Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Tuesday Talk Time: Time Out, Time In

Pink Heart Society columnist and Harlequin Historical author Nicole Locke sings Time Out, Time In to the tune of Sunrise, Sunset.

There’s a lot in our daily life that keeps us busy. We’re pulled in so many directions by the clamouring voices of our family, our work, the news, politics, etc. In the case of a writer, we invite voices inside our head. The absolute verbal yanking of our attention can be vast, overwhelming.

Then there’s the physical demands of getting to work, the kids to school, the after school clubs, their homework which becomes yours (I’d like to ban cake sales – except, well, I eat the profits).  There are days when simply dressing and brushing my teeth are accomplishments. Too many times to count, I’ve left the house in a rush only to check that I’m not still in my pyjamas.
Because of that busyness we need Time Out. Close the doors, implement the cone of silence, turn on all the gadgets with headphones, go for walks, take holidays by ourselves, watch films. Zone out.

The problem is, at least with our family, we're struggling to Time In again.

We’re a close knit family. We do talk about our daily lives and what’s going on and what has to be done. I’m there when my daughter practices her violin; I’m torturing my older son by asking questions on his homework. I’m making sure that food is on the table, and that my children don’t go to school in their nightclothes. However, just because I’m covering the clamouring of daily life, it doesn’t mean I’ve Timed In.

My husband travels a lot. When he’s home, he’s SuperDad. But often, it’s just me. And I don’t think it’s fair to the kids or to me if I’m only thumping the homework drum or doing the dishes. Yet, how do I Time In and not go crazy with all the yanking in different directions? I don’t know.

Right now I’m trying something new. I’m multitasking Time In. With dinner, we’re playing board games. With homework, we’re on the tube travelling towards a museum or activity.
But I have a fear. I don’t know if it’s enough. Because I remember my own childhood, and I remember listening to my grandmother telling hers. I don’t know what my children’s memories are going to be or, maybe more importantly, what they want them to be.
Quite frankly, I fear we Time Out too much from the sheer exhaustion of daily life, and are forgetting to play…
--  Nicole :-)

Nicole's third book in the Lovers and Legends series, The Highland Laird's Bride, is out now!

He wants to amend the past. She wants to kill him.

Lioslath of Clan Fergusson has defended her clan and her orphaned siblings against countless enemies. So when Laird Colquhoun, the man responsible for the death of her father, arrives at the gates of her crumbling keep, she'll fight him all the way!

It's soon clear Bram's famed tactics of seduction and negotiation won't work on this guarded, beautiful woman. But when sparks between them turn to passion, and they're forced to wed, Bram must do whatever it takes to win over his new bride...
To find out more about Nicole Locke, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter.



  1. Yes. Just yes. Everything here. I love the idea of a Time In! Thanks for sharing what you're trying!

    1. It is a frame of mind I'm going to have to practice. So far the little games during dinner are working. Card games like Uno or we have this geography memory game I can never do (which delights the kids to no end). Nothing time consuming, or hard to clean up. Yesterday, I had my daughter for a doctor's check up, and it finished early. At first I was thinking about getting home to work and then realised, Wait! I have an hour to play/gallivant with her so we went to Westminster Abbey. But I truly had to remember to play!

  2. I asked my daughter today if she minded that there are spiders in the house and that one of the lightbulbs has gone out in the kitchen and the sofa has been scratched by the cats. She shrugged and said all houses have spiders. I think we can't predict what our children will remember but if we show them we're trying hopefully they'll remember that.

    1. Don't even get me started on house repairs, etc. Basics only are completed in my house. But I truly like that thought about trying... Thanks!