Time Out, for Work, for Play & of the Closet

Time Out, Excluded
I’m pretty aware and sensitive to the inclusion and exclusion of those within groups.  I guess, I’ve had my share of time feeling ‘out,’ or excluded.  I always felt like an outsider, misunderstood, or that I didn’t fit in.  I guess knowing how it felt to feel excluded, I secretly championed inclusiveness.  Or maybe I was just bored.

Time spent Out

Growing up, I often felt like I was wasting my time a lot, especially when going out or hanging out with friends.  That sounds horrible, but it’s how I felt.  I think often it’s because I was bored.  Maybe they weren’t doing anything I wanted to do.  Sometimes, it just felt like time was dragging on really slowly, I was so bored.  I remember hating it, and beating myself up afterwards for having put myself through it, deeming it a huge waste of my time.  I’m not sure why, but I’ve always wanted to be productive.  I remember getting annoyed that my family would want to go away on vacation, cause what would I be able to do there to advance my career goals.

Eventually, I decided that I would never put myself in a position of doing things I didn’t want to, which translated to “Carl doesn’t hang out.”  It has to be something planned, an activity, not just a casual random gathering to do ‘whatever.’

Usually, when I did get together with friends, it’s because either 1. they were doing something I was interested in, 2. I was doing something, and invited them, 3. I felt bad saying no all the time, and maybe just made a spur of the moment decision to go out, and I’d try to make the best of it.

Exclude Time
Sometimes, that meant A. entertaining myself, which translated to being very creative, playing games in my head, thinking about life, or fantasizing, just really being in my head, spacing out.   When I do that, it can feel like time has been excluded.

B. In other cases, as I grew up and took chances in going out, I realized, I actually could have fun, if I gave it a chance.  I really appreciated those times either people forced me out, or I forced myself out.

Time In
So, outside of those cases, today, I usually tell people I don’t “hang out,” cause it still feels like a waste of time.  There are other things I rather do.  I normally wouldn’t tell them that, but down the line, I owed it to my good friends to let them know, and they understood.  I just couldn’t learn, to get out of, “hanging out” what others got out of it.  I ended up being a homebody; a hermit.  I only did things with others, if it was something I really wanted to do.

Time Out – STOP
Wait wait wait,.. no stop.  I knew this was bad for me, and I needed more of a balance, which is why I still ‘take chances in going out.”  I need reasons to get myself to leave the house.  Getting me to leave the house is very very difficult!  Even when I have to, which contributes to my tardiness.  Why, I ask myself, why is it a waste of time to hang out, even if I’m not getting out of it what others do?  What else would I rather be doing?!  That’s the thing,… I rather be doing whatever I WANT to be doing ha ha.  I often feel there’s a LOT I’d like to do, so doing things I don’t want to do, is a waste of time.  Time is very valuable, you can’t get it back, and there never seems to be enough of it.

Out of Time – Run out of time
I often complain that there is never enough time, which leads me to stay up all night sometimes.  There is always so much I want to do, and not enough time to get it done before I get tired and should go to bed.  Though I love sleep, sometimes I hate that I have to.  Sure I can just stay up, but it’s not healthy, and it’ll make you tired the next day, which makes it difficult for you to accomplish much.  This happened to me a lot.  An endless cycle of not being able to take care of myself with just the basics, like eating, sleeping and hygiene.  It’s always been a struggle for me, to parent myself, to find balance.  It’s something I’m better at today, but still a struggle with no guarantee that I won’t just fall back into old habits.  How do we navigate this?

Out of Time – Out of the time-stream
Maybe we can go outside of time,.. boy, that sounds like it could be wonderful.  You could spend all the time you need to do whatever you want, and not worry about actually using “time.”  You would never lose time.  It’s like a super-power; to stop or freeze time.  ‘The Flash,’ sometimes can move so fast time almost stops.  I think sometimes, in the ‘Speed Force,’ the energy of the universe that propels time in the DC Comics Universe, The Flash actually loses no time at all and can return to realtime as if no time was used at all.  There are other places, other dimensions also, that exist outside of time, esp. in comic book universes or in sci-fi.  Then there’s also time travel, where in some stories, people return to their own time at the exact point they left at, loosing no time at all.  In the comic book ‘Sex Criminals’ some characters discover during orgasms, where it sometimes feels like the world falls away and time stops,… that for them, it really does.  During orgasm, they actually stop time.  Since I’m not sure what places or things in the real world that would allow us to go outside of time, maybe I should put some thought into Time Management.

