When something happens that changes the expected trajectory of our lives – a big move, a job loss, health issues – sometimes there is an in between or interim stage that we might have a tendency to disregard or throw away because it doesn’t fit into our view of our world. I’m hoping to get people to think differently about this tendency with today’s post.
Many of the people that I am meeting these days are in an interim stage. Interim stages can be equated in some manner to waiting rooms, perhaps why we don’t pay much attention to what happens while we are in one.
But as a side note, there can be interesting mini-stories found in waiting rooms. The father of my boys (also known as my former husband, but the words that we use can help to formulate our emotional state – so the relationship now filters through these boys) went back to school and took a psychology class. Since it was a lower level class, some class assignments required participating in the experiments of psychology majors, being a busy father, husband, worker, student he signed up for ones that appeared easy. He came home after a particular one quite amused. He went to the appropriate place, signed in and sat down to wait, which turned out to be the point of the experiment. Now, waiting is not something that he has ever done willingly or graciously so I can only imagine the observer’s notes as he started to fume and fuss. (By telling you that he was already amused in relating the story to me shortly after, it shows that he is also someone who recognizes the bones of a good story.)
Waiting is not a desirable occupation certainly, but why do we persist in thinking that an interim period is only about waiting for our real life to pick back up again?
It is true that if the interim stage is caused by job loss or a health issue that money will most likely be tight, so some favored activities might have to be dropped or radically adjusted. But if you get creative, maybe not – there might be a way to indulge in the activity in a different manner – volunteer to be an usher to see a program, or perhaps barter a service to get someone’s extra ticket. If we get creative, there can be free or low cost options.
And if we reach out to expand our social sphere during this interim time, there will certainly be enrichment from all the wonderful new people that you will encounter. Interim periods don’t have to be about waiting or be wholly made up of chores, they can be delightful interludes that give us new acquaintances, skills and experiences.
How did you spend your time in your last interim period?
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