What can be interrupted?

Do I leave my phone on and by my bed so that my sleep can be interrupted by text messages and phone calls? What if they’re urgent, though? What if something happens and my family needs me?

When presenting slides at work, can Facebook notifications interrupt my presentation?

When watching Jessica Jones, should I silence my cell phone? Maybe only if I’m watching with other people? Can cooking dinner be interrupted by a toddler’s dirty diaper? Do I stop my shower if my phone rings? Should I stop playing with my son if my husband calls?

How about reading, writing, meditating, praying? What if someone calls me then? Should I answer? Should it matter who it is? Only starred contacts? Only immediate family members?

What do I allow to be interrupted, and what does that say about what I care about? Who I care about? What does it say about my own distractibility and attention span?

Honestly, these aren’t questions I spend a lot of time thinking about, other than to feel brief annoyance when I have to stop doing something I like because someone wants my attention for themselves. Some of them are easy – of course I turn off my Facebook notifications and all interruptions during a presentation. OF COURSE.

So why isn’t some of the other stuff so obvious?

I’d love it if I had uninterrupted blocks of 3-4 hours at a time to do something. ONE THING. Minimum 3-4 hours sounds perfect. Probably ideally 6 hours, since we’re dreaming. But this is not the world I live in. Since I have work and a husband and a kid and friends and this family has to eat and I guess bathe from time to time and then there’s that other stuff I like to do, “hobbies” they’re called, what do I do about the yawning gap between my ideal life and reality? How do I make decisions about my time?

DO I make decisions about my time? Can I? Or must I be swept up in the wave of distractions and interruptions that constitutes everything I care about in the world?

 

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