My son got really mad at me one day and made about five of these. He taped them all over the place. He wanted to make his point very clear. He needed some peace and quiet, some time to himself.
We all need that sometimes. We probably need it a lot more often than we get it. We’re so busy, running from place to place. We hammer out emails with lightening speed. We return texts at red lights. We check Facebook while we’re in the restroom. (c’mon, you know you do it)
Do you ever feel like you want to hang this sign on your door, on your back, or use it as your Facebook profile picture?
I know I do.
Once the boys are off to school, I’m off to the races. I forget how to walk. The only speed I know is run, even in my own house. It’s ridiculous actually.
Do you ever feel that way?
But even at the speed of light, our lives are full of interruptions. No matter how hard you try to focus to accomplish a task, there will be an interruption. Someone will need something that can’t wait. A child wants to tell you a story. The phone rings. Text messages ding. Emails flood your inbox.
This morning my sleep got interrupted. Just after 5:00 there was light and giggling entering my room. As I was trying to process what was happening I hear, Good Morning! Happy Birthday!
What?!? It’s not my birthday.
These crazy girls decided to surprise me by kidnapping me at five in the morning to take me to IHOP. It was worth every second. They each interrupted their own sleep to love me and celebrate me. In a rare moment before the sun came up, we connected with laughter and conversation. It was an interruption I will always remember and be grateful for.
As we drove home, the sun was bright orange in a pink and purple sky. One friend kept giggling, saying how beautiful it was and how great it was to be together, enjoying it. She was loving being together to start her day.
Two hours later, I was at my desk trying to focus on writing, about interruptions, when I saw her calling. I was tempted to let it go to voicemail. Don’t judge me too quickly. . . I answered. I was expecting her cheerful voice with a joke or a laugh about something.
Instead, she was frantic. She was crying and disoriented. She’d just been in a car accident. She was very shaken up.
There was no hesitation. I grabbed my keys and was on my way.
Everything will be alright with her, but it was a reminder of how life-changing interruptions can be.
The moment we shut the door, put up the sign, and turn off the ringer, is a pivotal moment. We’re deciding that we’re in control and everyone else will have to wait.
Please hear me, that kind of time is necessary to accomplish anything in the world we live in and I do it a lot.
It’s just that I wonder what would happen if we were open to more interruptions from people we love or circumstances that align with our priorities more than our schedules.
What if you noticed them, gave them your attention, and allowed them into your life?
You might not get all your work done in that moment. You might have to catch up another time. You might have to head in a whole different direction.
But you might find yourself living, right in the middle, of the moments that really matter.
Think about it today. Start by noticing your interruptions.
If they align with your priorities, if they’re people you love, or situations you can make better, consider letting them in.
I’m trying it too. Let’s circle back on how it goes.
To more love,
P.S. I’d venture to guess that some of the most amazing stories of the social change makers we’re going to meet, started with an interruption. I can’t wait to find out!