Years ago, I learned the importance of “Time-Out”.
It’s a time when everything feels, looks and sounds just a little off key. It means standing back, surveying life and taking another run at it. It means catching life out of the corner of the eye. Hard cold stares scare goodness away.
Time-Outs mean change. Change brings newness and refreshment.
Here’s the stuff that wanted to mess with my life:
- The kitchen faucet needed to be replaced.
- After months of a multi-action Cuisinart ride, my car needed four new tires.
- The stock market was moving in the wrong direction to fund dental work.
- The power head on my vacuum was declared irreparable.
- Carpenter ants assumed they could move in.
- Plugged eaves provided outdoor showers.
- My house painter finished university and disappeared.
- My writing block transformed into an iceberg.
- A trip to my friend’s cabin in the wilds could not happen.
Suddenly I began dropping everything I touched. After a day of dropsy, I called a Time-Out before I broke something. Of all that was breakable, my soul was the most delicate.
I said, “Okay, Beloved Guides! Where’s my Soul Mate?” and kicked my new tires. Surely a man would be the answer to all my problems.
I jumped into the shower. With the steam rising, generously covering the enclosure, I wrote, “Please send me my soul mate today.” I added verbally, “One who knows about all this damned domestic stuff.”
On Thursday, after a shift at the theater, I drove into the carport. Duc Le Chat sat on the roof of his cat house staring vigilantly over the property. I jumped out to coif a furry cuddle. Unlike his usual response, Duc jumped off his house and headed for the bush.
Something smelled for him, too. As I watched him, Duc’s demeanor reminded me to detach. I was immersed in problems.
Freedom Friday arrived! After weather and bodily demands tried to bump our schedule, Susan and I headed out for a long walk.
She reminded me of a quote about living life forward and understanding it backwards. Instead of trying to figure out what was going on, I’d live today. It would all be clear later. I would stay in my heart instead of fighting with the intellect.
Once home from our walk, a friend arrived and installed the new faucet. Overwhelming appreciation wrung the negativity from my heart. Another inner shift had begun.
Suddenly the new tires on my car changed from a dollar sign to a promise that I could host “Le tour du Mans” on my island this winter. K., who had been insulating and staining last weekend, delivered a ladder that allowed me to safely clean the debris from my eaves.
On Saturday, though the Time Out continued, I visited the myriad of subscribed blogs. Does commenting count as writing? Is that considered blogging?
In the afternoon, it was time for some exercise. I asked my Guides for inspiration, grabbed my camera and headed for the Canadian Maple Tree that I hug daily.
The hot afternoon sun massaged my overly winterized skin. A canopy of new leaves presented an honour guard over my route. The narrow, paved road, home to my tree, was a palette of arboreal shadow and form. Various flora presented a gamut of scents from floral sweetness to rainforest musk.
Looking at its leaves, I wondered how is it that this tree, and only this tree, produces these unique leaves. Mother Nature.
As you will see in the last photo, my hand does not even cover one third of a fully mature leaf.
Sunday, after a 6 km hike with a dear friend and a hearty dinner that included brainy conversation and laughter with three other friends, life passed by the corner of my eye. I said a prayer of thanks for the abundance in my life.
Today, Monday, Canada Post presented me with two letters. Both contain news of money I will be receiving that I had not anticipated.
The pest control man just sprayed the perimeter of my house imprisoning Duc and me for a couple of hours. The same little creature who almost turns feral in the summer came in without a fuss and curled up in his favourite chair with an air unquestioned trust.
The Economics graduate emailed that he’ll be here tomorrow morning. We’ll see if we can control the weather so he can paint my house this week.
I would not dream of asking the Guides to take control of the Stock Market. However, I am rich. Somehow I’ll visit the dentist so he can drive one of his four cars to the clinic.
The other attachments on the vacuum work just fine for now. If my back caves in, the Chiropractor’s office is kitty-corner from me.
My friend with the cabin assures me there will be more peaceful times for us to visit the wilds together. This time, there is a memorial gathering for her mother who passed last Fall. Her mom will know I’m thinking about her along with everyone else.
The writing iceberg? Well, we’ll see. My Time Out is still in effect.
Great photo’s, I love that view, that is magnificent, and the leaves on the trees, it is great how they all differ from each other.
I feel commenting is definitely a part of blogging, they go hand in hand I feel.
Thanks, Mags. Wow you are a whiz kid – the publish button is still warm! Yes, I agree – commenting is blogging. It’s great to write them and receive them!
