The phone rings when you are in the middle of a project. Your indoor cat runs out when you are ready to leave. You've been selected for jury duty. You realize you left home wearing slippers. Or without your purse. You lock yourself out of the house and need to figure out how to break into your own home. Your child throws up on her dance recital costume the night before her second performance. And yes, all of these examples have happened to me, some more than once.
Interruptions can be annoying. They force us to break our routines and attend to them. Their untimely arrival can be the demise of any plans you had for the day. Perhaps longer.
How we deal with these interruptions sets the tone for the day. It's hard to continue merrily on your way when life pulls the rug out from under you, but that is exactly what we need to do. And our children need to see it. Interruptions offer us a valuable lesson for them--adaptability.
So I learned to let the phone ring when we're working on a project. Usually it's just a telemarketer or robocall. Friends and family will understand and leave a message.
We all learned to watch for the cats before opening the door, and even if we do end up losing one, we have several methods of getting it back in. My favorite is pulling out a clump of crabgrass and waving it in front of the cat. Nine times out of ten, Dusty and Hobgoblin will follow our handful of hay back into the house, obviously forgetting they are walking across a lawn.
Preparing for jury duty means assuming I'll be picked. I always ask for a deferral until summer and find someone who can watch the kids for a week, since more people are available in summer to babysit, or my husband plans his vacation time around it. (Jury duty gets less worrisome once you have teenagers.)
When we are going out for the day, I try to make sure I know where we're going, our bags are packed and by the door an hour before we leave, and that my shoes are on my feet, my keys in my purse. Sometimes I will remember to do all of these things before we get in the car.
When Marina got
sick over her costume, I kept calm and rinsed it in the shower. That
calmness has served me well in many emergencies. Our emergencies have
ranged from sudden illness to dog bites to an arrow glancing off my
son's cheek. (Don't worry, he was fine. I even wrote about it on my blog.)
Most important, I realize that I can't plan for every eventuality. That is when life shows itself for the great adventure it is. There are times when you simply need to sit back and enjoy the ride, no matter how many twists and turns it takes. There is a lot to be learned from watching the scenery that pops up in any given situation. What will you and your family learn from your next interruption?