Sunday, May 25, 2008

Five Minute Miracles

If time were something that could be bought and sold on the commodities markets it would far outpace and outperform any other commodity traded. Time is one thing that no one seems to have enough of and eagerly wants to have more of. We talk about saving time and banking time. And it is also a commodity that we squander more of than any other. We talk about losing time and wasting time and bemoan the loss.

Time is strange in its construction. We say that there are only 24 hours in a day, yet we work as if that number was not a constant. We pack into each day 39 hours worth of activity. We've managed to figure out how two things can occupy the same space at the same time. We call it multi-tasking, and it's a time multiplier. We also "buy" time so that we can do more in the same period of time. We hire others to complete jobs that would take up our time so that we can use and spend that time on other things.

Time plays hide and seek with us. We are always asking "Where did the time go?" or "Where shall I find the time?"

We think about time in "big picture" context. It's the hours that count, not the seconds. We make our wishes for extra days or extra hours, but rarely for extra minutes.

But what if a miracle occurred and we got 5 minutes we didn't think we "owned"? What if that happened a few times a week, a few times a day? What could we do with those Five Minute Miracles? "What's a few extra minutes?" some people scoff. Indeed, what are those few minutes worth?

In five minutes you could call a grandparent and say: "I was thinking about you and I wanted to say how much I love you"; you could write out 5 checks for tzedakas that are worthwhile and desperately need your input; you could remove every pen and pencil from your junk drawer that is old enough to be sold as an antique on ebay; you could call the dentist and make that appointment you have been putting off but that you really do need to make; you could make your bed and put your shoes into the closet so you stop tripping over them in the dark; you could go through a supermarket circular, note the savings and pay less when you shop even before you set foot in the store.

In five minutes you could issue an invitation for a meal to someone who would be grateful that you remembered them; you could close your eyes and clear your mind of anything but the word "relax"; you could keep an open wound from festering by saying a heartfelt "I'm sorry, I was wrong"; you could step into a voting booth and make your voice heard; you could bring the garbage cans in off the street so someone else will be able to park their car if needed; you could write a note to that teacher you had that you always thought was so great, but whom you never told; you could play a game of jacks with a little one glad of the extra company and attention.

In five minutes you could compose a note to your children's school praising them for things they are doing right; you could write a note to your children's school about ONE thing that needs changing and offer a suggestion; you could erase 400 junk emails from your email account; you could erase at least two "junk mail" thoughts from your mind's storage; you could refill your salt and pepper shakers; you could water your houseplants.

In five minutes you could read a kapitle of Tehillim; you could check the expiration dates of products on one shelf in your freezer; you could finally finish the last pages of a book you have been reading; you could do heart-healthy aerobic exercise; you could throw in a load of wash; you could finally throw out a few things you have been meaning to get rid of when you got the time; you could call an old friend that you have been meaning to call but never got around to calling; you could clean the filter on an air conditioner.

And here's a thought: in five minutes you could stop and smell the roses; you could slow down for just a few moments and appreciate what your life has brought to you.

What would you do if five free minutes suddenly presented themselves to you?


Anonymous said...

So is reading a blog for five minutes gaining time, wasting time or just plain a miracle?

My own five minute miracle would be going into the shower and actually getting five minutes before someone bangs on the door to ask "Are you coming out soon?"

Lion of Zion said...

i like to think that i would write a worthy post like this one. most likely i would just fall to the floor and catch up on 5 min worth of sleep.


i guess it depends which blog you are reading.

Anonymous said...

When the kids have nights with hours of homework to do we make our own five minute miracles. I set a timer to go off every half hour and then the kids get 5 minutes to spend how they want. Sometimes it's just jumping up and down or runing up and down the steps. Sometimes they grab a drink or quick snack. Sometimes they make a quick phone call. And then it's back to work for the next half hour. They work better knowing that they have a five minute break to look forward to and they don't have to be glued to their chairs. There is less complaining about the homework and that is my miracle.

Anonymous said...

If I found myself with 5 extra minutes I'd probably spend the whole time wondering what I missed doing that I have the extra time from. By the time I figured it out the 5 minutes would be over.