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 am— okay, 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 do— sometimes 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?