Life never goes exactly as planned. We fill our days with expectations, tasks, and goals, only to have life disrupt them all. We truly live a life interrupted. This year has underscored that very boldly for all of us in different ways. Some disappointing, some tragic, and many inconvenient.
But not all of these interruptions are bad. Life is also filled with many happy interruptions and moments of unexpected joy. These interruptions have long been part of our daily lives while others have been encouraged uniquely by the pandemic. For example, a phone call from a friend you haven’t spoken to in ages to check in on you or the child who comes ambling into the “home office” to give you a hug in the middle of the workday are both priceless types of happy interruptions. Of course, these are just two of countless other happy interruptions we all uniquely experience in our lives.
Happy interruptions, like any, always hit us without warning. Some are more defining in that they smack us upside the head and wake us up from the me-centered trance we sometimes fall into and don’t even realize. Others are just as important in the long-run but are easy to miss or ignore because we are too focused on our established personal agenda for the day. Think back to the examples above – How easy is it to decline that call from a friend or shoo the child away?
It’s easy because we all naturally suffer from having an ego to varying degrees. That ego creates a myopic lens through which we view our world, our life, and these moments in our day. Our tasks, deadlines, goals, or struggles are always on the top of our minds and seem to take priority. However, they aren’t always what’s the most important thing that’s happening around us. If we aren’t careful, our ego can narrow our field of vision so much so that we can’t see those moments of unexpected joy and happy interruptions even when they matter most.
If you can remember a time you missed out on something fun or a moment of joy because you chose to stay at work, were running around with an errand list, or just got stuck in your own head, you are not alone. It’s human nature. Our constant challenge then is to push back against our ego and allow for more flexibility in our daily life so we see more, hear more, feel more, and experience more of what life has to offer.
Experiencing the wonder and excitement of the unexpected is something we do naturally as a child. Then we grow up and the adult world erodes that away by influencing us and telling us what society believes to be important. Most of that is ego-driven. However, the happy interruptions in our day are important reminders of the power of pure love and that we are all part of something bigger than ourselves.
So embrace the happy interruptions in your day whatever they may be. Experience the real love and wonder they bring. Then pay it forward by interrupting someone else with some unexpected joy and happiness. You’ll be glad you did.
Keep being amazing!
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Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney and elder law attorney. He is all about family and has a passion for educating his community. He enjoys helping people protect what matters most and inspiring them to be the best versions of themselves they can be.