I like a statement made here about “I’d live today”. For me, that says it all. I have learned that, often times, our time outs aren’t so much that at all but the stuff that happens that gives us this BIG SHOVE to take stock, just as you have done here, of what really matters. This is a lovely post that connects us all to understanding and really digging into our humanity, our frailties, so to speak. I am not glad for your misfortunes but embrace your willingness to share your humanity so that I know, I too, can find the light and what really matters.
Yes, Leslie, it is interesting the circuitous ways we travel to get to what we need. For me, it’s getting into a position so I can have a good overview and make room for the Universe.
Ditto Leslie! 🙂
I loved “Cuisinart ride” and I can hardly believe how big those maple leaves are – maple trees are my favs. If I had a tree to hug I would hope it would be a maple. Not as common in California as they were in New York. I’ve also kicked a tire or two in my time. Nice! 🙂 Feel better? 🙂
Well, I would submit that your “block” is unblocked. You have blogged this piece after all and it is quite wonderful, and I am quite grateful that you did so, Amy … I do believe comments count as writing, especially when they are as thoughtful and detailed as yours tend to be. (Thank you!)
Have a fab day … Glad some things are working out and pulling for you that the others do as well …
A sage way to deal with things, perfect advice for the current situation. *goes off to kick tyres* Well done on the unexpected money, how come that doesn’t happen to me and I only get haughty cats and leaky faucet?
Yes, that was a welcome surprise indeed! I may even have to take a holiday again…when my friend needs Duc again for mousing.
Yes, I think commenting counts as writing. 🙂
I know from five years experience at it that it has improved my writing for work, responding to student emails all day every day.
Souldipper – I can’t imagine a more inspiring, thoughtful and profound post. I truly love how this day unfolded for you and the reminder that easing one’s mind into a peaceful place can be all the answer one needs. Oh, this was wonderful to read and a lesson to remember always!
Thanks, SD. I do like serenity! Actually until I did that list for the post, I hadn’t realized I was lugging that much around. Good thing I’m not a worrywart – most of the time.
Can you say for every re-action there is action? Sounds like all of the little things showed you who your friends are! I love seeing the “purpose” I shall too write a list of wrongs & see where the right moment, place, person or thing enabled a positive outcome! xo
Yes, Karen, you’re right. It does remind that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It also shows how intricately we live in a spirit of giving. Thanks for encouraging me to ask for help!!
Thanks for an inspiring blog..and love the photos!
Glad things are turning around FOR you and . . . IN you. 😀
And around me, Nancy. Thanks!
I love the photos, especially the view!
Thanks, Tokeloshe. Yes, on my walks, there are some really great long range views over ocean and islands. We see it every day so take it for granted, I confess! Glad you enjoyed them,
Oh, I love, love, love this! Yes, commenting counts as blogging and feeds the creative muse. I’m going to hug my maple in a few minutes. You already have a soul mate within you. We are blessed to live in such beautiful places. Take as many time-outs as you can!
Yes, I do have a soul mate within me… every once in a while, it would be nice to have one with skin on! My Guides just keep reassuring me that he is in my life. Guess that means that I don’t have to live with him. I have some great male friends – really good men. However, we all like having our own places! 😀
I think we all have to take a time out to just regain perspective on life…what seems critical at one moment is seldom as critical when we take time to really evaluate what is important in life. Cheers!
Yay, Charles! It’s so easy to end up slipping a few degrees out of perspective! Taking a break is the best way for me to recuperate.
Great honest post. I loved your ruminations, and the photos – my favorite was your hand next to the leaves. Its beautiful that your guides have told you your soul mate is in your life already.
It seems everyone’s in agreement that commenting is part of blogging. Since I got home from work tonight (7:15 pm) I haven’t done anything besides reading blogs and commenting, and its almost 10 pm and I’m too tired to write, so another day has gone by where I haven’t written anything serious or for myself …
Rosie, I totally understand~ That’s my daily dilemma. I love touching base with bloggers, commenting and following links. Next thing I know, it’s time for bed!
You listed 9 problems (temporary) but I also counted 9 blessings (constant): great friends, a great place to live, loving and helpful Guides, good health, a cat friend, unexpected windfall, talent for writing, blogger friends and a man in your life yet to reveal himself. 😀
Beautiful photos, especially the one with the star. I like stars.
What a neat comment, Earthianne! When you put it all together in such a neat little package, it looks as though it’s heading straight for gratitude! I’m off to deliver some banana bread to the plumber and I’ll be treating K. to dinner! You like stars? That tells me that you are one!
Your post just reminded me of a very wise favorite Zen adage: ‘Chase a butterfly and you will not catch it. Be calm and it would approach you’. We need to be calm to really take ‘time out’ don’t we? I call it ‘defragmenting our minds’ like we defrag our computers lol
That Zen adage is one that I have carried with me for years, Poch! That very one! And defragging is a perfect description for the time-out process for me. Just like my computer, when I am still and my ego is out of the way, the process goes to work invisibly. That’s what faith does for me. And you, too, I hope.
