insert a pause 2


Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

I have too many tabs open in my head.

Anyone else feel like this? Too many thoughts whirling around, too much to add to the to-do list … too many tabs open on your head?

When I get like this I look forward to my next break, be it the weekend, or the holidays. But while the expectation of a big break is great, the reality is I need something to sustain me during my everyday busyness.

The fact of the matter is we are all waiting desperately for a break, for time to breathe. We all look forward to those extra days over Easter, but often fill those days up with catch-ups and events, and now those days of break seem just as exhausting as the days before.

Or what about when we go on holiday to get away from it all, except we run ourselves ragged getting everything sorted at work and home so we can go away. Then we wonder why we are so tired, and prone to illness.

Surely instead of hurtling desperately at break neck speed towards our next moment of rest, be it a holiday or a weekend, or the welcome Easter break, we can rethink the way we do life and practice pauses in our days.

Picture if you will a paragraph with no punctuation: no full stops, no commas. Words tumbling one after another, with no indication of where the pause needs to be. It becomes a jumble of words that don’t make much sense.

A comma is defined as ‘the punctuation mark, indicating a slight pause.’

A comma is needed to interrupt the flow, to make sense of the words in place. A comma is needed to allow you to take a breath. And in taking that breath, that pause, you make sense of the flow of the words.

Similarly in the flow of my life I need to insert commas, or what I call micro-pauses into my life. Little moments that help me make sense of the flow of the rest of life.

And for me they look like this:

I get home from school drop off, and I light a candle … pause.

I feel myself getting tense so I step outside and breathe the fresh air … pause.

I make a cup of tea, and don’t multitask while the kettle boils. Then I sit and drink it … pause.

I place fresh flowers in my house, because when I see them I naturally …. pause.

I take a deep breathe and exhale … pause.

When in the car by myself, I turn off the music and enjoy the silence … pause.

These are not big moments that need planning ahead, nor are they expensive in terms of time or money. They are micro-moments of rest that help me keep my sanity. So when everyday busy comes along, as it inevitably does, and I can’t get an extended pause, then these keep me sane until I can.

Pause with me,


About Jodie McCarthy

Jodie is a writer, speaker, poet and mother. An unashamed words girl who writes to process the myriad of experiences of life. In her writing and on her blog she investigates the journey of life: the beautiful; the painful; the everyday; and the mundane. She has a heart for encouraging women on their life journey, particularly when that journey traverses the harder places of grief and pain. On the days when she is not writing you will find her in her kitchen, usually licking the beaters from a chocolate cake. You can find her books and follow her journey at

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