“Every day this month has been hijacked,” I said to my sister Jackie the other day as she painted the window trim in her new sunroom. She was taking advantage of a few free hours while her two young kids were at a pool party.
I begin each day with a list – whether I’m working or on vacation – because a list gives me structure, a sense of purpose, a goal, and it can turn an overwhelming day into a manageable one. A list can be a great guide to help you through your busy day, but it’s important to remember a list is susceptible to hijackers. It happens. It’s life. Computers crash. Kids get sick. Toes need stitches. The solution is learning to accept those interruptions and not let them ruin your day.
“Can you run to the post office for me?” — Mom
“Can you pick up light bulbs at Home Depot?” — Dad
“Can you watch the kids for the afternoon?” — My sister Jackie
For eleven months out of the year my days are mostly mine. So when I’m at my parents’ house for the month of July, when I’m once again ensconced with my family, I embrace these “interruptions.” Yes, I may be in the middle of editing or working, but when my parents need a favor or when my niece and nephew say, “Is your toe better, can you play tennis with us?” I’m happy to stop what I’m doing.
While some may see hijacked time as “lost” time as it takes away from your To Dos, I see it, especially this summer, as time gained. In a few years my niece and nephew may not want to give me the time of day, so while they want it now, I’m all ears. And toes.
P.S. This blog would have been finished sooner, but as I was writing, my mom asked, “Are you by any chance going to the bank this morning?”