I am a planner — and a task person. So, I often have an idea in my head of tasks I want to complete after I get home from work, such as a new blog post. Sometimes, though, interruptions occur. People come over I wasn’t expecting. My kids away at college call home. My husband wants to go out to dinner.
When these disruptions stare me in the face, I have a choice to make. Do I push the person aside and stick to my original plan? Or do I change gears and adjust to the new “task” of catching up?
Today was one of those days. While at work, my youngest of three sons called to see if I wanted to go to lunch with him. As usual, I had brought my lunch and had planned to go for a walk after eating. But my son doesn’t often invite me to lunch, so I jumped at the opportunity. And I’m glad I did. We enjoyed some one-on-one time we wouldn’t have had otherwise.
After work, I didn’t have a set mission to accomplish. I knew I wanted to go for a run, and I knew I wanted to write a blog post. Despite a surprise visit from my second son, I was able to accomplish both.
And you know what? I feel elated and at peace. Not so much because I still did what I originally set out to do. No, it’s because I took the time to converse with my son and to learn about what’s going on in his life. I took advantage of the chance to encourage him and to show him how much I care about him.
He no longer lives at home, and I had been missing him. I feel more complete having been given — and accepting — that opportunity.
It’s important to have goals in life, but it’s just as important to be willing to steer off course on occasion and take the more scenic route, to enjoy the detours along the way. We each face them almost every day. Like when a son or daughter comes home from school and wants to play a game. Or when a loved one wants to meet you for coffee at the last minute.
What will you do when the next interruption comes your way?
Christian, wife, mother of 5, breast cancer survivor, marathon finisher, writer and editor, author of "Help! I'm a Science Project"