Living in the Gaps

I’ve been thinking about the John Lennon quote today – “life is what happens while you’re making other plans”. It’s so true. I’ve spent most of the weekend doing things for other people – running errands, picking up after others, washing clothes, and so on.

While my other half took our middle girl to a rugby match today I took our eldest and youngest daughters shopping for a somewhat random list of things – food for packed lunches from the discount store, batteries for an assorted collection of watches, gloves and socks for Miss 13 (she struggles with the cold, and has to wear gloves all the time while out at this time of year to prevent frostbite), a roll of parcel tape, and posting bags (we managed to get brown paper).

Taking the children with me resulted in several unplanned costs – coffee at Starbucks and a book from the bookshop for each of them, and then a roll from Subway on the way home for Miss 13 (18 cannot buy anything from Subway because she is coeliac, and they have no gluten free bread). It all adds up.

After getting home I called a far-away rugby pitch, and spoke to a breathless Miss 15 who had just finished playing. She scored a try, and did several spectacular runs (her own words). It is all captured on film for her college course. Oh, and she wanted pizza for dinner.

I walked into town to get pizzas for everybody from the big supermarket before it closed (there are restricted hours in the UK on Sundays), and listened to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast while walking the mile-or-so in each direction. He talked to Tom Scharpling about all manner of things, and I found myself becoming lost in their conversation for the entire journey. On the way home it occurred to me that I eek out my life in the gaps between the various resposibilities and expectations that fall upon me. Yes, I’m carrying shopping bags, and yes, this is about the tenth mile covered today, but you see those earphones? They are taking me somewhere else. I’m escaping in plain sight.

I did buy myself one thing today – a small paper notebook, with “my notebook” embossed on the cover. I found it while waiting for the kids in the bookshop. Notebooks are my kryptonite.

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