Yesterday, while looking for something else, I found them again. Mind the gap.
Our family lives in a gap this summer. Our house is torn apart, in the midst of a major renovation. It’s eustress, like I learned about in my Intro to Psychology class in college—a positive stressor—but a stressor nonetheless. We are reunited after a month apart and thankful every night to sleep in our own beds, but the rest of our main level is a construction site—filthy, unfinished, unsafe. In our un-air-conditioned sunroom, where it has been in the 90s all week, I cook our meals in a microwave, toaster oven and on a hot plate. We are hot. The kids are getting on each other’s nerves. I am never alone and running out of diversions, even as loads of work that I cannot do beckons from inside the house, since I can’t safely contain Deacon. I find myself wishing the gap between under construction and completion away, but of course that would mean wishing three weeks of my children’s summer away, and it will be over soon enough on its own.
Uncomfortably, I'm wading through some personal uncertainty as well, in a gap of not knowing. Not knowing isn’t my strength.
I find my sense of self in a gap too, this whole year. Of what I once did and what I do now, who I used to be and who I will someday be. So whoever I am now, in this season, shifts uncomfortably in the gap. I am unmoored; I can’t find my voice, can’t find my passion, can’t find my discipline. And if I’m not careful, I might wish away these questions, this uncertainty, this discomfort, yes, but along with it I would miss the peculiar beauty of these days. The preciousness of the faith inherent in not knowing. The gratitude that living in the moment necessitates. The simple pleasures of just being here, right now, of being aware that nothing else has been promised to us anyway.
I’m shifting my focus this week to minding the gap between: the way it is and the way it may someday be, what I am and what I want to become, what I do today and what I may accomplish someday. And maybe there are changes to make or work that should be done; maybe there is motivation I lack or hustle I haven’t found, but I rest in the knowledge that there can be time for all of that. It’s not always time for looking ahead or behind, sometimes it’s enough to just acknowledge and be present in the in between.