Time Out!

I find it depressing to watch the removal of American history. At moments like this, I feel a deep unrelenting sadness, which is only made worse by watching snippets of violence over and over. Instant replay. One leftist group pummeling an even more leftist group. Home-grown Nationalists pummeling imported International Nationalists. Marxism has been among us for many years, but now has developed into a festering boil on our beautiful country.

As an American who loves this country, warts and all, I’ve got plenty to say, but most of it has already been said by one pundit or another. No need for me to repeat their words or tell you I agree with them. Meanwhile, in the background, I’m reading frightening news stories regarding a possible nuclear strike from North Korea. The thought of that happening fills me with incredible sorrow. In the midst of this mayhem, we have a strong president who’s doing the best that he can. Yet the media and haters pile on him, in an obvious attempt to pull him down. He’s our president. He’s part of the fabric of America. How can anyone want to pull something so wonderful down?

As the world spins out of control, or seems to be, here’s what I am doing. It’s time for me to step back, take a deep breath, and instead of arguing with anonymous people on social media – I’m putting myself in time out. Remember that? A technique utilized by parents and daycare workers could be used right now by me, as an adult. And, I highly recommend it. So, here I go. I’m shutting everything off – computer, TV, radio – and I will soak in the silence.

  1. Stopping and thinking gives me time to assess a situation. How do I want to respond? What will be the consequences of that response?
  1. Is it a good idea to do something different? Maybe take a break from social media. Go for a walk and immerse myself in nature for a little while.
  1. Turn off the TV, turn on some tunes. I’m angry? I’m changing my mood with music. It’s very easy to do. Concentrating on breathing and relaxing.
  1. I feel helpless. I’m making peace with the fact that we are vulnerable. Leadership in Congress and the White House are those in charge. I cannot change that. It is what it is.
  1. I look around me. Can I make someone’s day brighter? I know I sound like Pollyanna here, but my world is smaller than the one I view on TV. It’s family, friends, loved ones.

I don’t want to sound like a preacher, but the power of prayer, connecting with loved ones, doing something enjoyable, even for a little while, can relieve tension, and sometimes even change my perspective. So, when I say I’m taking a time-out, I don’t mean I’m sitting in the corner alone, unless that’s what makes me feel better.

The time-out I’m talking about is a welcome break from the world that’s too much with us far and near. Which brings me to one of my favorite poems by William Wordsworth, written in 1806. This was written by Wordsworth during the first Industrial Revolution. He saw people consumed with materialism and turning away from the beauty of the natural world around them and encourages a time out.

The World Is Too Much With Us

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. – Great God!  I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

Oh yes, and I often read while in time out. It takes me to faraway places temporarily and I am always refreshed upon my return.

Independent author, Ava Armstrong, writes thrillers and romance – yes, she dares to combine the two; such a renegade! After more than a decade in corporate America with a four-billion dollar company, Armstrong decided to focus on her true love: writing literature that could be read by the average human being. Ava describes herself as a Constitutional Conservative, and sleeps with a loaded Smith and Wesson revolver. She has one child, whom she loves, and her collection of firearms, which she loves slightly less, and a special affinity for Glocks and tactical shotguns. Her favorite things are the smell of molten metal at the shooting range, motor oil that drips from vintage 1940's Indian motorcycles, and the scent of sandalwood soap. You'd have to read her novels to understand that more deeply. Who are the heroes in Ava's novels? Everyday men and women who do extraordinary things. Veterans, policemen, farmers, hard-working middle-class folks, all striving and struggling to make the world a better place. From homeless vets to women living quiet lives of desperation, Armstrong transports readers to a small town, writing complex characters and stories that often stir strong emotion.