Time off, time away, or just time.

How do you view time?
How do you view time?

I’ve been absent from this blog for months now. Before that, my posts had become very sporadic. In fact, when I looked back at my last post, I was embarrassed by the amount of time that has lapsed. And then, as I’m so prone to, I felt guilt. I’m not even sure what I felt guilt about…a project left incomplete? Leaving my faithful readers (OK, reader, my sister) in a lurch with a cliff-hanger ending? (Trust me, my sister and I talk on the phone “like a billion times a day” according to my kids, no cliff-hangers there. Not that there ever was one.) Either way, neither the embarrassment nor the guilt was productive so I dismissed them. Well, kind of.

Just write, I told myself. But the words didn’t flow. You don’t have to click “publish”, just write. Anything. Anywhere. Use your journal, for the love of gravy! I admonished myself, regularly. Still, the words didn’t flow.

And, as the words began to dry up, so did a part of me.

After a month or so, I decided I was just taking some “time off.” Life was busy with homeschooling (even though I have only one student this year and I’d laid out her lesson plans well in advance), a new client/contract that takes me out of the house for 3 hours a day (for the first time in 18 years), a change in the household routines with my oldest now in college but still at home, etc. I just needed some time off, I concluded. Time off from this blog. Time off from my TM Facebook page (not to mention most of the cyber-world). Time off from external demands like coffee dates with friends, blog-reading, etc.

You can do this, the small voice inside encouraged. Look at all you’ve been learning as a mom, a wife and, more importantly, as a woman in the last 6 months. Just share that. Write about that. Just write.

And still, the words didn’t flow.

Sacrifices, I reasoned, needed to be made with the shifts in routines and schedules, and my writing would have to wait. Time passed and my “page views” slowed from  consistent visits to an anemic trickle to a dried creek bed in a season of drought. It’s OK, this is just temporary. I’m just taking some time away. Readers will be there when I return. It’s best to take this time away. Just trust.  As the weeks rolled into months, my “time off” had extended into “time away”, I decided. By relabeling it, I was making a conscious choice to stay away for an extended period of time. All while trying to muster up my best “Let’s go, team!” cheer deep down inside.

And, still the words didn’t flow.

This blog, my journal, any blank page seemed to become the proverbial “elephant in the room” crossbred with the “monster in the closet.” Deep down inside, I couldn’t avoid the fact that I wasn’t writing and wanted to write, yet the longer I stayed away the larger the boogie man, A.K.A. “Writer’s Block”, seemed to grow. Or, at least I thought that’s what was happening during my “time away”, until I was driving through a shortcut on my way home the other day.

My shortcut is a narrow winding road that takes me though a park and wide open fields. The snow that had started to fall the night before was beginning to taper. The large fields were covered in a blanket of white. My eyes darted around in hopes of capturing sight of a coyote. Aloud I reminded myself, “Just take your time. There’s no rush.” And then, it hit me. I’ve been taking neither “time off” nor “time away” from this blog, or coffee dates, or blog-reading, or anything else; I’ve simply been taking time. Time to grow and adjust and adapt. Time needed during a period of tremendous change in my life. Time needed to make it through a bumpy transition as smoothly as possible. Time for me. Time for my family. Just time, without qualifiers or limits or boogie-men.

Does this epiphany mark my regular return to this blog? Honestly, I’m not sure. I just know that I’m feeling more sure-footed recently than I have in many months. And today, the words seemed to flow once again, which feels pretty darn good.

Do you give yourself “time off”, “time away”, or “just time” when you need room to grow?

(P.S. If you are here, reading this, I thank you.)

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22 thoughts on “Time off, time away, or just time.”

  1. We move in parallel universes my friend. I have been sporadic since i would guess at least November. It was as though all of a sudden I had nothing to say; on my blog or in comments on others’ blogs. It was gone. The words and desire to find them fizzled. I just couldn’t make myself write or even come up with many rough drafts. I did it every now and then, but for weeks and weeks and months, my heart wasn’t in it like before. I had a sudden increase in tutoring hours at the same time. I don’t tend to multi-task well if the tasks require focus. but then, like a sudden summer storm, the words came back–but in new ways. I am so glad you are back. I missed you. I missed hearing of your transitions. Know this, dear friend; whenever you stop by “my place” or I “yours” we will continue to be kindred spirits. It is good to take time to sit by the shore. Jesus took time, and so do we….Happy Easter to you, by the way!

