Sunday, May 10, 2009

Life in the Interruptions

As you can probably guess, I do not like it when people waste my time.

I put myself under a lot of pressure to be an ultra-productive mother, wife, housekeeper, neighbor, volunteer, employee, and citizen, and the only way I can get this accomplished is if I work FAST. I believe that 99% of the things I’m doing are important, honorable, unselfish. Good things, that need to be done.

And so I have my LIST. My “inbox”. My set of criteria for what I am supposed to accomplish each day that will prove to myself and the world that I am worthy of respect, responsibility, and good karma. Every day, my list is growing, and I love that feeling of “being on a roll,” when the day just opens up and allows you to amaze yourself with how much you can get done.

But then, along come the interruptions.

Little bundles of knees and elbows that sit in my lap and try to type along with me while I’m writing, just desperate for any attention and time they can garnish. Older, slower interruptions that want to chat in the grocery store line when I’m already running late. Tiny, invisible interruptions that invade our childrens’ bodies and give them a fever just bad enough to keep them out of school, one at a time of course, and wipe out entire WEEKS of scheduled meetings, workouts, and any chance of concentration.

And those are just the small interruptions. What about the bad medical diagnosis? The corporate layoffs? The terrible late-night phone call that changes everything?

How on EARTH am I supposed to get everything done that I’m supposed to under these conditions? If ONLY I could control everything around me, then I would amaze the world at what I would get done. I SWEAR if everyone would just GET OUT OF MY WAY and give me ONE HOUR, ONE WEEKEND, or better yet, ONE MONTH to get everything in order that I just KNOW I’m supposed to be doing, THEN I will be able to slow down and listen to you, and play with you, and spend time with you, and…love you…like I should be doing now. I’m so sorry.

Life IS in the interruptions.

In the end, I’m not going to be judged by how far I got through my own fabricated inbox, but how I dealt with the universe’s interruptions. Whenever someone or something enters into my day unannounced, it’s arrogant and ignorant of me to automatically assume that what I had planned was more important.

Yes, the job must be finished, dinner (in some form, at least) must be cooked, and you will find me running down the highway naked and screaming if the house is not eventually picked up, but that should not be what my day is about. That’s just the boring, mundane stuff. The stuff that I can come up with on my own.

People, and opportunities, are the ones that interrupt the routine. And that’s something I don’t want to miss out on anymore.

I don't want on my tombstone, “She kept a good house.”



Lianne said...

This is so true and beautifully written. I promise you, I've been writing this same blog post in my head for the last two weeks. Thanks for saying exactly what I needed to hear!

Linda from Georgia said...

Great. I'm been belly-aching about my not getting THE LIST done.

KAHarrison said...

love catching up with you and your quick-wit...even if only on-line. Love, Katherine