Interruption is painful. It is maddening. It can and does make me scream. With four children, three of whom are still small, the interruption-to-getting-things-done ratio is pretty high.  And most of the demands are completely legitimate. There are the bodily needs – calls of nature, thirst, hunger, illness — and the emotional needs – for connection, reassurance, comfort, security.  But there will always be the seemingly unjustified interruptions that are so very, very annoying: the whining, begging, tantruming, complaining, and clinging.  I admit that my boundaries are pretty fluid, and I have an open-door policy to being importuned no matter what else I’m doing.  And that needs work.  But I still think the incidence of interruption would be painfully high because of the numbers and ages of the children.

I find, too, that even when I cultivate calm in various ways – just by getting out and thinking my own thoughts while running errands or, more rarely, by doing yoga or other flow exercise – it is easily shattered the second those high-decibel voices re-enter my head.  I have not yet found a way to bring that calm back and maintain it for more than three seconds.  Clearly, I do need that time away, but I also need to find a way to that still place while right here in the middle of a busy day, and even in the midst of interruption.

I think non-attachment will have to come into play here, too, where both my own thoughts and the slings and arrows of my children appear more as ripples in a pond than seismic tsunamis upon which I am forever and hopelessly tossed.  In the flow that is our family life together, things happen.  Work gets done, work doesn’t get done, events happen, events don’t happen. Ultimately, we will get to that place where the children all stand on their own and we move on to the next big journey.  I am currently magnifying the thousands of moments that make up a day, focusing in more and more on every detail.  Most days, I remain completely unaware of the big picture.  Ironically, I suspect that focusing less on the details will make them more likely to fall into place.  And then the water will smooth out at last and I will be able to see where I am going.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeff Silvey
    Mar 26, 2011 @ 23:52:37

    I find the interruption of my train of thought to be the most maddening. Sometimes, you just need to walk into a room by yourself and think for a second to sort things out. But you can’t, at least not very much. And I only have one child. I can’t imagine four! Stay strong!


  2. Sarah
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 01:46:47

    I can let you borrow my headphones. I know you have a great CD collection. 🙂


  3. Monica
    May 20, 2011 @ 09:55:48

    i only have the one! but she is a high-spirited, demanding, very attached ball of energy. and i’m an introvert, and she doesn’t sleep well, and i never go away from her to do errands. i get an hr some day when daddy can play with her.
    as a creative person and one who needs silence, my patience is taxed every single day. i breath, i centre myself, i try to remain mindful, and so on… but it takes work, lots of it. what i’m trying now is to intellectually see the balance between the interruptions and the moments she does play on her own. sometimes, needing the me time so desperately, i don’t appreciate fully those 10mins.


    • mamamissy
      May 20, 2011 @ 10:01:08

      Thank you for responding, and I can relate to everything you say here! My husband and I both crave silence and need space to think as introverts, and daily life is all the more challenging for that reason.


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