Mind the Gap

The famous phrase has spawned t-shirts, posters, mugs, and a thousand other London souvenirs. It might be the quintessential London saying, repeated by tourists to London from all over the world.

What it means, of course, is to be careful when you step off the tube because there is sometimes a small space, or a slight step down, between the train and the platform: the Gap. Mind it, they say… unlike the old American retailer’s encouragement to “Fall into the Gap!”

Quinn’s dental situation has me thinking about this phrase lately. If you start to consider how many ‘gaps’ there are to mind, it almost defies the imagination. Life begins to feel like a slice of Swiss cheese– so full of holes it could almost be made of them.

Not that you asked, but here are a few of the gaps I’m minding these days:

The very large hole between this and my last blog— more a vast pit than a gap, one could argue. There are reasons. I won’t bore you with them.

The space between how old I feel and how old I actually amokay, vast pit territory again. But really, how does one reconcile this gap? I am a continuation of the person I was 25 years ago, and I really feel much closer to my daughter’s age than I do to my own age (pick a daughter, actually, 8 and 17 both apply in some ways!). And I certainly feel closer to my 18-yr-old self than I do to a 69-yr-old version of myself (yep, you can check my math on that… startling, but true). So this is a gap of sorts, and I’m not sure whether to ‘mind’ it or to ‘fall into’ it.

The difference between what I plan and what I dosometimes I can almost convince myself that I’ve actually done the things I’ve thought about doing. From cleaning the toilet to visiting a museum… don’t underestimate the value of accomplishing a goal mentally! OK, so the toilet’s not pristine, and I still haven’t seen the Rosetta Stone… but that’s all somewhere in the gap.

My list goes on and on, but I think you get the flavor of it. You know, I think most of life is actually lived in the gap. Maybe the American approach– falling into the gap– is better after all. Jump in, get a little dirty, and embrace that gap and what you can within it. But maybe take a bit of advice from the Brits, as well: mind that you don’t twist your ankle when you land, and leave the chewed bits of gum and other rubbish you find in the gap.

Here’s the test whether anyone is out there reading this. I’m interested in hearing what “gaps” you might observe around you… will you share? And what is your approach to the gap: fall into it? or mind it?

7 thoughts on “Mind the Gap

  1. Love the pic of Quinn and the history that goes with it!  I too have “gap” situations.  Mostly mental.  I seem to have difficulty in the transition from conception to completion.  They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  I’m certainly adding my own stepping stones!  In that line of thinking, I believe I will “mind the gap” rather than “fall into the gap”.  I do feel a bit like I’m negotiating land mines rather than gaps at times.

  2. The gap I face is that dang Atlantic Ocean that separates me from all things England.  Unlike you young lot, I have more time than money (another gap), and nothing huge to complete on a daily basis.  Yes, I have an odd student teacher to check on, but I rarely miss listening to the latest Dickens dramatization on the BBC Radio 4 Extra.  Also, when I cant sleep (yet another gap?), I turn on the local NPR station that switches to the BBC in the middle of the night, and I’m back thinking about London and the places I can see from there.   Makes me wonder how Sarah Palin does it.  (I will not claim that as a gap!). Once more into the breach…

  3. Oh dear, Heidi, we’ve reached an entirely new level in ‘minding the gap!’  I would agree that if the gap is anywhere near that ‘road to hell,’ you’d best mind it!!  And stay away from those land mines!  Love to you, Sis!Now I’m going to share something wonderful with anyone who happens to be reading… it’s a reward for your faithfulness!  (But please don’t abandon me just because this lady is so funny and wonderful!!)  I found this blog last week and spent about a whole day reading some of the archives.  You can get a sample here…  it will make your day:http://momastery.blogspot.com/search/label/A%20FEW%20THAT%20GOT%20LAUGHSI think her blog went viral earlier this month, so the site has moved and I haven’t checked it out yet– but at least the first two at this address are great!  Try not to snort while reading; )

  4. Sandy, you’re right… that’s a pretty big gap.  BUT, I do have an idea if you have the Google Earth app on your iPad.  Quinn has been playing with it a lot on ours, and I think it’s really giving him some perspective.  Like tonight, when he said, “Wow.  Ohio is really pretty close to the North Pole.”  So you might want to get on there and give the ol’ Earth a few spins if you want to feel better about that gap!  Plus, the Americas look really cool upside down.We do hope we will see you on this side before too long!

  5. The “Gap” to me is quickly becoming the slowing of the thought process.  I’m finding mental exercise almost as distasteful as physical exercise!

  6. The gap…my gap is the disconnect between who I WANT to be and who I actually AM.  I always thought by this age I’d be wise, disciplined, and…well…someone my kids, or at least my girls, would want to emulate.  Instead I hear them say things like, “Well, if I grow up to be half the person my dad is, I’ll be happy.”  Sort of a tough pill to swallow to a mom who has devoted the last 20 years to full time motherhood.  Another gap is related to relationships…wanting, or even needing, to develop meaningful relationships (both friendships and mentoring relationships), nurturing my marriage, being in tune to my kids, and the time I have to devote to those pursuits.  I’m constantly left feeling that I’m short changing everyone in my life, including myself.Then the amount of time I can devote to reading blogs and blogging…sheesh…let’s not even go there.  Seriously, I thought I checked this blog regularly (though I haven’t looked at google reader for ages) and I’m 3 or 4 posts behind.  How did that happen?Glad to see you back in the saddle, Micki.  Love you!

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