The words "white space" mean different things to different people. To an artist, it signifies the unmarked areas on a canvas. To a radio broadcaster, it means an open frequency. As a father, it can mean something altogether different.
Recently, I had the privilege of hearing Juliet Funt speak. Even though she doesn't live in a van down by the river, she manages to be an effective motivational speaker. One of the things she talked about that hit home with me was making sure that there is plenty "white space," or unplanned time in your day.
Often, I find myself too busy, too distracted, too _______, to stop and smell the roses. The kids have to be dropped off here, we are eating over there, we have to run to church, then home to 'relax' in front of the tube. Before I know it, I'm falling asleep, waking up, and doing it all over again.
As a father, this bugs me. Society has beaten it into my head that every day should be jam packed with activities, schedules, and tasks that make sure my kid develops properly. As a result, the stress level has risen, and the fun level has dropped.
Thankfully, all hope is not lost. I have begun to carve out some 'white space' in my day. For me and the girls, this has taken two forms. First, we put on some "rockin' tunes," as Princess P would say. Then, we proceed to have a dance party. Special K begins bobbing her gigantic cloth diaper covered booty to the sweet beatz of Daft Punk as Princess P starts tutting like a champ. It is quite the sight to behold.
Our second favorite activity as of late involves me as a tiger, Princess P as a princess... go figure... and Special K as the man cub (think Jungle Book). As I stop around the house seeking someone to devour, the girls run around like lunatics, giggling all the way. During those moments, no one is crying for a snack, whining because toy is missing, or upset about having to take a bath later. It is glorious.
Do you have enough white space in your day? If not, I challenge you to set aside unplanned time. It'll do wonders for your own sanity, and your kids will have your full attention.