I was a child before the days of "time out." In kindergarten, we had the naughty box, which was really just a little stool in the coat closet. No, I never had to sit there. And I've never been given a time out.
But sometimes, I think it's okay to give ourselves one. Not because we're misbehaving, but because we just need to unhook. I spend so much of my day tuned in to something other than myself. It can be my work, the computer, the people I'm around, the chores that need to be done ... the list goes on and on, and sometimes, we deserve a break.
Last Friday I took the day off, not meaning to unhook, but because I had a really tough chore that needed to get finished. It was my Meeting of Creditors, the final step required of me before the bankruptcy is done. The meeting was not traumatic; none of my creditors attended, probably due to the obvious lack of funds in my possession with which to pay them. It was just a series of questions regarding the case, all with yes or no answers. No, I am not currently married. Yes, I once was. No, I have not recently (or any other time) received an inheritance. Yes, my budget remains as it was in the original documents. Stuff like that; pretty simple, really. But when it was over, it was pretty emotional. I needed to have a bit of a cry, so I walked to Millennium Park.
I can't explain what it is about this place that makes me feel so completely at home. A beautiful garden, in the middle of a beautiful city ... it's breathtaking. So I went and sat with my feet in the water (sorry, Bex) and just let all the stress wash away. I sat, read my book and relaxed for hours. Long enough to get a little sunburn on my shoulders.
After awhile my friend Shakespeare and her boyfriend joined me, and the three of us sat and talked and soaked our feet. And it struck me, just how meaningful my time out was. I gave myself permission to feel all of it ... and then let it go. Isn't that what giving a child a time out is all about? Sit there, think about it, and move on. Don't pretend it never happened, but learn from it. Time out can be a good thing.
Within 60 to 90 days, I should receive word that the bankruptcy is final and my included debts have been discharged. Meanwhile, I'll be sticking to my budget, learning when I fail and consistently looking for ways to be wiser with my money. And along the way, I'm pretty sure I'll be giving myself a few time outs.