134 - Space gets filled

Hello and welcome to the The Spark & The Art creativity podcast. Thank you for subscribing to our weekly podcast, where we alternate between interviews with creative folks from all different career levels and insight and inspiration episodes. All with the intention you’ll get what you need to get your creative projects started and, more importantly, finished.

I’m your host Tucker and this week we’re talking about space. 

Space gets filled. As Aristotle is credited with saying “Nature abhors a vacuum. It’s why it’s hard to dig in sand. Why wells need stone walls. Why cereal is sold by weight and not by volume. It settles during transport and all the little spaces get filled in. 

As roads got wider so did cars. My wife’s cousin is an EMS and works in an Ambulance and she told me this story. After a little research on my part (since civil engineering isn’t something I regularly do extra curricular reading on) I found what I read supports the story enough that I will tell it to you now because I like it and it helps to illustrate the point I am trying to make. 

Lanes on highways used to be narrower. 10 feet wide. Then they moved to 11 feet and now 12 feet. When two cars move to the far side of their lanes there is room enough between for an ambulance to get through. Now, you would think that as lanes got wider the space between the cars would increase as well. But it seems that as size of the lanes increased so did the size of the vehicles. Vans, SUVs, Hummers, Buses all got wider because the designers knew there was more room on the road. So they filled it. Now there seems to be the same amount of space when the ambulance tries to pass now as it did when the lanes were 10 feet. To be fair she never mentioned whether ambulances grew in size as well. 

Space gets filled. 

Time gets filled. 

Depending on your beliefs time used to be filled with wandering the plains hunting and gathering the food you’d eat and making the clothes you’d wear out of the animals you’d killed and discovering fire and keeping your family safe from the bear that was trying to use your cave as a den. 

Now we have machines that do the dishes and clean the laundry and we can get food at any time of the day or night. We have cars that can make my commute to work less than an hour when in wagon and buggy days that would be a days travel. 

But do we feel like we have time? Do you feel like you have a lot of time to just do nothing? Or Something? Or anything? 

Probably not. Because just like space, time also gets filled. 

When we’re not filling our time with things that get us money to get us food and shelter we’re filling our time with other things. Like a trip to the bank or the grocery store or the movie theatre or a friends house. But in line at the grocery store there are a few moments of waiting that can be filled so we pull out our phone or grab the magazine from the rack or pursue through the Dump Soup recipe book trying to figure out what the hell Dump Soup is anyway. 

The point is we fill our time. Ask this question out loud “How do I fill my time?” It’s okay no ones paying attention to you they are playing a quick game of candy crush because it’s been designed to be able to be played in about a minute or so. Ask out loud “How do I fill my time?” Now focus on the words. 

How do I. Me this person right here. Me. How Do I. 

Fill my time. My Time. It’s my time. It doesn’t belong to anyone else. It’s yours. When you close your eyes who else is there? Just you. It’s your time. 

One day when I was a kid my dad came home from work about an hour earlier than normal. He had a couple cassettes he’d bought at the music store. If I remember correctly it was Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, Hooked On Classics and Boney M’s Night Flight to Venus. I asked him “They let you leave early?” and he said “It’s my time. They don’t have say over everything I can do with it.”

It’s your time. It’s yours to fill. If you don’t fill it someone else will. If you don’t give yourself permission to fill your time with what makes your life your life. Then you won’t have anytime for yourself. 

I give you permission to give yourself permission to fill your time with your project. I give you permission to turn down a dinner invitation. I give you permission to take Tuesday evenings just for you and you can tell everyone you know that you will decline all invitations that happen on that day. Eventually people will stop inviting you out on Tuesdays.

Space gets filled. Time gets filled. It’s your time. It’s your space. Fill it with what you want.

Do you know someone who has trouble with feeling too busy? Like they don’t have enough time? Hopefully you’d share this episode with them. The easiest way is to send the short url TheSparkAndTheArt.com/134 the hardest way is to write the url on the back of a tortoise and let it walk in front of your friend's house and hope they look out the window in time to see it. The advantage to it being on a tortoise is that they’ll actually have more time to look out the window. But why risk it. Just send them a text. 

Get me on twitter @sparkartpodcast

Thanks for listening and remember: you won’t get the art without the work and you won’t do the work without the spark.