In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, June 24, 2011

In Others' Words: Interruptions

"The great thing is, if one can, to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions in one's "own" or "real" life. The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one's life." ~ C. S. Lewis, author

Interruptions. Don't you just hate them? 

After all, there are only so many hours in a day. You're trying to get all the important things done and--without even an "Excuse me"--something or someone disrupts your oh-so-carefully planned out schedule.

Then the quote by C.S. Lewis turns my thoughts about interruptions upside down and inside out. Interruptions are good things? Interruptions aren't inconveniences that mess up my schedule? Interruptions are what my life is all about?

Lewis' definition certainly alters my perspective. Instead of reacting to a disruption of my To Do list with frustration, I can welcome it knowing this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Instead of only half-heartedly listening to a friend who called in the midst of my so-called important task, I can give her focused attention.

In Your Words: What about you? Do you go with the flow when it comes to interruptions? Or do they mess up your plans and raise your blood pressure? Want to try an experiment with me? Just for today, let's welcome interruptions.

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At 8:46 AM, Blogger Katie Ganshert said...

One thing I learned as I taught 5th grade was that interruptions are part of being a teacher. Teachers have to be flexible with their plans. It's a good lesson to learn in life, too.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Sonia said...

Convicted! And so early in the day. As a work at home mom of two, interruptions are my every day, every moment really, reality. In fact, I was even interrupted while reading the blog by my daughter and interrupted by my dog while writing this comment. (When can a woman get a little peace?) Trying to change my perspective on this will take some time. Not an easy, one time fix for sure!

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Melissa Tagg said...

Okay, Beth...I'll try really, really hard to welcome interruptions today! Even if they come in the form of spilled coffee...and a temporarily lost shoe...and a sudden switch-up in my schedule at work...:)

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Kudos to Katie--I can't imagine teaching 5th grade! That must have been day-long interruptions.
And, Sonia, I understand. I do.
And Melissa--I'll check back and see how we're doing at the end of the day. Embracing interruptions, here we come.
Ah, my first one!)

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Jeanne T said...

What a challenging post, Beth.

Katie, I taught fifth grade too! Once upon a time, many years ago. Interruptions are the life of a teacher.

Melissa, sounds like your day is off to quite a start if you've had all those interruptions already!

My kids are the main interruptors, especially now that it's summer. I find myself sighing and trying to answer in a gracious tone, each time I hear, "Mommy!..." Thanks, Beth, for the exhortation to embrace the interruptions. I guess the biggest promoters of them in my life will only be around for a few years. This is a great reason to embrace the interruptions rather than the tasks. Thanks, Beth!

At 12:13 PM, Blogger K.M. Weiland said...

Oooh, that's great. Trust Lewis to punch straight to the heart of the matter! I have a tendency to be very focused, very one-track minded, which is great in the sense that it allows me to get lots of stuff done. But it also means I can be very impatient of interruptions. I've actually spent a lot of time this week pondering on the blessings of the "present" life, complete with all its warts. This is the life we have. Right here, right now. What we dream of for the future may or may not ever happen. But if we can live each present moment - even the irritating interruptions - we can truly say we've lived a good life, whether those exciting dreams for the future ever materialize or not.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

I love everyone's honesty! I'm still trying to embrace interruptions--which for me is usually family skipping to my writing life.

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Pat Trainum aka P. T. Bradley said...

Sometimes it is hard to embrace interruptions cheerfully, but more than once, when I respond with the attiutde that it is perhaps a divine appointment, I am always blessed. And sometimes,the interruption becoes fodder for a post...or a character trait.

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Now there's a thought! Interruption = possible plot device!


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