rain come down, watching the train onboard passengers and then momentarily slip away down the tracks, I realized something. It felt good to let it go. There was a welcome quiet, only the sound of rain drops hitting the windshield. I realized that in the hurriedness of each day: of routines, meetings, and filling every moment in between with eating, electronic media, or maybe exercise, every moment was filled and worse, every mental moment was accounted for. In missing the train, I realized that I had just reached into calendar and opened up a space in my routine, in my life, and most importantly in my psyche.
I sat there in the car, with nothing to do until the next train arrived. It was at that moment that I realized I have been too busy to think.
I have felt the stress of having more things to do than time to achieve them. I have felt the discouragement of not being able to listen to the completion of one of Kecia’s stories. People have commented how I have not written in quite a while. It takes a little mental space to have topics for the 6:49. I have felt like once I finish the todo list, I will have more time and things will open up. I even started meditating in the morning, and I know that would help even things out and up my creativity. But when I skipped a day or two, the time I had planned for meditation got sucked up and spent.
I look around the train right now and there are 10 people within arms distance. That are on 9 devices, 1 newspaper, and one person writing. (The lady next to me is using her blackberry and iPad, so she is certainly an over achiever.). And I am writing this on my iPhone. That’s more than 90% electronic attention grabbing. And at home, all the kids are addicted, so that’s 3 for 3.
I don’t have any magic bullet to increase the space in my life. I will say that missing a train really helped. Getting stuck on the train has worked too, but is not nearly as fun. I would think that if I can’t schedule in down time – how crazy does that sound? – then having it imposed on me is a good thing. I am getting ideas for imposing more white space in my life and my family’s life. So kids if you read this, watch out! Dad-imposed electronic free, agenda free, mental space expanding times are coming!