Remember when you were young younger and timeouts were the bane of your existence? There was no worse source of misery than being forced to sit in your room, corner, chair, insert awkward timeout location here_______.
Ten minutes was eternity when you were on timeout. No matter what kind of mindless game you attempted to create in your head, the permission to play could not come soon enough.
Today? I would kill for a timeout. A reason to take a moment for myself. An excuse to decline an invitation. An explanation for my occasional selfishness.
Yet when I really think about it, there’s nothing stopping me from taking a timeout. I would just have to put myself there. I would need to punish (or, dare I say reward?) myself with a designated allotment of time to spend alone. Of course, real timeouts stem from bad behavior. So, what have I done wrong?
Well, where do I start exactly? I’ve been unintentionally killing my spirit, for starters. I’ve been filling up my calendar with all sorts of exciting events and responsibilities. You know, the stuff that makes a person feel important, needed, and wanted. In doing so, I have inadvertently forgotten about myself. I have eaten nothing but grease for the past thirty days, while simultaneously allowing dust to collect on my running shoes. I have spent more time in front of my computer than in front of books, and more time yawning than smiling.
Guilty. As. Charged. For my punishment, I hereby deem the month of September as my timeout. That’s right folks—thirty whole days. I deserve it. I would like to apologize in advance to all my friends and colleagues. I might not be able to make your play date, or help you sell lemonade. I might have to miss a meeting (or two), and please don’t hate me if I ask for a rain check.
I was always taught that a timeout’s purpose was to give you time to think. Time to dwell on what you had done wrong, and why your behavior was unacceptable.
I have every intention of doing just that.
Every intention of recognizing my limits, and acknowledging the fact that I am not superwoman. Of learning (yes, again) how to say no, and how to prioritize better. Of giving up things that I want to do, but know that I simply cannot do.
And in doing so, I will remember how to take care of myself. I will remember how to make healthy home-cooked meals, and how to run without stopping. I will remember how to read for hours on end, paint my nails, and sit on my husband’s lap while we chat about our days. I will remember what it’s like to find inspiration in the day-to-day beauty of this earth, and how good it feels to put pen to paper.
I will make this the best damn timeout I have ever been given.
Permission to play will resume October 1st.