One person looks at a calendar with blank spaces and sees Empty time. It might threaten them or fill them with apprehension.
Another way of looking at the same thing? As opportunities waiting to be filled.
I don’t know about you. Do you like to plan a canoe trip or a travel experience with everything battened down? Do you know when you’ll be at a particular place? Have you reserved?
Or do you entertain a trip to Europe, for example, with as little organizing as possible? Generally, you want to be in a certain place by roughly this time. But possibilities may alter that.
You might meet fascinating people on the train. You might be invited to their vacation place. You might be told of excellent restaurant experience only 100 miles or so out of your way. You might love where you are so much you can’t leave yet. It is destinies calling that you remain for a while.
Life is not easy to map. It can be a set of specifics. It can be a “game plan that is to have no other game plan.”
Perhaps the truth is we go with what fits us best. Maybe we need to be reminded that either might drive the other crazy if they had not just to visit but live in that outlook.
Maybe the balance shifts in stages of our life. Maybe it is a matter of degree of overload, in either direction.
In the world of canoeing, there is the matter of uncertainty. Plans might critically need altering. A nasty thunderhead stealing in from atop the trees, a wind arising out on the lake, these (and more things) might keep us windbound.
We watch the days scheduling and where we were supposed to be evaporating in front of our eyes.
We can use a Buddhist approach, breath slowly and say, “Oh, well. It is as it should be.” Or we can fight the passing hours and resent the persistent mood of lousy weather.
Life requires of us that we be open to change. There is fun in planning and in anticipating the elegance of ordered experiences.
There is also the joy of watching life topple these plans - knowing there is opportunity even in the unfilled spaces of our calendar marching through life.
John A Bragstad is the author of two books, both available on Amazon.
Empty Opportunity is from a book in the works: Sparks from an Open Fire.