We’ve received many responses to the “A Life Interrupted” posts of last week. So we won’t move to another topic completely but expand on this one a bit this week. I’ve had some major interruptions in my own life lately, and so I’ve had the opportunity to ask myself why I’m so easily upset by them.
I hate to admit this, because, now in my fifties, I should have gotten past this issue by now! But I think what’s often at the heart of my response to interruption is that I am no longer in control of the situation. Of course, a wise woman understands that she’s never been in control of anything, and she never will be. The human illusion of control continually gets us into trouble with our neighbor and our God.
Many of the issues that are problematic for senior adults have much to do with loss of control. Now you have to walk with a cane. Your kids or spouse are trying to take away the car keys. You can’t go anywhere—not even on a long weekend—without your own personal pharmacy. And this economy has wrecked what might have been a decent pension once upon a time.
When life is disrupted, or interrupted, I’m out of control! This does not feel good. I’ll do anything to get back the feeling of doing something on my own, my own way. For instance, I just spent the better part of ten days in the pediatric cancer ward. The patient is a young girl for whom I’m a primary caregiver. I could only watch as her symptoms came and went and the procedures marched on and the doctors made the decisions only they could make.
So what did I do? I kept organizing stuff in the room. Stacked the magazines over there. Threw away bits of trash left behind by nurses and visitors. Arranged toiletries in the bathroom. None of this was actually important, but I had to do something!
Does this matter of control ring a bell for you? How much does control, or the lack of it, figure into your response to interruptions?
Please keep sending those comments. Your thoughts inspire us!