Friday, 13 April 2012

Just Two More Minutes



Have you ever heard the phrase “the gift of time”? I recently had one of those moments that caused me to reflect upon exactly what that meant. As a society we generally walk around with a sense of both entitlement and infallibility when it comes to time. Whatever we don’t get to today can always be tackled tomorrow. Too busy answering emails to play with our kids at the park? Not in the budget to take a family vacation this year? So preoccupied with getting dinner on the table that we can’t listen to the same knock-knock joke for the 187th time? No worries. Tomorrow we’ll do a better job and be a better parent.

Last night as I hurried home from a class to crawl into my son’s bed for a goodnight cuddle, I can admit that even though I love feeling his little arms wrapped around my chest – and I was happy to be there – my mind was already jumping ahead to my ever-so-important to-do list – Make his lunch for the next day, check my emails, change the laundry, run over my presentation for the next day’s training session, remember to get gas the next day…..  Pretty typical stuff. When I went to leave he held on a little bit tighter and asked me to stay for just two more minutes. With a sigh, I thought about everything else I needed to get done that night. Besides, he should already be asleep, it was already far too late, and it’s not like I hadn’t already cuddled him. As I stood up to leave I took a moment to really feel his little fingers wrapped around mine and truly see his beautiful little face and decided right then and there that just two more minutes was not too much to ask.




There are 1440 minutes in a day – how many of those do you spend really being present? Not shuttling kids to another sporting event or dance class. Not bribing them to eat one more green bean. Not making sure that their teeth are brushed & their hair is combed. Not explaining to them why beds really do need to get made. I’m talking about really being with them.

Not responding on autopilot with another “Yes, I see…” or “Uh huh…” or “Sure, great somersault”. I’m talking about absolutely unplugging from the rest of the world and being completely present in whatever is happening during those two minutes. Not checking email while watching them run around in the backyard. Not commenting on another Crayola-inspired masterpiece while making sure the dishwasher is loaded. Not cutting a hug short because dinner is on the table and getting cold. I’m talking about truly appreciating the fact that the gift of just two more minutes with those who live inside of your heart is truly a gift beyond compare.

How many people would kill to have just two more minutes with a loved one? What if we changed our perspective to see that the number of minutes we have with our families is actually a finite number, and not an unlimited amount? What if we reminded ourselves that the next two minutes we spend with our kids are just as important as the last two minutes we have with them? What if we remembered that in our final days it won’t be our iPhones, clients or dirty laundry that we’ll be thinking of – it’s much more likely that our minds will be full of visions of sticky fingerprint hugs, sun-kissed smiling faces, sounds of happiness emanating from full-on belly laughs, the quiet beauty of a sleeping child…

Aren’t these the things that are worth taking just two more minutes to appreciate while we have them? The days are long but the years are short. Kids grow up fast… too fast. That “tomorrow” we’ve all been banking on may hold something completely out of our control. Those two more minutes we’ve all been banking on and putting off until tomorrow may become the moments that mean the most.

So today I challenge you to put down the iPhone, close up your Inbox, step away from the dirty dishes… then pull up a chair and truly be with your loved ones for a full two minutes. Truly appreciate that artwork, share a belly laugh, listen to that knock-knock joke (again), stay for that extra cuddle... You may find that those two minutes turn to five or even ten. You may find the world will actually keep turning while you step away from your daily routine for two minutes. You may even find that those two minutes will end up equalling a lifetime of memories for you and your loved ones.

Think about it. What could you do with just two more minutes?
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