Time Out

Posted On July 14, 2023

Photo by Michele Venne

When do we notice that something mechanical doesn’t work? Usually when we need it. When is the worst time for an air conditioning unit to quit working in Phoenix? As the temps reach 116 with 35% humidity and a dew point of 65 degrees. As the unit on the roof tried pushing cold air (puffing out lukewarm air), I spent one day at home, then opted for a staycation at a nearby hotel for a couple of days until a new AC was installed. Much better, now!

My change of scenery brought to light several things. First, the visceral experience of a too hot house. Though I’m outside every day, regardless of the weather, I had no refuge. Next, I got to practice spontaneity (from decision to hotel check in, 45 min.). Again, I make decisions all the time on the fly, but this one was outside my normal experience. Then I opted to step away from my usual evening activities and be in the moment. I enjoyed dinner at the hotel restaurant and a game of dominoes with my roommate. No reading. No writing. No baseball. Finally, (but there’s probably more), I realized how much I enjoyed the short staycation. I like my life as it is, otherwise I would work to change it. But a couple of nights in a hotel, a little different schedule, and it’s like a cool breeze off a lake.

I took a breath… paused for a moment… counted my blessings… noticed things I might have ignored… enjoyed the time out of my usual routine. Instead of thinking of it as losing a few days on my calendar, I’m choosing to view the situation as a mini reset. What do I really need on a daily basis? How quickly can I make a decision? How different is my perspective when I drop out of my head and follow my gut/heart? What can I take from this experience and use in my writing?

Back home and a return to my usual routine doesn’t mean I’m free from my time out. I feel the effects lingering, and I’m okay with that. I’m revisiting my notes from last November about my new why and thoughts on my writing. Friends are away on vacation. My work schedule will be light for the next month. Audiobook projects are in production. My to-do list currently carries bits of daily tasks instead of monster projects. I’m setting myself up for stepping from this time out into flow. How do you respond when a minor incident forces you to make a quick decision? How did it turn out?

Written by Michele Venne

Writer of immersive and intriguing stories.

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