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Yet Another Interruption

We've all been there. You are in the zone, fully immersed, when the interruption comes. How you handle interruptions has ramifications beyond that of just yourself.

There you are…doing whatever it is that has your attention. You are in the thick of it, whether it is reading, typing, talking, preparing, or even taking that one sacred minute a day to yourself. You are fully engrossed in the task at hand when it inevitably comes.

The interruption.

A shapeshifter, it comes in many forms. Work, friends, a spouse, a child. All are manifestations of an interruption.

How do you handle it?

Let’s imagine the interruption is a four way stop. Do you ignore it and proceed full speed ahead? Do you slow down but still roll straight thru? Or do you actually come to a stop, look both ways, and proceed on after assessing the situation?

Interruptions are an annoyance, most of us can agree. But do you know when they’re not an annoyance?

When we are the ones trying to reach out.

When we are the ones on the other side.

And yet so often, we fail to think of it in those terms. We shoo others away, thinking another time will avail itself. Or maybe if we’re lucky, they’ll forget all about whatever it is they needed from us.

Eventually, after one too many ‘shoo aways’…they distance themselves. They quit coming to you, quit trying to share their triumphs, their sorrows, their need for human connection—from you.

But—you may say—"I can’t stop at every interruption”. And I couldn’t agree more.

We must be able to be kind and patient instead of letting irritability and short tempers take the lead. Take the time to assess the situation. If you are not free at that very moment, explain you will make the time later to give them your full attention.

And do it.

This world is full of races to get from A to Z, to get from 0 to 100, to make the first million. In the race for progress, we should not view our life’s trajectory as a one lane highway wherein any interruption is to be avoided.

The interruptions allow us to further each other’s progress. When we stop, we bring other people with us on our journey, and are richer for it.

While it is easy to define interruptions vaguely as ‘other people’, the truth is that many times the interruptions come from those we hold closest to our hearts. Our spouses, our children, our immediate family members.

The ones who are most forgiving and understanding, and who usually take the most brush offs.

And so, when you are in your moment, doing your thing, and a voice calls out—perhaps in some of those instances—the ‘thing’ is actually the interruption. And the voice calling out should take precedence.

When our time comes for slowing down, may the stillness not be deafening.

May your car not be empty and the rear-view mirror void.

Instead, may your car be filled with fellow travelers on life’s journey, with a panoramic vista of all the places you have been and have yet to go.

The path you were always meant to be on.

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