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Idioms of Time

By Kathy Washburn

PROMPT — I am grateful for …

I am grateful for a new relationship with time. For the first time in my adult life, I do not feel as though I am running out of time. Instead, I am running into it. This shift in time perception was caused by the loosening of the structure of time itself. Gone are the cloaks of business, rushing, doing, and consuming. The heaviness of these cloaks only noticeable by their removal. My goodness. I now understand more fully the idioms such as enslaved by time, trapped in time, pressed for time, and my favorite, out of time.  These weeks of no things to do, people to see or places to go has given me freedom to integrate. Hmmm. Yes, it sounds strange even as I write it. Let me explain.  For the last few years I have been in the midst of transition. Divorced, retired, starting a new career, children grown up and living on their own. It has been very busy. Taking classes, and more classes. Going to therapy, of many different kinds. Appointment, to appointment, to appointment. It was as though the busyness was taking me somewhere. Things were going to happen, I just knew it. All in good time. Often it only seemed that time was slipping away. Until it suddenly stopped. Transitions are difficult, and we all go through them at some point in our lives. Awareness and acceptance are elements that help determine the trajectory of “life after.” I was doing all of the work but made little time to allow the integration of my life lessons and self-discovery. In Dr. Rick Hanson’s book, The Buddha’s Brain, he talks about the need to pull the weeds so that new growth can take place. With no cloaks shrouding my vision I see that I had been eagerly planting into a ground that I had yet to weed properly. My new plantings were struggling to take root and were fighting for space as I spun madly in my world of new beginnings.  These weeks have allowed me to make time to loosen the vines of old traumas, attitudes and mindsets. Releasing old belief systems about my identity that remained firmly rooted in my personal pathology. Those old habitual patterns were sucking time and holding me back from being the person I wanted to be. This new feeling of running into time brings with it space and agility. Space to pause, listen to my intuition. A re-greening of my inner landscape has taken place in this new dimension of time. And with it the gift of a different dimension of being.  And for this, I am grateful.

** Artwork by Sage Dallmus, Illustrator


Kathy Washburn is a life coach who works with people navigating life’s most challenging transitions. Her background in positive psychology, post-traumatic growth, and neuroscience play an integral part in her approach to personal and professional coaching. During her battle with cancer, Kathy identified a severe gap in out-patient needs and has since founded Carved by Cancer – a support network for cancer survivors. You can find out more about Kathy or begin your healing journey, at  


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