Yesterday after school, I met a friend for coffee. Actually, we never did meet up…but I went, and waited………….. And waited some more………… I watched a group of runners stretching, and couldn’t help but hear some conversations of some young professionals sitting by me. I saw moms with toddlers in tow and heard their cute little voices and watched as they interacted with others. I sipped my latte and enjoyed every sip and soooo enjoyed the stillness and the quiet. 20 minutes slipped by in no time (well, it was 20 minutes, but you know what I mean!). (I later found out my friend’s friend had had medical issues and she wasn’t able to get in touch with me to cancel… but I didn’t know that until that evening…)
Years ago, I might’ve been a bit miffed about the situation. I wouldn’t have enjoyed being required to sit and wait in a spot. It would’ve felt like a punishment or something. It’s funny… time out for a child is when you’re required to stop and take a bit of an intermission on things for some ‘think time’, or just a reboot time. Children don’t take too kindly to ‘time outs’. But for me? It was BLISS!
It’s amazing how perspective can change as we get older…because this little breath of fresh air in the middle of my day was just exactly what I needed (and that latte was what I wanted <3)! I mean, I was sad that I didn’t get to catch up with my friend, and was hoping that she was okay, but oh how incredibly good it felt to just sit. Period. Nothing, absolutely nothing required of me for a little slice of my day. I sat for another 10-15 minutes after trying to reach her to make sure she was okay, but then was on my way, a lot more rejuvenated than I had been when I first sat down. (And it wasn’t only the caffeine I promise!)
Sometimes we don’t know how much we need an intermission or break or respite or time out until we are absolutely s t r e t c h e d to our limits. And when we’re stretched to our limits, well, our behavior can end up resembling that of a toddler who desperately needs a time out.
So here’s to unplanned interruptions in our days. Here’s to finding ways to fill the gaps and interruptions in positive ways even if that means not filling them at all. Maybe those interruptions are reminders that we aren’t as in control of things as we think. And maybe the way those gaps are filled are more what we needed than what we had planned. Maybe so.