Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Time Out - Not just for kids

Every parent I know has given a child a Time Out, usually when that child has reached the parent’s tolerance level for unacceptable behavior. Sending a child to sit on a couch for a few minutes gives both the parent and child time to calm down and deal with the situation with less yelling and fewer tears. I’ve never viewed Time Out as a punishment, just a break so everyone can regroup and come back to the problem in better frame of mind.

My husband and I gave each other a Time Out this past weekend. He’s been working long hours for too many days in a row, and I’ve reached a point in the current book where the characters don’t want to cooperate and the writing is going too slow for my peace of mind and I’m stressing over whether or not I’ll find a way to tell this story in a satisfactory manner. Our only rules were that we couldn’t talk about work and we’d get out of the house. So we asked another couple to Time Out with us and took off in the car for three days.

What a joy! The days were warm and the nights cool. We drove out to the Mississippi River to take in the fall colors decorating the bluffs, and managed to spot several eagles. There are several casinos in both Wisconsin and Minnesota that were delighted to have us stop in. Good food. Nice hotels. Great friends to spend time with.

Okay, so you’re thinking this was a mini-vacation, and you might be right because that’s what it turned out to be. The thing was, we didn’t plan anything other than to get in the car and go wherever the whim took us. Since we didn’t have anything planned, we were never late, or needed to put on so many miles every day. A no-schedule weekend with nothing to do but enjoy ourselves.

I’ll find out later this afternoon if the Time Out worked for my husband as well as it did for me. I’ve written several pages today without grinding my teeth or cursing at the computer screen. My subconscious must have been working on my plot problem because that smoothed out about page three without me beating my head against the proverbial wall.

Need a Time Out? Where would you go?

Shari Anton


MIDNIGHT MAGIC, December 2005

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