Taking Time Out: To Take Care of Yourself
We all need to take time out in our day to take care of ourselves.  What I mean by that is the basics, like eat, sleep, and physical and mental well-being.  Sometimes, that also means fun.  Then you add in your goals, and aspirations in life.  Those are the basics in which I struggle with everyday.  This is something all freelancers, artists, creators, and those who work from home deal with all the time.  It’s called discipline.  Some have it, some don’t.  Artists, REALLY need some form of it, in order to be a productive and successful artist, given some exceptions, even if it doesn’t conform to other’s idea of it, so long as it’s a routine.  Without it, perhaps, we’d either only work, create work to procrastinate from doing work or just having fun.

I often find that I have to really proactively get myself to just eat, when I work at home.  Otherwise, I don’t eat or get dressed.  I get to working, and I don’t want to stop.  It breaks up my day, taking time I could be working, to eat, or shower, or whatever.  So, if I don’t have to go anywhere I can get stuck in front of my computer and be a hermit, working all day and night.  Sometimes I find a balance, when I have the strength and willpower to pay attention to how much time I spend doing everything.

It’s all about balance.  If I can get work done, take care of myself AND have fun, that’d be great!  But often, I just find more “work” to be done.

I sometimes use an app called 30/30 where you can set up timers for everything you want to do for the day.  By allotting and sticking to a specific amount of time for each activity, hypothetically, I will get more done, whereas, otherwise, I could spend forever on one thing, getting nothing done.

Can’t get things done  
Why is it difficult to take time out of the day to do things; to get things done?  What are you prioritizing?  I think most people tend to “want” to prioritize things they want to do, regardless of its importance.  Though it’s definitely easier to take time to do things you “have” to because you HAVE to, you may not prioritize them if you don’t WANT to do them.

At the same time, things you “want” to do, that you DON’T HAVE to do, sometimes can get the shaft and not get done because of all of those things you HAVE to do are prioritized.  OR, you could take time out to do just the things you WANT, prioritizing those over things you HAVE to or NEED to do.  That’s pretty bad, cause then you’re not getting anything you “need” done, but you are having fun I suppose.  There has to be a balance in what you prioritize too.  Can’t just always work and no play, or vice versa.  Anything in excess, or to an extreme is not ideal.

Time Out – Take a break
Things you need to get done sometimes includes fun!  You have to work in some play with that work.  It’s all part of a balanced physical and mental well-being!  Just don’t fool yourself in thinking you’re taking a mental health break, when you’re just being lazy.

Time Out – Give yourself a break
Though, you can give yourself a break, if you are just being lazy sometimes!  Can’t be too hard on yourself.  Sometimes, even being lazy is a part of the balance.  Hmm, I can see how I can just fool myself into thinking this all the time ha ha.  I am the type of person who justifies my behavior with my feelings.  My emotions dictate what I do, and I like to take care of my emotional health.  I’m a Cancer, can’t you tell?  ha ha.  My happiness sometimes supersedes everything.  It often leads to letting myself or others down.  Not saying that it’s right or wrong,.. just how I am.  Like, I’ll justify giving up, or cutting class, or whatever it may be, cause my mental health is more important sometimes.

So then, in regards to getting things done, it’s all about prioritizing with balance effectively.  That’s something I struggle with all the time.  I often do many things I don’t have to do; things that may be a waste of time, but while I’m doing it feels like work.  But in reality, it’s probably just me procrastinating from doing anything I “have” to do, or “should” do.
We need to learn to rank taking care of ourselves first.  Then, prioritize other things we have to do NOW, and leave the rest for another day, then you can start building in time for fun.

