Time Out

Time Out - Quirky Cooking - Jo Whitton
Time out…

This has been a crazy week. Cookbook deadlines are zooming by, so I’ve been stuck at the computer with hardly a break. (Except to homeschool, do housework, cook, go to a wedding, answer lots of phone calls and messages, and deal with all the other interruptions that are part of everyday life around here!)

Then at about 11pm the other night I realised someone had decided to steal my Facebook identity, so I was madly trying to sort that out and didn’t get much sleep. (And it’s still ongoing… so please don’t accept a ‘friend request’ on FB from ‘Quirky Cooking’ because it’s not me, despite the fact that they’re using my photo and covershot and have also set up a Quirky Cooking ‘Health & Beauty’ page. This is my page, by the way —> Quirky Cooking… not the other one.)

Stress. I was tingling with it that night and the next morning. And quite a few times in the past week. You know that feeling? I hate it. Sometimes the feeling of “so much to do and I don’t know where to start and I don’t know what to do” totally overwhelms me. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I want to hide in my bed, disconnect the phone, and pretend I’m not home when someone knocks on the door. But you can’t really do that when you have a home business, a family to look after, and you’re behind schedule with the book you’re writing.

I find it helps to focus on a job that needs doing, and start working on that in slow and steady steps, bit by bit, til it’s done. (It feels so good to tick something off your to-do list, no matter how small, doesn’t it!)

And I also find it helps to give myself the reward of some ‘time out’ to look forward to, as the jobs are ticked off my list.

Time Out…

As my mum says, it’s imporant to ‘take some time out to let your soul catch up with your body.’ I’m not talking about big chunks of time spent alone in blissful quietness – I mean just making the most of little moments, little snippets of time, and letting that quiet moment completely soak in and relax you.
One of my favourite writers said this.
“It is in quietness that we are fed. Sometimes it is not possible to get long uninterrupted quiet, but even if it be only ten minutes, “hem it with quietness.” Enclose it in quietness; do not spend the time in thinking how little time you have. Be quiet. If you are interrupted, as soon as the interruption ceases, sink back into quietness again without fuss or worry of spirit. Those who know this secret and practise it, are lifted up.”       (Amy Carmichael)

It can be as simple as…

– Getting up early to have some peace and quiet to read and think and write before the kids wake up.- Going for a short walk and bringing home some flowers you picked. (Or weeds, if you’re anything like me.)

– Baking a cake.

– Playing relaxing, happy music while you work. 

 – And maybe dancing around the kitchen a little bit. And singing.

– Sitting outside in the sunshine with a cup of tea for 10 minutes.

– Kicking off your shoes and sitting on the grass to eat your lunch.

– A chat and a laugh with a friend. 

 – Stopping to notice the beauty that is all around you, and taking photos of what you see.

– Hugging someone you love.

Time Out - Quirky Cooking - Jo Whitton

And for me, a big one is…


If I’m feeling really overwhelmed and my brain is tired of thinking, and all those little ‘time outs’ just aren’t enough, I find it really helps to go for a drive.

Time Out - Quirky Cooking - Jo Whitton

I’ve been feeling really frustrated the past couple of weeks, because I have this absolutely beautiful car sitting in my driveway, and no time to drive it. And I have only two weeks til they take it back! Noooooooo…

(For those of you who don’t know, Ford sent me a Territory Titanium to test drive for six weeks (yeeehaaaa!!) as part of their “Choose Your Own Adventure” Challenge. I was picked because Kidspot awarded me a place in the top 25 “Food & Wellbeing” Bloggers for Voices of 2013 this year. And yes, I’m truly loving this car. And I don’t want to give it back.)

Anyway, today I had so much to do, and a wedding to go to, and the ‘overwhelmed’ feeling was building up again. So when my husband said, “Let’s drive home from the wedding the long way – around the lake,” my answer was, “I’m driving!!”

I know, I know, I had lots to do. I probably should’ve said, “No we’d better get straight home as I need to keep working.” But after the stress of the past week, hugging the cat just wasn’t going to cut it. I needed some time out to drive ‘my’ car, to sit back in air conditioned comfort and relax and watch the scenery go by.  I could honestly sit in those soft, leather seats all day, meandering through the countryside enjoying the view, music on, air conditioner blowing in my face, thoughts drifting, stopping to take photos whenever I want to… I dream of doing that when I’m stuck in front of my computer for hours.

So that’s what we did. We went for a drive on a winding dirt road, and stopped to watch the sun set over the lake. And revelled in the comfort of driving such a lovely car. And it really helped. Now I’m feeling much happier and more relaxed, because I’ve had some time out, away from the computer and housework, driving this lovely car and enjoying the scenery. Bliss. 

Time Out - Quirky Cooking - Jo Whitton

 So tell me, what do you do to help yourself relax, refocus and de-stress? I’d really love to know. Please leave a comment – your ideas may help someone else!

Have a great Sunday, guys, and don’t forget to…

♥ ♥ 

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