This week our little community received twelve inches of snow. To those of you who live north of the Mason-Dixon line, or in Siberia, this would be a normal occurrence. But for those of us in the Deep South, in a county that owns a total of zero snow plows or salting trucks, this was a big deal.
Considering the forecast was for less than an inch of snow, we were proud of the way we were handling the news! We didn’t clear out the grocery stores of milk and bread. The school systems bravely declared they would still be open. We were bound and determined to get our reputation back after a history of over-reacting and wrong calls.
It was all good….until the snow kept falling. The first few hours were typical – kids oohed and aahed over the tiny, sleety flakes that bounced off the ground. But then the flakes got bigger and heavier, and they began to accumulate rapidly.
Twenty-four hours later, it was still snowing, and we had more snow in our yard than I’ve seen in the 19 years we’ve lived here. A weekend scheduled for ACT tests and Christmas parties instead became defined by this beautiful interruption.
I had a choice to make – I could join the ranks on social media who were bemoaning the change in their routine, who complained incessantly about the snow and griped about it not belonging here in the South.
Or I could embrace the beautiful interruption. I could recognize that no power for 18 hours meant I wasn’t going to get any “work” done. That hundreds of downed trees and power lines meant my son would spend the day with us instead of taking a test that may define his future. It meant a dark evening at home with my two boys and one of their stranded friends gave my husband and I the opportunity to model how to relax and enjoy non-electronic-based connecting with each other.
This interruption meant waking up early to a sparkling white, pristine world that begged us to come explore. It was the perfect reason to traipse up and down our neighborhood hills, calling out to the few who were out braving the frigid beauty. The culmination was two middle-aged adults giggling as we made snow angels in the side yard.
I have the choice – I can resent interruptions, or I can accept them.
I face interruptions every day as a leader, too:
- people leaving my team unexpectedly
- challenges arising that I didn’t anticipate and now have to focus on
- meetings requiring more of my time than I planned for
I am challenging myself to see those interruptions for the beauty they contain:
- the opportunity to broaden my team by welcoming someone new
- growth in my own leadership skills and mindset
- deeper connections and further influence with those around me
Look around. Can you see a beautiful interruption in your life right now?
I’d love to hear about it!