Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run


Kids in my day got spanked. Now kids get "time out." They sit in a particular chair in a certain space and think about what they've done. Normally, after crying for a bit, they end up using their imaginations and finding things to occupy them until their adult tells them their time is up.

One of my coworkers tweeted an article about how everyone needs to take some downtime. She pointedly looked at me when I mentioned it. I'm pretty terrible about taking time, especially for myself. If it's not scheduled, I don't take it. I always have a to-do list and just keep chipping away at it instead of relaxing. I'm one of the most productive relaxers you've ever met.

Being prone to terrible sinus infections, the latest DC weather change has my face feeling like it may fall off and has since moved to my lungs and become bronchial. (yes, this is going somewhere) I sound as awful as I look and feel. I went home at 2pm and took a 3-hour nap on Tuesday but have felt as if I was catching up ever since. I only went home when another coworker told me I had to. As Todd mentioned at Cup of Inspiration on Wednesday, 

"Even in Star Trek, there was someone appointed to send the Captain to his room."

With so much on my plate at Sisarina between hiring new staff, transitioning people into new positions, and figuring out our budget, I've worn myself out and let this infection in. Working out, running a race, and hitting yoga classes, along with a full work-week, networking, and finding time for friends, I've overdone it to the point of utter exhaustion. But have I taken time to just relax (at least without passing out)? Pfft. 

Until today, when I was forced into time out.

For 35 minutes I sat in traffic and only made it a mile. My normal commute is about 15 minutes and it was too hot to sit in a car with two panting dogs. I pulled off on a street in Chevy Chase and took the dogs for a walk. At first I was a bit stressed about not being able to rush home to get more work done, but then I heard… nothing. It was silent. Walking up and down streets with only a few passing cars, past gorgeous old brick homes with lawns taken care of by their owners, trees covered in cherry blossoms, beautiful daffodils, the occasional dog scratching at a glass door, and peace. 

I met a girl and her mother sitting on their front stoop. My dogs greeted them and the mother mused about the gorgeous air and how she loves walking to Bethesda. Wondering if I was a new neighbor, she asked and I mentioned I was only escaping the traffic. She mentioned how she enjoys long walks through her neighborhood. It made me want to live next door.

As the wind blew, little pink blossoms cascaded down on me, softly touching the ground below my feet. I looked up into the tree and realized I was at peace. I had finally had a chance to slow down and sit in time out for a moment. I had been rushing everywhere for days trying to get things done and couldn't even force myself to stop. My mind quickly scanned all of the things I could be doing but I knew I was right where I should be.

Everyone needs a forced "time out." Next time, I'll be forcing it on myself instead of allowing traffic or sinus congestion force me.

How do you take your time out?
























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