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  2. I too, was wondering if everything was ok. I am so glad to hear that it is. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, even super moms, need time off. You are a great mom and fabulous example of a caring friend to all that know you. I would, however, like to take you out for coffee sometime soon!

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  3. Hi, TM! I have other blogging buddies who have taken long hiatuses, as well, and when they return (like you) we readers are still ready and waiting! 😉 For me, blogging is supposed to be an outlet, not a burden. So, if it’s right for me to write, then I do so…if I’m under duress with life’s “stuff” or have more pressing things to take care of, then I focus on those items. I’ve had to take a couple of weeks off from writing here and there, and when I was sick in December I don’t think I wrote for an entire month. But, when I finally felt able to, it was healing, my brain, my heart, and my fingers told me so. Don’t worry, don’t worry! When you are here, we’ll be waiting and reading, and when you aren’t, we all know that there are other things in your life that are taking precedence, and it’s totally oky doky! XOXO-SWM

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  4. i LOVE this. it’s all too true that when we take time, we feel like it needs a label and a reason… when in reality, we just need time to be who we are and like you said, to grow and adjust and adapt. i needed this today. not yesterday or 3 weeks ago or even 4 months ago… today. you rock.

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  5. I’m so pleased to see you peeking your head back into the blog-o-sphere! I have been thinking of you and wondering how you are doing. I hope all is well. I’ve been going through a painful transition myself and chose to push forward with my blogging…for me that has helped, but I can also see how a break from blogging would give one space to deal with the changes. The best to you and I hope to “see” you again soon!

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  6. Great to see Transitioning Mom in my inbox this morning – it brought a smile to my face before I even read it! Loved the post – a transitioning mom in transition. Loved it! ♥♥

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  7. What fun to see your name pop up in my e-mail this morn…yup, it was gonna be a good day! Your profound and heartfelt words filled me up like they always do. They also reminded me that someone out there speaks my language. Thank you for sharing, your words make the planet spin so much smoother…..whooooosh!

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    1. Cindy, your words welled up my eyes and filled my heart with warmth and love! Though I’ve been quiet, I’ve popped over quietly and read your posts. You, my dear, always make me smile, laugh, and connect with myself and others more gently through your art and your words. xoxo

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  8. I was just thinking about you this morning, Mary, and here is your post in my in-box! I was thinking how long it has been since I’ve seen you or heard from you, and now I’m so happy to read that you are just taking time. What wonderful advice for people going through transition of any kind. Time to just be. Time to reflect. No guilt. Love it! Sending lots of love your way!

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  9. Glad that you are back to the writing, Mary!

    I, too, find my writing to be sporadic, but life happens and sometimes, as you say, the words don’t flow. I’d rather read a great piece of work, over an obligated post, any day. To acknowledge that you are taking time is to be truthful to both you and your readers. Who can’t appreciate that!?!?!

    Glad you are back; your writing is always worth the time! I left you a message on your FB page, so please let me know! 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much, Carol! I think, as women and moms, we all try to do a bit too much, and when big changes come, we tend to plow on through. The time away has been good for me, and though I know the waters are not entirely calmed (are they ever?! LOL!), I do feel like I am sailing once again (as opposed to bobbing in open waters.)

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      1. “Bobbing in open waters” is such a great description on any given day! Just glad that you know how to tread water, and I hope that you always carry your flare gun with you; sometimes we just need to fire that thing off, and let someone come to help. Glad you’re back, Mary!

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  10. I take time off from blogging 3 times a year for 2 weeks! I always use April break, 2 weeks in July and usually I stop between Thanksgiving and Christmas. People are so busy, they are barely reading. It gives me time to breathe. I only post once a week these days. So much more manageable. I’m glad to see you are back — even if it is just to say hi. 🙂

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    1. Renee, that is such a great idea! I never thought about a “scheduled time off.” I know that Bill Gates once said he takes 2 weeks away every year without gadgets or electronics to think, just think. So glad to connect with you here, again! 🙂

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