In Dan Miller’s book 48 Days to the Work You Love, He describes the grace of interruption as a “refreshing pause [that] helps you become newly focused and energized.” Dan Miller is referring to the loss of an unsatisfying job as the interruption, and though I didn’t lose my job, I’ve been graced with a much needed pause. A couple of weeks ago I started experiencing very sharp abdominal pains that I shrugged off as indigestion. After about 3 days of dealing with the pain, I decided to go to the ER as I had about all that I could bear. A CAT Scan revealed that I had appendicitis and withing a few hours I was under the knife for the first time. The procedure went fine and the incision was much less painful than the inflamed appendix. The surgeon ordered me on medical time off for recovery which I initially wasn’t that happy about due to my workload at the office. Turns out a little interruption was exactly what I needed.
For the first time in a very long time I was left with a great deal of free time. I caught an episode of Saved by the Bell, a show I haven’t seen in probably 10 years (and after watching it, I decided that I want to be the Zack Morris of the office). I read some articles that I saved to Instapaper and have been too busy to read. I even started some books that I’ve been meaning to pick up for quite some time. One of the books I started reading was Dan Miller’s book that I mentioned earlier, 48 Days to the Work You Love. I read this book about a year ago and I found it very insightful but I didn’t take the time to do the exercises that Dan laid out and decided this time I would. In one of the chapters, Dan goes over the difference between vocation, career and job. Of the 3, I found vocation to be the most interesting. Dan says that vocation incorporates one’s calling, purpose, mission and destiny. He goes on to say that “vocation is not so much pursuing a goal as it is listening to a voice.” A voice, huh? I can honestly say that my education and career decisions were not made based on a voice, but rather on the comfort of knowing that I would have job security. After reading that chapter, I decided to really listen for that voice. I started reflecting on the things I find myself constantly drawn to and even began asking those who know me best for their opinion. I think I’m on the right track to finding my calling. So it turns out that the unexpected surgery might have actually been a blessing.