I buy a cheap sofa off Craigslist every couple years. I do this in an effort to offset the rage when my offspring inevitably spill grape juice, cereal and a number of other things that are of course off limits in the living room. This brown, leather champ of a sitting station we are currently enjoying cost me $50. This week we were lounging around on it in the living room one morning. Emphasis on LOUNGING...minimal manners, agenda and clothing. Evelyn had her sleepiest eyes, Abe wanted cookies for breakfast, Harry wanted the plan for the day. I wanted a straw, the big, round, thick-kind, so I could drink in this moment with all it's mundane perfection.
And like a bolt of lightning it hit me.
Relationships happen in the white space.
Right here in this moment, relationships were being built without a schedule or even my permission on a silly sofa which smells vaguely of clove oil. They were just happening. No screens, only eyeballs. No accomplishments, agenda, award or notice of any kind being taken. My entrance fee to this miracle was simply being present.
My friend TK and Jess have mastered this. At the first of the year they committed to getting to Crossfit class early to stretch because of a 30 day challenge. Challenge ended, early morning stretch sesh continued. Weeks and months happened and the friendship deepened. They purposeful and intentionally created time and space to sit together. While opening up space in their joints and muscles they ended up filling that open space with a friendship. SEE! BOOM!!! Relationships happen in the unscheduled, unstructured white space.
It happens in the way we treat each other when we don't have mom around to remind us to use nice words. In the waiting room before an appointment. In the car on the way to play the sports. Growing up, every single one of my friends sat their butts on our kitchen counter. Every. One. The area around our kitchen island could honestly be the latest edition of some magazine or another because it has heard all the feelings from most the friends. That's the way our kitchen island is too. It's not Disneyland, it's the exhaustive human-fume filled drive there. It's not actual Thanksgiving, it's the sports banter and prep leading up to it. It's not the fancy-ness of the sofa or the cost, it's the conversations that happen on it as every one of my kids legs are lying on my lap.
With all that in mind, this week I tried to notice and observe, without judgement, my white space. I wanted to approach it different...hesitantly, even sacredly maybe. By choosing this approach something entirely, mind-blowingly beautiful happened. Turns out my white space doesn't like my phone as much as I thought it did. It desperately wanted my words poured out of my head onto paper instead or to be wrapped up in my kids thoughts. My white space wanted people. Not just any people, though I tend to like most persons. I wanted MY people. This perspective even helped me deal with my teenagers up'd sass-o-meter. No joke. My white space felt so peaceful that I didn't care about her emotional learning curve or lack-thereof. I just knew that my white space felt less white and more black if she wasn't around to bask in it with her sarcasm.
So here's to being present and showing up. Here's to life happening between the lines. Here's to the white space and all that it can hold for us.
Not a bad perspective for a Monday. Happy week my friends!