On this fresh, sunny Friday morning, I decided to walk into the city instead of taking a tram – all the while trying to be “in the moment” as my mind flitted through its normal range of topics from our clients and team to my upcoming travel, friends, love and, of course, not backpacking. (All this in a 12 minute stroll, btw!)
The latter musing included how to officially start the gap year. I’m big into symbolically marking these milestones. Had already experienced the terror-filled moment leaping from idea to implementation, that blank sheet of paper that became the first post. Every creative person has an own version of this cave dark twinge. Mine goes something like this: (Explicitive!#?), what was I thinking that I could do this?! Jill, you ARE really crazy. OK. Deep breath. Pen in hand. Write something, anything will do to get going! Even if it’s all crap and you later toss every word out…just shut your eyes and go. (Yes, I actually tell myself to shut my eyes sometimes before I write. I know what you are thinking. It’s my process. )
A friend had suggested I mark the start of the month with a glass of champagne. Liked the sparkle of that. Just as it played out yesterday after an enjoyable, yet full-in client workshop, I looked more forward to the debrief with Sylvia who led it, followed by an outdoor break. Still waited for the right moment to say “I’m off on the gap!”
Today’s stroll into town wandered through the weekly farmer’s market. It’s a colorful, happy plaza near the lake, full of regular shoppers with appropriate carrying bags and people like me in suits and heels making a quick pass through on their ways. Over the years, I’ve accepted that I’m not the “coffee chat in the market” type, even when I love the colors and ambience. I make one regular purchase: green beans. Always at the same stand, always with free herbs offered that I’d never heard of until here and at first didn’t know what on earth to do with (bean herbs, aptly named – Bohnen Krauter).
Unexpectedly, in the passing of the bag of beans from the woman in the stand to me, we exchanged a smile that said – I get it, these are your special beans, and they are special beans because you stop by every week for them. I may not understand your process or life or reason to buy only green beans when we have these wonderful long tables full of beautiful fruits and vegetables, but I share your pleasure in it.
As I walked on to my normal cafe, full of the joy of living, I realized that was the milestone moment. The simplest of human expressions. A passing few seconds. They probably could happen each day, if I could just override my drive and focus and wandering mind long enough to notice.
Seemed like the perfect moment of recognition for a gap year to begin.