What an awesome post Amy! You are so good for my soul, you bring a chuckle to my being and a smile in my heart. I think you found the answers without the help of a soul mate, they were just provided to you, what a blessing that was. I am glad another blogger pionted out how many blessings you did have, trials always come and and they go. Living today is the only way, I have found that out since my husband passed.
Yes, Dee, that has given me great pause. When a woman has to face the loss of her husband – through death or divorce – that’s tough enough. But then to suddenly be faced with the whole domestic load as well… And didn’t you have a business to run, too? In my financial careers, I saw situations where widows had no clue how to deal with banks, never mind government matters! It seems you have done a great job, Dee – not only have you largely adjusted to being widowed, but here you are volunteering for Habitat. A woman of faith!
The release you experienced has been true for me more times than I can remember. There is something profound that happens when we open our hands, let go, and regroup around the soul, asking what is essential? Our tight fists don’t let things happen!
Ohhhh…..that Ruth is a wise one. She knows about ‘opened hands’.
Honestly, I have my moments of clenched fists–sometimes shaking ones at the heavens. *sigh* I’m a spoilt brat some times.
Opened hands…setting free…..going home…..
I loved the post.
I always love what I find here though. I think. I laugh. I get weepy. I learn. I love. I get stretched.
What’s not to adore about that?!
4 blocks for THAT view…in a heartbeat!
I’d go hug the maple, but he’s a bit damp around the edges and he suggested I just give him a pat and get my rear inside, out of the rain.
Smart maple seings how I’m still battling some ‘crud’ and I’m being a spoilt, ungrateful snot.
You’re not the only one who needs the ‘time out’!!!
(((( Amy ))))
<– knows where the corner is, quite well, tyvm!
Maybe we could play charades as we stand in our respective corners! I get such a laugh over of your humanness. Guess it’s because I’m laughing at myself, right?
Dropping things all over the place? Check. Funky relationship with time? Double-check. Finding power in the moment and trusting it’ll all make sense later? Yes, indeedy. Right there with you.
Ain’t it grand?
Phew! Thank goodness, Sally! Good to know I just need to trust. Grand? You bet! I’m with you.
Very wise reaction, to know when to let go off effort and give time to the pressure to fade away! I had a chuckle with the guy who paints your house The Economics graduate – loved his nickname. Also I like the sense of humor here “I would not dream of asking the Guides to take control of the Stock Market”, you are funny Amy! Keep it that way, it gives a nice feel to the people around you! As for your iceberg … here is an invitation, maybe you’d like to participate and be inspired http://brokensparkles.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/seasons-favorite-challenge/. I’d love to read about your view on the seasons! Have a good Sunday!
Yes, Blaga, it is sensible to let go and let life have a chance to unfold. I will check out that link, Blaga. It’s hard for me to resist a challenge! 😀
Amy, I don’t think you have to worry about the writing iceberg — that was beautifully written. Your photos are gorgeous — I especially like the once of the blackberry bush. In reading your post, I smiled, because I see that your problems, though seemingly insurmountable for a while, all had a simple resolution, and, that once you took a moment to ‘breathe’ everything you needed just came. I think that it is amazing the way the universe listens and gives to us exactly what we need at the moment we need it most. As long as we ask, and as long as we’re open to receiving. Have a great weekend my friend. I envy you the places you get to walk.
Kathy, you are a wise soul! I agree with you totally…it’s a matter of remembering to take a breather. And breathe! The solutions come. I used to think I had to push the river, then paddle upstream. Freedom is letting go and riding the current.
You write so beautifully my friend. Loved so many lines in this post, especially “Of all that was breakable, my soul was the most delicate.” Such wisdom!
Also loved your pics!
Many thanks for your kind words, Chloe.
Hi Amy .. talk about wars .. sounds like a sorry trail .. especially when Duc says ‘get a grip’ I’ll be back anon … but thank goodness for friends .. and the world turning its circle and letting light in again .. it does doesn’t it! We just need to give it a push sometimes .. and your friends did that with you … while Spirit Guides were watching over you .. doubt is a challenge at times!
So pleased Mr Dentist can drive one of his cars again .. he must have a tough life ..
Cheers and I think the iceberg is no longer there … Hilary
Yes, Hilary, the reason for time-outs never wear thin! On top of those challenges, I ended up fixing my lawn mower when the blade decided to eat up a metal fender underneath. The bliss that transpires when everything is fixed…! 🙂