A Good Interruption Solution?

I freely admit that I don’t mind most interruptions. I plan for them. If I don’t get one I make one myself. Not on purpose mind you, it must be a subliminal signal from within when the light turns green and it’s time. Most of you do it too (I hope someone can relate!?) It starts with a to do list.

Follow my reasoning here. I needed to mail a letter. It’s a couple hundred yards to the mailbox. The shop door is open and the light is on. It’s sort of on the way. I step inside to turn the light off but I had the ATV battery charging and it’s all charged so I unhook the charger and put it away. My ATV is faster than walking (so much faster and frankly quite fun). I open both big doors for some fresh air for the shop and take the ATV to go to the mailbox.

We have two driveways. One is less used and has a view over a hill in the forest as well as a view of a nice ATV trail. I glanced down the trail and…I see a tree blew down across the trail. No problem as I have the chainsaw strapped to the ATV from my last ride through the woods to clear a couple of trees. I go down the trail and cut up the tree and stack the firewood beside the trail. I’m this far so I might as well see if there are any more trees down on the half mile of remaining trail. I make it passable and am out of gas with the chains saw. I sharpen the chain and put gas in it for the next outing. Sigh…where was I?

I know you are wondering where the letter went right?? I found it 4 days later on the seat of my truck. I grabbed it and ran to the mailbox and mailed it. Oh, and about my to do list; nothing was crossed off that day even though I WAS SUPER BUSY DOING THINGS THAT NEEDED TO BE DONE ALL DAY.

My next younger brother has a better system than me. His system allows him to cross out everything on his list. At the end of the day his crossed out list is quite impressive. Whenever he does something he writes it down and crosses it off. Problem solved.

A long time ago a little pamphlet came out called “Tyranny of the Urgent” One of the quotes “Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.”
― Charles E. Hummel, Tyranny of the Urgent

I shall leave it right there. We are all in a different place between the urgent and the important. Let me suggest there is probably not enough time in life to do all of both. In my life relationships are more important than stuff. God, family, neighbors, fishing, photography, friends and blogger friends make the top 7. But, sometimes, an interruption beats everything out.

Case in point. I was walking back from the mailbox (after missing the mail-lady) and the robins were going crazy…again. I looked and looked and then spotted our visitor. Off I went for the camera. The little Barred owl posed. I put the camera on a tripod and took some “worthy to share” pictures. I also brought my camera fishing as I was walking by the boat, water ready, and decided to call the neighbor to go fishing. We caught good fish, enough for two meals each and had great conversation. I crossed these off my To-Do List. Hmmm…a productive day.

Click to enlarge any picture or use as slid show

Gary

Published by Gary Fultz

Outdoors Man, Hunter, Fisherman, Guide, Writer / Author, Photographer, Public Speaker, Musician, Song Writer, Story Teller, Follower Of Jesus. Love God and family and total strangers

61 thoughts on “A Good Interruption Solution?

  1. I am sure glad that letter got mailed eventually…I was wondering for a moment there. 😀
    But seriously, those things that you did do on the four day trip to the mail box had their importance in the grand scheme of things. We never really know. Lovely photos. Thanks for taking the camera along.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Your day’s ‘tyrannical interruptions’ dialog still has me smiling, and your ‘impromptu pics’ displaying your special corner of creation added to enjoying my day. Thanks Gary.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Priti. I’m watching him hunt nightcrawlers in the lawn right now as I answer comments. I didn’t know they ate them but it makes sense. They are quite the wonder. I thought it was a little owl but it must have a 30″ wing span and foot long feathers on the wings.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s kind of strange Pete. This one would go to sleep on me with eyes partially closed. It didn’t sense a threat from me and the small birds heckling it didn’t seem to bother him. Maybe it’s a half sleep where they just rest and roost?? I should look that up.. I just took a couple of poorer pictures of one hunting stuff in the lawn out the window. Only now do I notice the window has a slight film on it so the pictures may make a blog but not make the quality for free downloads on unsplash.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That is one brave, and photogenic owl! The crows in my neighborhood like to chase our Great Horned owl, if they can find him in the day light. At night, I think he’s pretty much the apex predator.

