A couple of weeks back me and hubs booked an impromptu escape to Sydney for the night. We usually only do this when we have something on, somewhere to be. This was different, we decided to call a time out.
In sports, a time-out is a halt in the play. This allows the coaches of either team to communicate with the team, to determine strategy or inspire morale, as well as to stop the game clock*…
We’ve had a huge start to the year already, hubs works shift work and I’m currently juggling 2 part time jobs, a busy freelancing schedule and the blog. Life is busy anyway even without factoring in the various other life drama and bullshit, but we decided this year would be different and we are committed to making it so. That said, we jumped in the car and headed to the Ridges, Surry Hills for the night. I recapped most of our stay in my recent fashion post Streestyle in Surry Hills but didn’t get into why we needed to get away and why I feel everyone should invest in time out.
As a freelancer, one of my pet hates is that people assume that working from home is easy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to roll out of bed and onto my computer chair (sometimes), but living at your office and working 17 hour days 7 days a week isn’t always ideal. I work damn hard. I’m literally always working, always on call. If you think I’m watching Dr Phil, I’M NOT… (Obvs, I’m watching Ellen).
So we went to Sydney, with no plans and no expectations. We still took photos for the blog, but for a whole weekend I avoided sitting down at my computer, for a full 36 hours I was able to set my ‘out of office reply’!
LOL. I didn’t set my auto-response, but I wish I had. That would have been hilarious. And aside from our last minute dinner booking, we just hung out in our room and chilled, we relaxed, we watched a telly movie, we enjoyed being away from home, away from mess, away from bills and paperwork and clients and invoicing. It was bliss. The best part? We woke up fresh as a daisy, no hangover to contend with. It was a genuine, restful time out.
Another case in point: A couple of months back my brother in law booked a room at a local hotel for my sister for a night, just my sister – 1 Room/1 Adult. You see, my two gorgeous nephews don’t give her much sleep, and as a qualified self employed psychologist working in Occ Rehab she doesn’t get time out, ever. She called me while sipping a drink alone by the pool and giggled that she was loving being the random loner watching other families playing in the pool, knowing that she was about to get up and walk away – alone, back to her quiet sanctuary for the night – alone, order room service and eat all of her meal in one sitting – alone, and go to bed for a full uninterrupted night of sleeeeeep. One night of true rest was just what she needed.
And just in case I haven’t made my point yet here’s a quote that stuck with me from my meditation instructor (i’m paraphrasing here but you’ll get the point):
When you’re overwhelmed by life, stressed & anxious, it can feel like you’re lost in a forest and you don’t know which direction to go. So, process of elimination right?… there’s a hill and you know that you didn’t come down a hill so therefore home is not up the hill… why waste time and energy walking up the hill! BUT, if you just take time to walk up the hill you rise above the tree-line, all of a sudden you have a clear outlook, you can see where you need to go, and so you walk back down the hill with a sense of direction.
That is what meditation does for me, it’s 20 mins out of my day to walk up the top of that hill. Whether you meditate or not, the theory of ‘time out’ is there… and the evidence is how we feel afterward.
We’re all smart people but for some reason we fail to recognise that TIME OUT does not necessarily equate to TIME LOST. In fact, TIME OUT inspires motivation & and tops up our energy stores for increased productivity.
On this occasion and despite my daily meditations, I needed to escape the computer. Not surprisingly, having given my square eyes a rest I came home feeling ready to tackle the week ahead.
It doesn’t have to be an expensive or extended trip, it doesn’t have to be a trip away at all, but the moral of the story is the importance of taking time out, because it definitely helps.
* Quoted from wiki, of course.