I didn’t write a lot this past week. Did you notice?
I take that back. I wrote a lot for work this week. Which was good. But I wrote nothing here. Which was not good. And I wrote nothing for my latest side project whose alarms, bells and whistles are all screaming DEADLINE! DEADLINE! DEADLINE! at me from across the room.
But this was a week where life interrupted life. Less like a roller coaster and more like a freefall drop tower – we’re racing up! we’re dropping down! we’re hanging somewhere in-between!
My spouse and I shared a birthday, which was lovely. My baby and I shared a painful nursing complication, which was wretched. And in the middle of the mess, our family took the first steps towards a major life change.
I lost sleep, gained a year, and filled my head with a million new questions, wonders and plans.
The weather was just as wonky as my emotions. One day we enjoyed a spring tease of a 50-degree thaw, but the next morning brought snowflakes falling on the driveway’s glare ice. Who knows what’s coming around the corner?
I don’t know why I continue to be surprised by the persistent interruption of Life into my plans. Perhaps because I can’t seem to shake the stubborn notion that I should be able to gain control over my life. Perhaps because I can’t help trying to script the story lines all around me, even when I’m not their author.
But tonight, as the wild whirl of time around me pauses for an instant to let me catch my breath, I’m trying hard to remember that my life has never been simple. Tidy. Uncomplicated.
Life has always interrupted life.
It’s too easy to romanticize the past – before I had kids, back when I was single – and delude myself with dreams of a life that was smoother, easier to expect and control. But life always interrupts – my plans, my promises, my good intentions.
Perhaps growing wiser only means learning to let go, leaning into the unknowing. Realizing that the ups and downs of each day or week or year are precisely what makes life rich, complicated, and good. Releasing the illusion that tidy life happens in a vacuum and embracing the interruptions of messy life unfolding.
A spirituality of interruption. Parenting sounds like the perfect practice for that.