    Urgent versus important is always a tricky balance to make. I’m a bit of a list maker and calendar put-er-down-er myself. However, I try to live by the axiom, “People are more important than principles.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It was a brave owl. usually they fly away but this one felt safe tucked into a thick woods. I happened to find a vantage point for shooting photos. I also had a good clean 300 lens. I’m taking owl shots again of a owl actively hunting but with a lesser lens and through our fireplace room window this morning…ugh.
      You are very much in tune with people David (and an organized person). now you know why my blogs have no schedule.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I like a to do list but I’m learning to be flexible in that too…God never wastes an opportunity to use us (even when plans get swayed) we just need to be pliable to His will.

    What great photos, love them!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Alicia. I do get the sense that bloggers are more organized. I, being an off the cuff person would say “I’m learning how to work off a list” although just heard my wife chortle.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I see nothing wrong with your system; in fact, I do the very same thing almost every day! But, truth be told, your brother’s system is quite ingenious so kudos to him. He never leaves a task on his list left undone! 🌟

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Mandy. Has Nathan arrived at the stage of writing the to do list as he accomplishes things and then crossing them off at the same time?? It is really a good thing to love Jesus and others…our system works well when the neighbor needs a hand or needs to go fishing for the talk time in the boat (all 35 words in 3 hours).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the owl pictures! I have the same system as your brother. It does lead to a feeling of accomplishment. And I so agree with you. Relationships are more important than stuff. And you are right – sometimes an interruption does beat everything else out! Especially something like an owl coming for a visit.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Oh, you know I completely understand about obstacles in the way of a goal – happens ALL the time! It’s one of the many reasons I love retirement, though; I don’t have a to-do list (maybe a small, mental one), so if I get side-tracked I usually have enough time to accomplish what needs to be done.
    Thanks for sharing your off-track photos. God’s in those tracks, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. When I read that you went down the ATV trail I thought, “Wait, what about the letter!?” Haha… I’m still smiling. Great post with wonderful photos of the barred owl. About 10 years ago we had a family of them on our property (and every year after that first year) the adults continued to nest here and have their babies. Sometimes they would land on our deck. They were fun to watch…especially the babies hobbling around and learning to fly. A couple years ago, a severe storm toppled the tree where they nested and they were gone. A couple months ago I spotted one on our fence. I’m not sure I’ll see anymore around but I was able to snap a photo of it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Nancy.
      They do not seem afraid of people. I’m not sure how many are around but when they have family get-togethers at night and get really loud, it would be fun to know what they are saying. Too bad you don’t see much of them anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this, Gary!! It’s pure wisdom. Lately I’ve been trying to never be in a hurry even when I’m really busy. I’m adding know what’s important instead of urgent to my efforts. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Intentional patience is hard Wynne. Definitely worth it though. I fall prey to the urgent very easily and I believe prioritizing the important and balancing out the urgent is a thinking persons sport. I don’t think I’m a varsity player there yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Gary, I relate to this! I have a journal and have been a “list” girl most of my life. God, nature, family,…those can distract me anytime (and sometimes certain foods, lol)! I’d say your day(s) are most productive~you truly “focus” (no pun intended, lol) on what really matters, Gary! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OK Karla, LOL…when someone butters me up I say “what do you want”? I am willing to bet you are a most productive person. You line things up and go. Sigh. I wish I could do that but my system seems to get me through life with quite a few detours and adventures added.
      Speaking of life’s detours “How are you doing?” you are on my prayer list.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol! Gary, when I was an administrator my list began with what I DIDNT want to do first! Darn, Dad had me trained. But admittedly, through years in a camper and campgrounds, many “to do’s” went to the next day (and another week!)! Now I pride myself on getting my trash can put on Wednesday mornings. Victory! My dog doesn’t look like she needs rescued again! Victory! (But I put that on my list and it kept getting moved, lol). Through my health challenges these last few years, and cumulatively wrapped in current situation, it’s been easy to let go of what least matters. Two more nights and chemo treatment #2 behind me. It seems 4-5 days out of the 14 can be the most rough. When it comes to lists, Gary, you should see the alarms on my phone. One to wake up, drink a full glass of water, take a nausea pill, EAT more, take chemo…in my life I’ve never HAD to be this regimented on simply surviving. My sons, their families, and the rest of my family are happy I’m willing to fight. I have more doctors (and endocrinologist and Geneticist ~that should be an interesting visit?). It seems I’m always planning for next week’s appointments. However, I’m maintaining a positive pace. No super hero stunts here. It’s a marathon indeed! I appreciate your prayers so very much! I believe! Keep taking good care, too!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m totally with you Gary!
    However, I disagree with Mr. Hummel here, because I believe that the greatest danger is not for the urgent to crowd out the important and for us letting it, but for us not knowing which is which!
    My point is that “the world” will always believe that their matters are urgent, when only GOD’s business truly IS – at least that’s my definition, so my greatest fear is that the world will cloud my perception of what’s important to HIM.
    Great food for thought, your article, as always!
    GOD bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Point taken Eva. We often do not know what is more important. as always, no issue is as simple as a small quote that goes with it. Even a generalization that people are more important than things can be argued at times. That being said, I do find myself frustrated when I spend a day doing lots of things and do not slow down enough to say some kind words to my wife and daughter. The ministers of the gospel who don’t ever get to really know their kids who do not end up not following the Lord. I left youth ministry after 10 years because I worked 80 hours a week and my family was becoming distant. If I went on a youth retreat for a week, my son refused to talk to me for a week. Obvious signs I was sacrificing my family for the job (even though it was a ministry).
      I hope you are doing well.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. We have many Barred owls in the woods behind our house here in Virginia. This morning, I saw one in the side yard fly down into the woods in the early morning. They are such wonderful creatures. Our dog, who is part Husky and part German Shepherd does not like them! Yes! Some interruptions are very good! Great comments on this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am finding out how common the Barred Owl really is. they are everywhere. I have one in a birch tree making loud weird noises tonight. I think it was successfully tormenting the little dog. It worked. Little Buddy looked at me and said “Not going out there…I’m holding it all night”
      And, yes, so many people add great things to the conversation. The comments are 75% of the blogs actual value to read (or more). All I do is light a match and the commenters get the fire going

