If you can’t change your situation, you can always change your attitude. But some things are really hard to feel good about, and for me, being interrupted or deterred from my plan has had incredible power to derail my good mood in the past.
Now that I’ve been a parent for almost 6 years, I’m no stranger to interruptions, plan derailments and open-ended adventures. Road-tripping in our Westfalia has taken that to a whole new level. Here are 8 things I’ve discovered about the good side of interruptions.
1. Interruptions break you out of your rut. Routine is so powerful, and often we can harness the power of routine for good when we want to form good habits. But routine can make life stale and keep you trapped in what you know. There’s nothing like a good power outage, unexpected detour or breakdown to change up your routine.
2. Interruptions can bring you back to the present moment. It is easy to drift off into the past or future, or wander through the forest of hypothetical situations in your mind when you’re left alone. A child’s voice saying, “Mom?” can be a great mindfulness tool if you approach it with a positive attitude. Every time your child interrupts you, check in with where you are. Be here now.
3. Unexpected delays can give you unexpected opportunities. You’ll have the chance to explore places and meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise met, enjoy more things along the way, and appreciate the journey, not the destination.
4. Interruptions remind us that our plans and goals exist in our mind only. Staying open to interesting choices can lead to some really amazing adventures.
5. When interruption is the norm, undivided time feels incredible. When I became a mother I was far more interrupted in my writing, but my productivity went way up.
6. Interruptions and crises are one way that life invites you to the party. Something is happening and you just can’t avoid it! It’s exciting and maybe a little bit scary but you know you’re 100% alive!
7. Interruptions remind me to face challenges with playful self-discipline. I rarely blow up over a big change in plans, but I’m far more likely to get angry when the small, daily challenges overwhelm me and I forget how I want to act.
8. Interruptions, breakdowns and challenges build our strength. If you have enough money to pay the rent and put groceries on the table every month without a massive amount of stress, life’s pretty easy for you in comparison to the rest of the world. Interruptions and breakdowns work our muscles of resilience, vulnerability, problem solving and positive thinking. And that’s a good thing.
How do you feel about interruptions?