We’ve all had those moments when we are engrossed in work and something (usually someone) comes out of nowhere and gives a gentle or not so gentle nudge. “Hey, I’m here! Pay attention!” Perhaps you are concentrating intently on a project; haven’t taken a break in three hours; or are in the flow (more likely the flow left two hours ago) when your toddler appears and asks you to play cars with her. Many of us likely send the little one on their way. Perhaps we take a moment to say we’re busy right now but will play when we’re done with work. Maybe we explain why we can’t play right this minute. Or perhaps we call our partner to come get them and let us focus. If those words don’t convince our child, maybe we snap: We’re so focused on getting the work done that we can’t afford interruptions.
But what if the interruption isn’t an interruption? What if it is joy’s way of creeping back in? (Tweet this.)
Being Present in the Moment
The cool thing about kids and pets is that they don’t have the same sense of urgency about projects as we do. Don’t get me wrong—their attitude can be frustrating. Kids and pets don’t know or care about deadlines. They are present in the moment. And that is what many of us need more of. To be present and to feel joy in the midst of busy schedules and overlapping deadlines. I’m not saying those deadlines aren’t important. I’m also not saying they are made-up constructs or that we should toss responsibility out the window. Many of us have work that has to be done within a certain timeframe and in a certain way. Our income depends on it, which means managing our work and time is a serious business. But what if, within this serious business, we could make space for more joy and presence?
Making Space for Joy
We need both of those things because they do wonders for our wellbeing, soul, health, relationships, and work. So ask yourself:
- Are you giving yourself the space you need to do your best work?
- Are you taking care of your body by stretching and moving?
- Are you staying hydrated and eating regularly?
- Are you spending time with those who matter more than that project ever will?
- Are you honoring your soul by giving it time to breathe and be present?
I know it can be hard to set aside time for joy, especially when you’re trying to finish up a project. But let it creep into your life when you can. Give it space to be seen and experienced.
Finding Joy on a Day-to-Day Basis
For me, being present and joyful on a day-to-day basis often happens through our cat, Petie. Every time he lies across my keyboard and looks at me with his sweet eyes, I use that moment to pause, assess what I need, be present (hopefully) with him, and thank him for reminding me to take care of myself. So when that inevitable interruption happens today, take it as an opportunity. Use the moment to see if you can create a little space to be present and for joy to come in.