30 Minutes

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Sometimes I look at the clock and think, “If only I had more time.” There seems to always be a pocket of 30 minutes stuffed between my daily tasks.

  • 30 minutes waiting for kids to wake up
  • 30 minutes waiting for kids to come home
  • 30 minutes waiting for DW to finish work
  • 30 minutes waiting for class to start
  • 30 minutes between sports practices
  • 30 minutes before dinner is ready

You get the picture. Not enough time to get anything really done, but just enough to make you feel like you are wasting time. So I sit, and do nothing but wait for 30 minutes. Except for today.

Today I want to revel in those 30 minutes, cherish them as snippets of time to utilize any way I want without guilt or regret. When I was a diaper-bag toting mom, I used to carry a spare bag in my car just in case I ran out of the house without one. Believe me, it happened more than you would think. Besides the expected change of clothes and diapers, I packed a few extra items like bottled water, snacks and a good book in case I needed to sit in a parked car with a sleeping baby I didn’t want to move. (There were many afternoons you could find me sitting in our garage with the windows down while The Hare slept soundly in her car-seat. ) As the kids got older I kept a packed bag in the backseat that was easily accessible to preschool curiosities. Picture books, coloring books, crayons, Happy Meal toys, juice boxes, snacks and tiny stuffed animals were a few of our favorite items. I never worried about that long car ride home from the zoo or friend’s house because my little ones always had something to fill up the time. When they were crawlers and walkers, I kept a “special” basket of toys or activities to pull out during those needy, whiney times I needed just a few minutes to finish making dinner or folding laundry without interruption. Of course now, the girls utilize their IPODs and game systems to pass unscheduled time between activities. They never seem to walk around aimlessly, watching the clock, just waiting for the time to pass.

But I do, both in the car and when I am home. Perhaps it’s time for me to pack my own special bag for the car. There are a dozen different things I could do while I wait. In 30 minutes I could:

  • hand-write a letter to a friend or family member
  • read a few chapters of a book
  • finish making my grocery list
  • discover a new recipe to try
  • call a friend and just say hi
  • outline a new blog post or story idea

While I am home I could tackle the small jobs that always get passed by.

I could snuggle with Luna.

I could watch my child sleep.

I could write a note for a lunch box that says, “I love you”.

I could pour another cup of coffee and be thankful for the time to just be.

What could you get done in 30 minutes?

2 thoughts on “30 Minutes

  1. 30 minutes? It must get bigger as the children do. Currently my pockets of time are in the 5 – 10 minute range, creating a such a small block of time I can hardly get anything done.

    During this time, I’m typically on my iPod: reading a blog post/book (that I try to remember to comment on later, usually failing miserably), and checking email. I could also be packing a bag to go somewhere so I’m not fighting with children when I would normally be getting ready, or using the small downtime to grab my camera and take photos (when it’s working), or paying the bills before I forget what date it is.

    I’ve gotten really good at using 5 minute blocks of time – or I would have no time during the day.

    The spare car bag has saved me many a time too…

    Love this post.

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