Mel Robbins: Taking Time Out

UPDATED: January 20, 2010
PUBLISHED: January 20, 2010

I lied to my husband. I thought I had to. I couldn’t bear to tell him the truth. He’d think I was just being
selfish. Worse, he’d refuse to do my bidding.

I asked him if he could take the kids to a movie on Saturday afternoon. I told
him I had work to do. That wasn’t the lie. I did have work to do. There is always “work” to do. Work-work
or work around the house. But I had no intention of doing any of it. In fact, I had no intention of doing anything I was “supposed”
to do.

So, I lied. I had my Saturday afternoon all planned out in secret. I’d maneuver Chris into taking the kids to
see a movie, maybe even get something to eat afterward. I picked the movie. I ordered the tickets on Fandango. I even printed
them out. Chris had to go. He would never walk away from four printed and paid-for movie tickets. Never. The plan was foolproof.

And I knew exactly what I was planning: an uninterrupted bath.

The idea came to me on Wednesday. I was rooting through a junk
drawer, and I found two candles my mother had given me years ago. The kind of candles that actually proclaim they are to be
used at bath time. I decided I was going to create the space I needed to use those candles.

I purchased the bath salts. I
bought the perfect bottle of wine. I picked up a copy of Stephen King’s Under the Dome. I put them all together
in a
paper bag and hid it.

Everything was set. I handed Chris the movie tickets. “Let me know if you guys are stopping for
lunch or not.” Genius. I kissed Chris. “Have a good time,” I called with a grin out the front door. “I
know I will.”

I closed the door and watched the car drive off. I switched my BlackBerry off. The silence in the house
was deafening. I was in heaven.

In that moment, all the expectations I normally feel left my body. Particularly from the BlackBerry.
Turning it off was like breaking a tether. It felt like I had been constantly holding on to responsibility and accountability,
like they were these big balloons. And in that moment, I opened my hand, I let go of that string, and they floated away.
I felt so much lighter.

I melted into the tub. Nothing was gnawing at me that needed my attention. I knew the door wouldn’t
open. I knew I could relax.

I had created the time and the space I needed. It was so life-changing, I was determined to do
it again. When my husband came home, I confessed, and told him that next time I wasn’t going to lie about it. I was
going to request it, outright. And that’s the idea I want to pass on to you.

If you are like me, you feel like you don’t
have the time.

Time is all you have. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create the space that allows you
to let go of all those worries and responsibilities. Try it. It’s addicting. And once you practice doing it in such
a perfectly safe place, where nothing can get at you, you can bring that skill with you into your everyday life.

I do it all
the time now. I feel rushed. E-mails stack up. Voice mails. Rushing to meetings. Outlook’s reminder says I have 15 minutes.
Stop. All those balloons are pulling me apart. I physically, mentally, just let them go.

Time is what you make it. When you
let it all go, it will all fall into place.

Mel Robbins is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, CNBC contributor,
spokesperson for Microsoft and serial entrepreneur.

Read more articles by Mel Robbins or purchase her book, Now What! Workshop.


Mel Robbins is a contributing editor to SUCCESS magazine, best-selling author, CNN commentator, creator of the “5 Second Rule” and the busiest female motivational speaker in the world. To find out more, visit her website: To follow her on Twitter: