You have your plans for the week. You know what you hope to accomplish. You even have in mind that little project at home. Then something or someone interrupts those plans. How do you handle those little life interruptions?
My husband and I recently had the opportunity to test our mindset and capabilities to handle an interruption in how our home is arranged.
Our three-year-old grandson who stays overnight with us one night a week had been sneezing the last few visits. This past Monday morning, in particular, he was sneezing, sniffling, and had a runny nose.
I checked in with my daughter to see if those things continued after they left that morning. Nope! Oh no! We recognized those clear signs of cat allergies, since both our children grew up with them.
On the advice of his doctor, the decision was made to move his bed from my office — his toddler bedroom where the cat likes to hang out- to my husband, Jim’s wood floor office — where the cat is NOT allowed.
Interruption!! All hands on deck!
Switch out one double bed for one toddler bed? Easy peasy, right? Not a chance.
Thus began the dance of the furniture and the moving of the stuff.
Now some of you may have very simplistic offices. Jim and I don’t. We have books, papers, filing cabinets. Visualize learner bees and collectors of “stuff”. He has genealogy as a hobby and I am a life coach/spiritual director.
However, in this simple life interruption of the swap out of two beds, here’s what I discovered about mindsets and handling life’s little interruptions
Go with the flow
Because we had an overarching driver- my grandson’s health- for the interruption of our day-to-day living routine, it made it easier to drop everything else we were doing and go with the flow.
Move and change the room arrangements.
Instead of a fixed, judging mindset, of why us right now? , how much work do we really have to do? , we found ourselves moving into action and problem-solving — a learner mindset — of how can we make this work for everyone involved:
— our grandson’s toddler bed and curious mind, Jim’s office space, my office space and the guest double bed. No time for a pity party.
According to Carol Dwek in her book, Mindset, the Psychology of Success, we always have an internal dialogue going in our minds.
A growth mindset is attuned to the implications of learning and constructive actions- such as ‘let’s see how I can improve my office setting as we rearrange furniture”.
A fixed mindset could be stuck in judging the situation as “I’ll never get my office back to any kind of order again.” Or “This will never work.”
By going with the flow of learning, a growth mindset, constructive actions appeared more readily.
Ask for help and take breaks
In the midst of the chaos of moving furniture from one room to the other in a short time period, it is easy to get tired and grumpy. Those of you with spouses and furniture moving know what I mean. It’s hard to keep each of you on the same page, especially when getting tired.
Also, we have noticed as we get older, our pacing and strength are not what they once were. Don’t get me wrong. We are in great shape for our age.
In fact, in our heads, we still twenty years younger. However, our bodies somehow don’t agree with that assessment.
We took breaks between moving filing cabinets, disassembling desks, moving bookcases, so that we could feel like our spaces could be our own, as well as have the room ready for our grandson who was coming the next day.
A project always grow disproportionately to the time you have for it.
Asking for help seems different, too. We are so used to doing it ourselves. We have pieces of furniture still ready to go to the basement, but those pieces will wait until our younger daughter can help carry them down to the basement. .
Reflect on the graces
Finally, when the dust settles, the cat hair cleaned up and the rooms are back in some semblance of order, we have taken a sigh of relief.
I am actually grateful for this interruption given to us by our grandson. My office is lighter, airy, less cluttered. All my filing cabinets are now in my walk-in closet, to be used for storage.
I feel lighter because my space is more simplistic and orderly, even with the double guest bed in it.
My husband is enjoying his office space as well. His office turned out much more open and organized. This life interruption had good things written all over it — for our grandson’s health and for us.
When has a life interruption turned into a good change for you?
How did you adjust your mindset so you could go with the flow and ask for any help you needed?
In the end, how did you take time to reflect on the graces that the interruption brought you?
I believe interruptions are not always pleasant, yet how we approach them can make a huge difference in our attitudes and ultimately the outcome of the interruptions.
Interruptions can actually lead to more nourishment in your life as this one has for me. I would love to know how you let them nourish your life.
I know two big outcomes from this interruption will be a healthier, happy grandson and a more productive writer as I enjoy a less cluttered office. How full of grace is that!
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