Thursday, April 21, 2011
Just Ten Minutes
Ten minutes isn't very long. Not long at all. Unless you're undergoing some sort of medieval torture. Then it is probably pretty long.
As I was saying, ten minutes goes by quickly. Especially when I'm sitting at my computer, mindlessly hopping from one blog article to the next.
Last night, I had a wee slice of time during which there wasn't anything pressing to do. The kids were getting out their last minutes of play before bed, and I was miraculously caught up on laundry and dishes. (Gasp.)
I had a few emails to check and facebook messages to respond to, so I figured I'd hop online and take advantage of the interlude. Now "hopping online" suggests a quick, hopefully intentional jaunt about the web. I knew my children would be ready for their story very soon, and it was up to me to deliver.
I also knew that they would be quite content to keep playing as long as I wanted to stay at the computer. ("My darlings, would you rather go quietly to bed right now or play wildly for another hour?" It's a no-brainer.)
So I weighed the options and came to the conclusion that reading a fairy tale to my children was a much better use of my time than privately reading a bunch of random blogs, no matter how spiritual or enriching they might be.
I keep a timer on my desk. I decided to set it for ten minutes, purposing to spend only that amount of time on the computer. Boy did it go by quickly. I didn't mind, but it made me realize how easy it is to spend thirty minutes here and there without meaning to. Thirty minutes that could have been spent with my family.
I closed the browser and grabbed A Child's Book of Stories. The children came tumbling downstairs, eager to hear Aidan's choice, "Tom Thumb." They nibbled on a snack as we giggled and gasped over Tom's wild escapades.
The computer sat idly on my desk in the vacant school room, while I sat engaged and alive, surrounded by my precious children.
I think I'll use a timer more often.