“Mind the Gap” is an audible or visual warning phrase issued to rail passengers to take caution while crossing the horizontal, and in some cases vertical, spatial gap between the train door and the station platform.
I was thinking about this warning sign recently, when I came across a great podcast that was talking about the times we live in and how we are avoiding the “gap times” of our lives by filling them in with distractions (mostly by looking at our phones). The “gap times” that that I am talking about, are those times of our lives where we are in a “wait state”, for example, like waiting in line at the grocery store or at a restaurant. These “gap times” are important and we might want to consider paying attention to them. We might want to “mind our gap” times better.
So, what am I getting at here? We are fast becoming a society where we are customizing and individualizing every moment of of lives. The mobile technology of the smart phone and tablets have created a situation where we can fill up every gap moment of our lives with exactly what we want and thereby we avoid any real personal contact with others and the world. We are isolating ourselves from those around us and escaping to our individualized life.
There is a strong addictive quality to the technology of our times and it is quite easy for us to fall into the trap of filling in every spare moment of our life with it. God forbid, that we did not have anything to read or view, we might be bored. Yikes, that would be awful.
Walking the Camino, Terri and I had lots and lots of time to be “bored”. We had plenty of time of walking together in silence, which allowed us time to really think and observe the beauty of our surroundings. We also had some wonderful conversations with each other and with our fellow pilgrims. Terri and I still treasure this special time together and the our time of “thinking uninterrupted”.
One thing I learned from the podcast that I mentioned, is we are most creative in our thinking when we experience times of “boredom” (uninterrupted time to think). How often have you got a great idea or solved a problem you faced, when you were in the shower or taking a walk. Our “gap times” are important to our creativity and we need to make sure we don’t avoid them or run from them.
I have a confession to make to you. I am writing this blog as much for you as for me. I am terrible at “minding the gap” of my life. I love the technology we have at our fingertips with a smart phone, but at the same time I am realizing I need to take more control back. To discipline myself to mind my gap times. If this is something you also recognize as an area of your life that needs attention, then I encourage you also to find a way to mind your gap times and experience real life with yourself and others.
Blessings and all good,
Photograph of the Week
This image was taken during a hike at Obstruction Point in the Hurricane Ridge area. I selected this image as it seemed to resonate with the theme of this blog, when we are filling all our “gap times” we isolate ourselves more and more. This image gives me a feeling of isolation and aloneness.