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Finding the Good in Your Interrupted Day

     Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to good people?  Well, I have.  I don’t sit around and linger on it, mind you, but when something bad or unexpected happens (especially to me), I get a little frustrated and flustered by it.  (Or as a friend of mine says, “flustrated.”) 

     So why do bad things happen to people who really are trying to do the right thing?  Well, let me begin with this.  What I am about to tell you are merely my thoughts and experiences.  I am NOT God and only He holds all the answers.  However, I can also say with confidence that what I’m about to tell you seems fairly accurate and makes a lot of “head” sense as well as “heart” sense.  So, buckle up.

     I stumbled on a quote a few weeks ago by C. S. Lewis (writer of the Chronicles of Narnia) that I think will change my life . . . for REAL!!!  It goes something like this, “The great thing, if one can, is to STOP regarding all the UNPLEASANT (or unexpected) things as INTERRUPTIONS of one’s own life, or real life.  The truth is, of course, that what one calls the interruptions ARE precisely ONE’S REAL LIFE.”

     Interruptions aren’t just a part of life, interruptions are life!  Isn’t that profound?  I mean, think of a day when it ran just as you had scheduled from start to finish . . . now I don’t know about you, but I cannot even recall a day like that . . . maybe before I was married with kids . . . maybe . . . but even then there were interruptions.  Now ask yourself this, WHY?  I don’t like the interruptions any more than you do . . . but could it just be that there is a plan behind some, most or even all of those interruptions?  Stick with me while you read the next TRUE story that just happened to me YESTERDAY.

     So . . . the week had been long.  Rainy and cold.  I had taught all week and had some extra events that, of course, I hadn’t expected.  Now, yesterday, Sunday, rolls around and we had just come home from church and getting a bite to eat when I thought, “Ahhhhh . . . a nap with the kiddos.”  And one child did nap, but the other child decided, “Not today.”  So . . . she and I stayed up and watched the rest of a Shirley Temple movie together. 

     Then we read a few books (while I’m dozing reading them to her.)  I was just BEAT.  It was ONLY 2:30pm also.  Well, my napping child decided it was time to wake up and I just knew I was going downhill fast so I thought, “Hey.  It’s a nice day outside.  We’ll rollerblade down to the library.  Maybe THAT will wake me up.”  So, the kids were all excited.  They love going to the library and they love rollerblading. (Actually, I rollerblade while they sit in the double stroller taking in the scenery.) 

     So, we were off!  Swoosh, Swish, Swoosh, Swish.  It all started with us flying down the back neighborhood roads.  Next we crossed a few main roads and were heading down a pretty busy street when all of a sudden the stroller jerked us all to a halt and we swerved to the right into some bushes. 

     “What just happened?”  My sweet 2 year old decided she didn’t need her blanket anymore and threw it off her body right into the stroller wheel.  I stopped.  Thank God for the bushes that lined this busy roadway.  I wondered if we would have been thrown into the street had those bushes not been there.  (A nugget tucked away in my head.) 

     So, we were off again.  Swish, Swoosh, Swish, Swoosh.  We’re swaying side to side, the girls are laughing and singing, the breeze is flowing through our hair . . . we make the left turn onto the next main road and can see the library way far away from our current location.  I start picking up speed, the girls are laughing even louder when out of the blue, something (a rock I believe) gets sucked into my left rollerblade wheel, my left leg goes completely behind my right leg and I start veering towards the right.

      Well, there were no bushes lining this street and I had remembered the earlier experience so I clutch the stroller handle and pull back while my right knee then left knee then left elbow hit the ground.  The girls were in a vertical position (looking straight up at the sky) when I quickly jumped up and said, “We’re okay.  We’re okay,” while lowering the stroller back into position.  “Girls, you’re okay, right?”  They start laughing. 

     Samantha, my three year old says, “We’ve never done THAT before Mommy.  We went back far.”  Mackenzie, my two year old just laughed and laughed and proceeded to tell her version of what happened in baby talk. 

      Me, on the other hand?  I had blood gushing down my left knee and elbow and a huge bruise on my right knee – swelling up by the minute.  Oh man.  How could I go into the library like this?  And that’s when I said, “Cindy.  These girls are so excited about going to the library.  You haven’t broken anything and you’re going to hurt whether you’re sitting at home or sitting in the library.  Just keep moving forward.”  And we did. 

     I cleaned up a bit in the restroom at the library before going upstairs to read books and play puzzles (the elevator was out of service by the way . . . which meant I had to haul my double stroller up the stairs.  Another interruption . . . it’s life, right?) 

     So . . . how does this crazy story all end?  With me understanding that my earlier interruption, Mackenzie throwing her blanket into the wheel, created a sense of awareness in me that kept us safe with another interruption, potentially more dangerous.  (And for the record, I DID call my husband and asked him to come pick us up when we were finished.)

            With every interruption in life, it gets logged in our brains as unpleasant or us not wanting to experience THAT again.  This can be good because when something comes around that even resembles that earlier unpleasantry, a little radar shoots up from out of the noggin and starts beep, beep, beeping in a surveillance manner.  “We’re not going there again,” your heart and mind scream.  “We’ve been there before.  Not again.”

     So, the next time something unexpected and/or unpleasant occurs, I want you to visualize opening the top of a drawer on an old metal file cabinet (like something out of Dick Tracy) and imagine yourself smiling and filing away that new tidbit of information that you’ve just learned. 

     It will make the experience not seem so wasted and could even put a positive spin on what seemed so unpleasant at the time.  Hey, the nice thing about my “boo-boos” is that I had two little girls kissing and hugging all over me last night asking, “Can I pray for your boo-boo momma?”  That by itself was worth a few scrapes and bruises.

     Remember – interruptions are life.  Start your day by creating a bit of wiggle room in the ol’ schedule for when those interruptions do occur.  They will come.  Just as that morning sun is going to rise.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Cindy Aitken

Reader Comments...
2011-05-06 12:15:26
"Cindy. I sooo love your writing. I really needed that today! Thank you :) "
        - Dorena

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