“Mom, I need…”
“Honey, can you help me with…?”
There are days when I feel like I’m no sooner starting something than someone — anyone — is asking me for something — anything. It might be a snack or a drink. It might be a password. It might be support on a project.
Sometimes, I can deal with these intrusions with grace. I have patience and forbearance. I am all about the “we” in “team” and the long game.
But, more often, there’s a loud sigh internally.
REALLLY? I wonder. AGAIN?!? I’m incapable of thinking in normal tones without all caps.
Will the interruptions be the death of me? Can I get anything done? Is there an end in sight?
So often, I make a plan. It starts as a list, informed by my goals for the week and the day.
That’s the secret to success, right?
And then, without fail, life, interrupted.
I spent the first decade of my motherhood frustrated by this. How else was I supposed to be reacting? Clearly, I wasn’t setting the right goals. Or I needed to double down.
It took me a while to reorient myself, to see the interruptions as redirections, to believe that the detour may, in fact, be the destination God had in mind for me.
And then, as my professional life has changed, it has taken me time to accept where that’s leading, in conjunction with my family life and other priorities our family faces.
But what is life if it’s not interrupted? What if I never faced interruptions?
What if my teen didn’t ask me what I thought about that book as I was getting ready to do dishes? What if my son didn’t want me to read to him at exactly the moment I’ve relaxed with a cozy blanket and my own book?
What if my colleague didn’t want my opinion on something that I end up finding interesting? What if my boss didn’t call me to check in just as I was diving into something all-consuming?
What if I never said yes? How would that change the way those people in my life approached me? How would it color the way I thought of the interruptions?
At the same time, what if I never said no? What if I embraced the interruptions as unrecognized gifts, as chances to practice humility and cooperate with grace?
I don’t think I want it any other way.