Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

P Publisher’s Point by Jean Loxley-Barnard
Time Out



TIME OUT

Kids today experience 'Time Out' as punishment for misbehavior. It's a first cousin to sitting in a corner or being the 'dunce' in previous generations. But even when used as a form of punishment, time out can be a very good thing.

How many of us wish that we could be assigned time out or even have time to assign it to ourselves? Just thinking of having some time out can bring a smile to our lips and a twinkle to our eyes. Time out. What a wonderful thought. Let's take some time out.




Instead of 'doing lunch' tomorrow, how about a stroll (another endangered concept) with just an apple or two - alone or with a friend? Here in Great Bridge we have a little park by the Locks with some picnic tables. A half hour there with nature can be very refreshing, with or without the picnic. Mothers who somehow find time to go to the grocery store could veer off for just a little time out even if accompanied by a toddler. Remember how peaceful it was to watch ants? It still is, and suits a toddler fine also.

Varying our routine just a hair can be rejuvenating. It means we can make a choice about how to spend our time, even if there aren't extra hours in our days. Reordering our time reminds us that we, and not a clock, control our schedules.

 

Varying our routine just a hair can be rejuvenating.

It means we can make a choice about how to spend our time, even if there aren't extra hours in our days. Reordering our time reminds us that we, and not a clock, control our schedules.

I've run into people from time to time who haven't had a vacation in years and wear that sad fact like a badge. They need time out more than most. And some who really need time out can't seem to get the time off from work. Those of us who are employers need to be attuned to that. An employee who has had a vacation is an employee who will be able to do a better job.

Time out can be just a longer weekend. One really fun thing to do is to close the office on a Friday at noon. What does it hurt? I've always liked to do that on hot summer Fridays and I don't think we've missed a beat. There are also times around deadline when some of my staff is here on a weekend or evening and I don't think I've ever had to ask them to do it - they just get the work done.

What inspired me to write about time out is that my friend and co-worker, Lin Olsen, suggested I take every other Friday off. When we got together recently to talk about her coming back to The Shopper to be our P.R. person (she had been with us in sales for 3 1/2 years until last fall), Lin asked for every other Friday off, and added, 'And I want you to take the other Fridays off.' What a thought! 'Do I have to?' I asked, and we both laughed. The more I thought about it, the more I knew what a great idea it was and the more I couldn't wait.

I got the first turn. In the days preceding my time out, I thought of endless possibilities of ways I could spend my day off. It's not that I haven't taken time off when I decided to do it, it is just that I hadn't decided ahead of time that it was indeed time to take time out!

 

Decide to put aside a day and not be mad at one another. Forget who said what and just enjoy the day. That's right. There's plenty of time to be mad. Just for a day, take time out.

There are more ways to take time out than to just take time off. When a couple is going through a difficult time, maybe of long duration, it's okay to take time out. Decide to put aside a day and not be mad at one another. Forget who said what and just enjoy the day. That's right. There's plenty of time to be mad. Just for a day, take time out.

Picture every love story ever filmed. The scene where 2 people fall in love has them running - nay, prancing - through a field of daisies or frolicking on a deserted beach or flying a kite. You know the picture. Do that. Why not?

Take time out this weekend and call or write or e-mail an old friend who will just be knocked out to hear from you. Or an old teacher who changed your life. Or an aunt who listened to you babble on when you were a teenager. I thanked my Aunt Maddy for just that a few years ago and I think she was genuinely pleased to hear how much she had meant to me those many years ago.

Picture every love story ever filmed. The scene where 2 people fall in love has them running - nay, prancing - through a field of daisies or frolicking on a deserted beach or flying a kite. You know the picture. Do that. Why not?

Or we can take time out to really listen. Listen to birds chirping, not just hear them in the background. Listen to them and smile. Do we know how little time out that takes? Or what a difference it can make in our attitude? Maybe we can listen to a child, not just hear them talking and say, 'Uh huh.'

Let's take time out to play! We don't have to be falling in love to fly a kite. I can still throw a basketball, and sometimes even watch the swish. Oh joy. How long has it been since you played pick-up sticks? I did it last month. Lost to an 8 year old.

It is my hope that at least one or two of you will take me up on this suggestion. I thank Lin for urging me to take time out. Sometimes all it takes is to have the seed planted. Water it.





Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.