Boundaries and Rules
For someone like me, who grew up with very little discipline, and doesn’t really know how to parent myself.  I have a difficulty determining what is too much, so I may keep going and going, not knowing when to stop.  There is freedom in boundaries.  If we know where they are, we can act within them freely, versus, worrying about where they are, and being overly cautious.  Analogy for this, is a narrow bridge that has no hand railings.  You may think you’re free and you can run about, BUT, if you’re not careful, you might fall off, so in the end, you must still be careful, and therefore not really FREE.  If there were hand railings or something, knowing where your boundaries are, you can really run free all the way from edge to edge, without worrying about falling off.  Freedom within boundaries.  That’s why I use the 30/30 app.  Sometimes, I also, give myself a rule like, I can’t work past a certain time in the day, or when someone else is around who would like my attention.  I try to get everything I need done before that time.  Even things that are just for fun, but are for myself only.  That way, at the end of the day, I can just be free, and relax before bed, or enjoy myself with some company, be present and out of my head.

Time Out – of the closet
Hmm, out of the closet.  I was in the closet till around the end of High School where I slowly chose moments to come out of it.  After High School,.. I’d sneak out of the closet, and pretend to be someone else, in order to feel “ok” about it.  Eventually by college, I was much more comfortable being out of the closet, cause by then I also had other friends who were out of their closets.

Time Out of, and In – the closet
Coming out is a process that doesn’t ever really end.  You’re always going in and out of your closet depending on the circumstance.  I still go back and forth about announcing where in the house I’m in,.. it’s not anyone’s business, and I wouldn’t care, if it didn’t matter to people who could possibly affect me professionally.  Personally, I don’t care so much, but you choose your battles.  The back and forth has more to do with my profession, and being able to progress and be successful in it.  As an actor, you might not want to be typecast, if you can help it.  Though, for some, it’s worked out well for.  Sometimes, your personal life can affect how one perceives you, and therefore your ability to be something they may not think you are.  Personally, you may not care, but professionally, if they can’t “see” you as something, then they think you can’t play that character.  It’s also a mix of my insecurity, and projection of what others think.  I don’t want my age, sexuality, size, skin color, beliefs, affiliations or whatever to dictate who or what I can portray.  It should be about whether I can get the job done or not.  Can I tell the story you want to tell.  However, how I AM personally could dictate wether or not you personally like me.  If I’m an asshole in life, maybe you’ll have a hard time seeing me as a super sweet guy, but that doesn’t mean I can’t play it.  The truth is, if i AM an asshole in life, it WILL color what people will think of me regardless of ability.  No one wants to work with an asshole.  Now, even whose considered an asshole can be objective, as with other attributes, if you choose to replace “asshole” with something else.  If you’re really tall, and you don’t get a part, is it because they don’t like tall people?  It could, and though it doesn’t have anything to do with ability, it COULD have to do with whether you can tell the story they want to tell, unless that attribute is irrelevant,,… then it’s really just about ability.  Either way,.. you just never know what people in a position of power regarding your career feels about something.  As for an attribute that they might not “see,” like if you’re gay, or maybe even being an asshole, (not to say being gay and an asshole are the same), it’s none of their business.  You don’t have to hide it, but you also don’t have to announce it.  Do what you’re there to do, do you, do what you do, connect with people, and just be you.  Fuck labels.

Back to the closet….
Eventually, you might just happen to be in it [the closet] at the moment, not because you’re hiding, but it’s not even the same closet, and it’s been renovated and remodeled, and is now a walk-in closet with transparent walls, not used for hiding, but because it’s now been opened up, has been repurposed.  Not to say it’s anyone’s business, but sometimes, people can’t even tell where in the house you are, maybe they don’t care, and they only would know when you happen talk about, are asked about it or show something that’s inside it, sometimes while being outside of it, and other times, still inside, without coming out at all.  You may not have a problem coming out, it’s just that you happen to have been in ‘it,’ at the time.  It’s irrelevant, you can see right through the walls.

If you read this,.. sorry I can’t write.

This comes out of the Weekly Writes prompt: “Time Out”
Read what others have contributed:
Jaysen Headley
Carina Jollie

Free-Write “Time Out”
Time personified, going out, or excluded
Tim with an “e”
Timeout Magazine
A break
Taking Time Out, to take care of yourself
Out of time, the time-stream
Time Out, Stop
Time in
Time, Excluded
Time Spent Out
Out of Time, run out of time
Out of the Closet
Time “out” of the closet

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