COVID-19 and Other Interruptions in Service

Mar 12, 2020

Knock, knock, tap, tap, ahem. . . Are you guys out there? Of course you are! And I’ve MISSED you!!!

We’ve been hanging on the Insta regularly, the Facebook occasionally, and the Twitter NEVER.  And Together Trainings have kept the team and I running all over the country (we can’t wait to see you in 2020!) But this blog has been silent for nearly a year.

And so I’ve been thinking a lot about interruptions. Work interruptions, life interruptions. Joyful interruptions. Disruptive interruptions. Small, medium and large interruptions.

For example, just a few recent interruptions in my world:

  • Five minutes ago the governor of Maryland just closed schools for a worldwide pandemic. HUGE AND UNFUN.
  • Your cousins swing over with a cookie delivery for your kids. MEDIUM AND SUPER FUN.
  • School calls to say your first grader’s head has been stepped on. No concussion. MEDIUM AND UNFUN.
  • A lovely neighbor pops by in the evening and ends up staying to chat for three hours on the couch. LITTLE AND LOVELY.
  • A set of TWO flat tires on my car over the course of JUST ONE week. This one took up some unplanned time, but I was able to communicate and move things around. MEDIUM AND DEFINITELY UNFUN.
  • A phone call about a last-minute workshop opportunity in Boise, Idaho. MEDIUM AND GREAT OPPORTUNITY!
  • A divorce process. BIG AND UNFUN. (Kids and I are doing well, but these last two years of my life have been beyond challenging.)
  • Your kitten accidentally gets in the way of the door and gets his jaw broken. BIG AND UNFUN. But good news — he recovered!

No matter the size and mood of your interruptions, they will happen. Some of them are predictable, like sneaky Girl Scout meetings, but others will hit you totally out of the blue like a piano on your head.

The purpose of all this planning is to accept, rather than resist, interruptions (both the joyful and the dreadful), so that there’s enough room and flex time to deal with them. And when the interruptions do inevitably occur, there’s also a clear protocol for figuring out what’s next.

As I consider the situations above, in each case, I was able to:

  • Stop and assess size (5 minutes to solve? 30 minutes to solve? Many days or months to solve?)
  • Identify my feelings (Welcoming? Annoyed? Sad? Excited? Upset?)
  • Figure out where to slot it in (Handle it now? Handle it tomorrow? Wait and see?)
  • Communicate what must change (Does a call need to move? Can someone cover your class? Is something going to get delayed?)
  • Pick my head up and ask for help (Need a friend to join you? Someone to lend a skill? An ear? An outside professional?! I’m looking at you, water in my basement!)
  • Decide how to resume the regular course of action (Minutes to refocus? Days to recover? Month long process?)

So here’s to March 2020, #rona and all of its interruptions ahead! And to our collective ability to resume a regular course of action, with planning, support, and patience.

It’s good to be back Together! Stay tuned for a post on The Together Pandemic Parent. Just as soon as I get it Together.

Much love,