BEEP… BEEP.. BEEP. It’s 6:30a.m. and the alarm is ringing. I only want 1 more minute. Just 1 minute at the start of my day is really no big deal. I can make it up with a pony tail instead of a flat iron, cereal instead of oatmeal, or driving to school instead of walking.
But sometimes that 1 minute morphs into a disaster of epic proportions.
For my eldest child, Connor, the majority of his elementary school years revolved around not being late. We had to arrive at school at exactly 8:12. 8:10 was too early and 8:15 was unforgivingly late. His minutes mattered. They were the difference between a peaceful, joyful morning, and a weeping, fighting, yelling, screaming, wrestling match.
If I’m 1 minute late for coffee with a friend, she probably doesn’t even notice. 1 minute late coming home from work, no big deal. 1 minute late for a doctor’s appointment, I will have to wait for them anyway, so no problem. But, 1 minute late for school– and I’m not talking about 8:13–I mean the real, after the bell late. I. can’t. even.
It always starts with the hurry. The yelling mom and the screeching tires exiting the driveway. Then comes the praying, the out loud, nearly yelling kind, “Please God let the drop off line be extra long today,” or “Please Jesus make the clock wrong!” Then the hope surfaces. Maybe the principal got distracted for just 1 minute so he hasn’t locked the doors yet or maybe the crossing guard is sick. Yet as the bell actually rings, this hope is lost and is replaced by despair. The muttered curse words under my breath as I pull into the parking lot are sure to be repeated insuring the mom-guilt that’s yet to come.
I unbuckle the car seat and wrestle the toddler into a winter coat even though she isn’t wearing shoes. I soothe the sobbing Connor, who is officially the most irresponsible child of all children in the whole entire world. Then throw the no-shoes toddler over my shoulder because she MUST WALK and it’s winter, and again, there are no shoes!
I push the button, they answer. “May I see your ID please?” I don’t have my ID, it’s at home because we were 1 minute late and we live 1 block from school. Please have mercy! They do, and let the children in. So I sit down on the sidewalk, letting my toddler dance barefoot in the snow, and I cry frozen tears of defeat. It was just 1 lousy minute.
Sometimes a minute matters. If one minute has the power to ruin the entire day. Surely it has the power to improve it as well.
I wish I could hand out extra minutes like mini chocolate bars on Halloween.
- Need 30 extra minutes of sleep? – Bam
- Need an extra 5 minutes of alone time? – Here you go!
- Need one more hour with that one child that just can’t get enough? – Bless you Momma I get it. Voila!
- How about 90 more hours of therapy? Shopping? Facebook? Therapy-therapy, with a real live counselor? Don’t we all!?!
- Just one more hour with my husband? OH PLEASE, JESUS, YES! It’s the easiest hour to let slip by, but the most important hour to get back!
Just a few extra minutes to do the things that never seem to get done. Would you phone a friend, send a letter, pay that bill or bake some cookies? Maybe write a little, read a book, or watch your show? A few extra minutes might actually be life changing.
“Time is Everything; five minutes can be the difference between victory and defeat.” – Horatio Nelson
This year, I’m working hard to give myself a few extra minutes. I want to write. I NEED to write. Yet the minutes sneakily slip by. I have promised myself to let my minutes be life changing, and they can be if I use them wisely. Imagine what I could be, what WE could be, if we committed 5 minutes of our day to victory. I will be victorious.
A year from now I will proclaim victory over fear and self-doubt, and the laundry pile. I will write every day, even for just a moment. I will grant myself the freedom from guilt and anxiety and take time to do things that make me a better person. Even if those “things” are doing a little laundry or washing the dishes, they still count! A year from now I will be victorious, and I will do it 5 minutes at a time.
Today I gift you with the freedom to claim 5 minutes for yourself. Take it from your Facebook time, your wake up time, your waiting in line at the grocery store time. Take it any time you can get it. Wherever you get it and however you choose to use it, make it count. What victory will you claim with your extra 5 minutes?
*This post was written for my weekly series called “Making It to Monday” on AlmaBlog. You can find it here. almadiem.com/blog. *