When you were a child, were you ever given a time-out? Perhaps you did something you weren’t suppose to do or you were being unkind and as a result, your parent/teacher put you in a corner, sent you up to your room, or had you sit in a chair for time-out?
That was me. A lot.
I remember when I was 3, I attended pre-school and everyday after my dad dropped me off in the morning, I was put in the corner because I wouldn’t stop crying. I cried all day, every day. The only time I stopped crying was when one of my parents came to pick me up at which point, this little boy named Scott would run up and kiss my forehead…every. single. day. The teachers put me in the corner perhaps for a few reasons:
a) I wouldn’t stop crying.
b) I was a distraction for the other kids.
c) They didn’t know what else to do.
It’s funny because the only human contact I remember having during my time at preschool was when Scott came to give me my daily kiss on my forehead. No words were exchanged, just a simple interaction that reminded me that someone else noticed me…and more importantly that he cared.
Fast forward three decades and I find myself in time-out again. But this time as opposed to others putting me there, I’ve put myself there. And as oppose to seeing it as a “bad” thing, I embrace these moments to be in time-out as they give me time to separate myself from the things/habits/behaviours that may be working against everything I am trying to be and do. What’s the cause of my latest time-out? It’s the wonderfully addictive creation called Facebook. See while Facebook is great to keep in touch with people, it in my case, can cause a string of behaviours that I am not proud of. And so, I put myself on daily time-out for the following reasons:
a) I found myself much too consumed with what everyone else was doing and comparing what others were doing vs. what I am doing
b) It became a distraction from all of the other more valuable activities I could be doing.
c) Aside from deleting my account completely, this was my way of self-discipline
As I’ve evolved and grown (and continue to), I’ve come to appreciate time-outs. Away from the world of social media, I am given the opportunity to be in the real world and to be fully present. It is in my time-outs that I create, design, think, ponder, and be more of who I desire to be. No words exchanged, just a simple action that reminds me to notice and more importantly, that I care.