Little Interruptions, Big Moments

My blog has been feeling uncooperative lately, and it’s getting on my nerves. You can read and comment just fine, but the back end isn’t working so well. Sometimes blog posts won’t save, and frequent lost work is common. When I try to delete my spam comments, add a new post or updat a plugin, instead of getting the right page I often get a ‘page not found’ error. It means that instead of taking 30-45 minutes to write a normal blog post, it’s taking me hours of re-loading and waiting, re-loading and waiting, re-loading and waiting.

I love my webhost (the people who provide my blog a home online), and I’m working with them on this. We’re upgrading this weekend and hopefully that will help. In the meantime the tedium is getting to me. I’m publishing fewer blog posts, and the aggravation I’m feeling is one reason why. It’s funny, though. Sometimes those little interruptions in life that make you want to grind your teeth also provide these big moments that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

I’ve recently started taking out the garbage. We have to cart it to the curb early in the morning on our collection day, because we live in an area where bear sightings are common. My husband Jon had this job for years, but since I wake up earlier than he does we recently agreed that I would take it over. It just makes sense. And yet, throwing a sweater over my pajamas and rolling my green bin and garbage can out to the curb feels like an interruption to my morning. I already have more than enough to do on weekdays, with getting two kids up, dressed and fed, making lunches, and so on. Taking out the trash is just one more thing – and not a super-fun or glamourous thing, either.

flower gerbera daisy

Flowers provide a great distraction from little annoyances

This morning, as I stood at the curb in the early morning light, bleary-eyed and hoping that none of my neighbours appeared, I had a moment. There is a particular smell that you only smell first thing in the morning after a night of rain. It’s the freshest, cleanest smell. When you combine it with the sights and smells of a day that’s just beginning, you have the sense that the whole world is starting anew, and maybe you can, too. Just for a moment, things were pretty great for me out on that curb, until my neighbour across the street wheeled out her trash, fully-dressed, fresh-faced, and trying not to laugh at my crusty eyes and flowered pajama pants.

The same sort of thing can happen for me as I try to type out a blog post. At this moment, I’ve given up with my WordPress editor, because it keeps going offline. Instead, I’m typing this post into a text editor. Once I’m done, I’ll try jumping through the hoops of adding photos and getting it to publish. For now, though, I’ve freed myself of the distractions that come with writing in a web browser. When I’m working online and I experience a break in my writing, I tend to wander away as I mull my words. Before I know it I’ve become completely sidetracked by funny cat videos and social media. Right now, on the other hand, there’s no other window for me to click to, and so I sit and write. It’s not quite as pure of a writing experience as taking a pen to paper, but it’s almost as good, and it’s more conducive to copying and pasting later.

Right now I’m just writing, choosing words and communicating ideas. This is a moment that I wouldn’t have if my website were cooperating.

Later this morning I have a dentist appointment. I’m not particularly looking forward to it – I have a busy week, and it feels like an interruption in the middle of that. It’s not a particularly welcome one, either. I don’t hate visiting the dentist, but I don’t love it, either. On the other hand, I know that for at least 30 minutes today I’m going to be in a chair, unconnected to the internet, unable to so much as speak. If I can overlook the fact that there will be a bunch of hands in my mouth, it’s a gift. A chance to do absolutely nothing in an otherwise packed week.

John Lennon famously said that life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. These big moments that crop up in the middle of annoying interruptions are one of the best examples. We so often think of these times when our plans are thwarted as intrusions, and in a way they are. In another way, though, they’re the stuff of life. Interruptions will come no matter what we do. The way that we experience them can change the way we think about this moment, this day, this week, this life. Why not try to look for the good things that come along with them?

(Remind me that I said that when I spend the next 45 minutes trying to publish this post, okay?)

(Update: 45 minutes? Ha! Try three hours. Blargh. I’m eagerly awaiting the upgrades.)

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  1. I’m glad I read your post today, it’s a good reminder not to let the rush and annoyances take over your life. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Coincidence but I get really twitchy if my writing doesn’t go out when I click publish. And losing a chunk sure to online shenanigans is way more frustrating than losing a piece of paper.

    • There is definitely a feeling of powerlessness that comes with technological failures that is particularly galling. If I lose a piece of paper, I probably played a part in it. If I lose digital work, then I’m the victim of a force I can’t control.

  3. Wow, that sounds very frustrating. Interruptions are hard for me. More than anything else, I think motherhood with little ones can best be characterized as an endless stream of interruptions. But it’s also true that you have to see those interruptions as a part of your day, instead of something taking you away from your true purpose, or you will ultimately go insane. I type this as a toddler tries to climb on my lap and take over my laptop : )
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