During this period of sequestration, those of us lucky to have jobs and kids are facing more interruptions to our work than ever before, right when we most need to be able to concentrate. This isn’t a new phenomenon, of course; for example, this breezy article on the topic dates from 2015.
What is new is the acuteness of the problem, and the unexpectedly strong emotions it can raise. A friend just offhandedly told me “I’m still trying to get to the bottom of why it makes me angry.” And I thought, Wait. I know this one.
If you’re in this boat, I’d like to suggest the possibility that it’s because the locus of control for your own thoughts belongs with you, as opposed to being a resource that is implicitly shared with everyone moving through your environment. In other words, you might be angry because other people are exerting control over your own thought process — in effect, over the proper function of your own mind and experience. It’s a violation of something extremely personal.