Time Out

One little word. Four little letters. One massive concept. TIME.

You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, you can’t taste it, you can’t touch it … but you can ‘feel’ it.

You feel it when everything in you is willing it to speed up. You feel it when everything in you is willing it to slow down. You feel it when everything in you is just willing it to stop altogether, just so you can pause and catch your breath or just savour and drink in every detail of a special moment.

According to Wikipedia, “Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.”

Every morning we wake up to a brand new untouched day stretched out in front of us. A whole new twenty four hours. Which sounds like bliss. In an ideal world we’d do with it exactly what we willed. What would I do? I would spend time making memories with loved ones, smiling, laughing, maybe a stroll on the beach, eating deliciously good food, writing, painting, maybe watching a film sprawled out on the sofa with friends … but rarely do we get completely empty days to fill with such things.

My days seem to get devoured by a million different things and time often just seems to dissolve away! I regularly find I struggle with balancing my time.  I seem to ride waves. Waves of managing time and life quite well and feeling in control and waves where time and life seem to take over and run away from me so I feel like I’m a step behind everything and chasing around trying to catch up with myself!

A friend once said to me the right way to balance a twenty four hour day is with eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work and eight hours of play and I know for a fact my ratio is way out! Like miles and miles and miles out! Life is just too busy. Now, I’m really not complaining because it’s very much a ‘grass is greener on the other side’ situation. I love it. I love my life. I love being busy, feeling productive, getting things done and being active. And I thrive under pressure. But sometimes, life catches up and my body more than anything else brings me to an abrupt halt and tells me to stop and take some time out.

A couple of summers ago my parents saw how busy life was and took us on holiday with them to Mexico for two weeks, I’m sure with the agenda of being able to actually make sure we had some time out, could rest, relax, switch off and eat properly. What I learnt there had a huge impact and taught me something I hadn’t realised about the pace and busyness of my life.

I found myself in the first week of the holiday in a beautiful place, surrounded by palm trees, overlooking the riviera and the Cancun skyline, sitting in the bright hot sunshine, lounging by the pool and sipping cocktails. I should have been relaxed and loving every second but instead I felt frustrated, tense and like a coiled spring. It took me a few days to realise that I was just not used to having nothing to do and wasn’t actually very good at doing nothing! It took me a whole week to unwind and switch my brain off. By the second week, I was relaxed and happy to spend my time just sunbathing and reading or listening to music, sleeping, eating and enjoy being with Luke and my parents. That has stayed with me ever since.

I try to make a little more of an effort to make sure we get away every once in a while. And we have a few little places now that have become little hideaways we can go to escape the busyness of life! So today, I find myself sitting here writing this in my most favourite one of them all – my ‘home’ in Wales. Favourite because it is so very beautiful and quiet and peaceful, because it’s tucked away and remote and feels like a sealed bubble where things seem far away and don’t seem to matter at all. But most of all favourite because it’s where my birth mum and the rest of the family live so we get time out but also I get to spend some precious time with them. Perfect.

So. Time. No, you can’t see it, smell it, taste it or touch it. But you can ‘feel’ it. And when you feel it, you need to respond. Don’t wish it away. Take a step back, look at things in perspective, make sure your ratios are right. Enjoy it. Life is a gift and every day should count. Don’t miss special moments due to busyness and distractions. Yes, we need to work, yes we need to do chores and all the things that are essential. But life is here to enjoy and shouldn’t feel like a treadmill.

Our time is in our own hands.

What will you do with your next twenty four hours?

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