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Gary it’s great to hear from you. I run into interruption problems all the time. The other day I went to cut up a tree that had fallen, small tree, when I finally finished cutting what was down I had almost a face cord of wood. Problem was it needed splitting too. I feel your pain my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear from you as well Wayne. The only way I can limit myself is not to take any gas and oil for the chainsaw, that way I get distracted to do something else while getting gas. now I need to burn more wood.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I honestly struggle with this at times. What I consider urgent can easily trump what’s important. I’m a recovering perfectionist who is learning that most of the things I focus on truly aren’t vital to my day or life. A true work in progress. And oh my, that owl…absolutely gorgeous and worth taking the time!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me the struggle is very real also. Sometimes I might as well be in the woods looking for bigfoot…now there’s a life’s priority.
      Yes, when I saw the little owl, I literally ran to get the camera…the setting was perfect

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad Jim. I wouldn’t call it Soul Food but maybe it tickled the soul enough for a stutter step pace changer. Sort of a “kick up your heels” maybe. I was hoping the owl looked wise and there was some kind of subliminal transference of what people thought of the post. Kind of fun.

      Like

  15. Thanks Gary. I read this the other day and was blessed. I didn’t get the full gist though. Had many other things going. This morning I read it again. It was fresher to me. I have done it greater justice.

    First of all, you are blessed with a full life in which distractions become opportunities which create distractions which become opportunities… And so I have to forget such labeling, because “distractions” sounds negative and portends absent mindedness which is not what you are engaged in, of course. It is simply that work needs to be done which is great when it is fun work and initial priorities lose out to the priority of the moment which kind of creates a fluid priority list based on taking care of the need when it presents itself. It’s not a bad system but some people would never be able to handle it.

