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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Interruptions in the Pursuit of a Goal

I had dreams – when I was a child – of becoming a writer. My first memory of a Christmas present that excited me, other than the dolls I loved, was a typewriter (yes, I'm that old). I immediately put paper into it and wrote story after story.

And then the ribbon ran out and my parents refused to replace it. So I manipulated it back to the beginning by rewinding it with my already ink-laden fingers and began again. Eventually, the ink completely dried out and I went back to using paper and pencil. But I never gave up writing and I never gave up my dream.

Though I had four children, I carried the dream of one day sitting on the shores of a lake, pencil and paper in hand, writing. My dream house had a back porch that faced the lake and it was screened in so the bugs wouldn't bother me. 

I thought, when I got older, I would find more time to pursue my dream, to buy that home on a lake, but it hasn't happened yet. My children are now grown, and while I would love to write for a living, and while I do write (but not yet for a living), my day job consists of caring for two of my grandchildren and two other children Monday through Friday. 

Every day the phone rings. Somebody wants to talk to me about one thing or other: my mom, my kids, my grandkids, my friends.

I'm always being interrupted. Just now, for example, my pen pal from England (I wrote to her when I was a teenager) interrupted me on facebook (where we reconnected). I'm so excited about this interruption – it's the first time we actually spoke in years. The last time we talked, sometime around the time John Lennon died, was on the telephone, when all we said to each other was, "OH MY GOD! I can't believe we're actually talking to each other." We started doing that again. We couldn't help ourselves.

Sadly, we haven't even met yet. 

Look what I'm doing – I'm interrupting myself!

And you know what? I have learned to love interruptions! I love when my kids or grandkids call me on the phone. I love talking to my parents, my sisters, and my friends.

And I also love to write. This week I wrote an article for Associated Content, entitled, "Writers Block – The Key to Unlocking The Block" – it took me days to write it because of all the interruptions! And the reason it took me forever to write is because the day I started writing it, March 3rd, up until the day I posted it (today), every single minute of every single hour of every single day was interrupted by tiny little voices, phone calls, diapers needing to be changed, meals to be prepared and fed, and a multitude of other interruptions.

I love to write and I will continue to write. I vow to never use the interruptions as an excuse for not writing. And I will savor all of the interruptions, because they come from people I love and care about. If nobody interrupts me, I miss opportunities to share time with the people I love.

George Eliot once wrote that "it is never too late to be what you might have been." So savor your interruptions, especially when they come from people you love.

It's time to interrupt myself again. The mention of meals above made me hungry.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the reminder to keep first things first, as a person and as a writer. The things that "keep" me from writing are also my richest blessings. Writing may or may not happen later, but children and friends must be enjoyed NOW.


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