Mrs. Dykowski... gets interrupted by life

A close friend shared with me a wise saying that was shared with them once, life is little interruptions, they are not interrupting life — they are life. 

At first I was thinking, “Well that’s easy for you to say, you’re a free spirit. My spirit is obsessively tethered to a well-scribbled monthly calendar and strategically placed to-do-list sticky notes.”

Later, though, it got me thinking about how I respond when people interrupt me when I’m trying to accomplish a task. 

I tend to be too focused. 

If you’ve seen me at the grocery store, I probably didn’t see you because I was too focused, so maybe you can see my point. 

If you’re at the Citizen office on a Wednesday morning close to deadline — well just don’t be here on a Wednesday morning — it’s not a moment when interruptions are generally welcomed. 

I’m trying to remember, even on deadline, that how I handle interruption will be a defining characteristic of my life. 

Who I am when things are not easy is still who I am. I want to be patient, kind and accomodating.

How I respond to my husband and children when they interrupt me will set the tone for our relationship. 

That’s not to say that I should drop everything at every request my kids make. That’s not going to help my kids form realistic expectations of reality or help them cultivate independence or patience of their own. 

But if I respond with irritation every time, just because I’m busy, they aren’t going to feel like they’re important to me. 

If I put them off with kindness when I need to and drop everything when it’s appropriate, they’ll see how much I love them. They’ll know that while they can’t always have exactly what they want, I’ll do everything I can to give them what they need, and that includes my time and attention. 

Beyond my girls, how I treat people who I feel are creating an inconvenience for me, says something about me as a person. 

I struggle with patience — we all do from time to time, and interruptions are an opportunity for me to practice that skill. 

I need to see it as an opportunity even if it’s difficult in the moment. 

I fail a lot. 

But I’ve needed people when it was inconvenient for them, so I need to be willing to go out of my way for others from time to time. We all do — that’s part of being a good neighbor. 

I fail at that pretty often, too. 

So as summer gets into full swing, we are all going to have a lot of plans and projects. And a lot of our plans are going to be derailed and projects interrupted. Routine is hard to maintain during the summer months. But we’ve got to remember that it’s how we respond to those moments that defines our character. 

So take a deep a breath — this isn’t an interruption — this is your life. 

Sarah Dykowski is the wife of Publisher Scott Dykowski. She can be reached at composing@dublincitizen.com

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