    Now, this may sound like a giant massive segue but I believe it honors the spiritual substance of your post: Real Christian ministry is what I term organic. It often happens on the fly. We see this in the Gospels when the Lord is going out and about that spiritual opportunities keep walking right up to Him and Him to them. If He wasn’t out there in that location…

    And yet He perfectly performed the will of God for His Life which meant He was always exactly where He was supposed to be. Okay, now it suddenly looks different, like there was a prescribed orderly intricate plan and a very long to-do list which He had to fulfill on a daily basis. But I will still insist that though His ministry was one of perfectly ordered steps, it was also completely organic in that it appeared to be the very opposite: He just happened to go here and there and do this and that. Not exactly.

    Of course, His perfect system, if applied incorrectly to one degree or another makes everything off kilter in that too far in one direction creates a religious list-keeping type of ministry with hard structure and little or no leeway, while the organic type can go off the rails and turn into a spacey New Agey head in the clouds type of ministry with gurus in charge. We see this as the religious rednecks vs. the Christian flower children. Both go nowhere good. Both actually get very little or nothing done in the Spirit.

    Thus, the answer remains within that perfect combination illustrated by the Lord’s perfect ministry model and example which you have displayed somewhat in your post. And I know you do the same with people—meeting them where they are and doing what is needed at the time. It is still a list but a fluid one. Ones are traded for fives and sevens become threes and the list priority changes as present needs present themselves. So maybe a simple solution is making the list as we see fit at the time but not numbering it and being open for the Lord’s direction changes.

    Also, I think we’re tracking. You’ll see this when you read my latest post.

    Keep up the great (fun) work Gary. AND THE PICTURES ARE GREAT ALSO. Thanks again. Onward

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I must admit you gave me a lot to think on RJ. I believe you are on to something as the way of Jesus is a narrow path. The ambitious among us want to stray by climbing the mountain, tackling the obstacles; “Charge upward” if you will. The touchy-feely-save-society step off the other side of the trail and think they are doing the Fathers business. You have identified it well (the religious rednecks vs. the Christian flower children.). I have never fit either place but shuffle around in both circles as well as in ministry and the business world. I believe the main thing that keeps me even close to the path is that I have met with the Lord every morning (most mornings anyway) since I was 15 years old. Those meetings are also fluid as sometimes prayer, other times reading the word or pondering these things and life deeply. Mostly all of the above as that establishes both a walk and a foundation for living each day. I also found a wife who fits that journey. I am very visual so pictures make sense as a medium of communication for me. Thanks for you insightful past my insight comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Its the journey that matters more than the ending. Like a good book. The book of Life.

      The heavenly Father writes his own book. It is His story or history. Everybody ‘writes’ their own story within His book. The heavenly Father likes reading our books.

      This is why it is written “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And there were open books, and one of them was the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their deeds, as recorded in the books.”

      Writing a good book will make all the difference.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sure is important how we live life and following Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith. As I get older I do look forward to the ending of my book here and the beginning of life in eternity. Thanks for your comment,

        Liked by 1 person

    1. So very true Donna. That makes sense also knowing God created us uniquely for different purposes with different personalities. Only He can keep track of all of the goings on, leading each of us differently for the same kingdom work, worship and interplay with Him and the rest of the world.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Great stories and ideas. I often find the same idea in my life. I head out to the garden intending to plant, but in order to plant, I have to weed. Then in order to weed I have to get something that I left somewhere else and then that needs to be weeded more than the first thing. Pretty soon, I’ve spent hours in the garden with nothing new planted. However, I think God leads us that way. We think we have a certain goal and God lets us think that in order to lead us to the real thing that He wants us to do or to deal with. Interesting how that works! (as long as we’re certain that we’re not actually letting distractions take us away from God)

    Liked by 3 people

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