Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fill Up Those Empty Minutes

I know what you are thinking, "Who has empty minutes?" Many of my minutes are filled each day with brushing teeth, tying shoes, packing lunches, shuttling children to and from school and after-school activities, serving meals, brushing teeth again, reading bedtime stories, and tucking in children. Not to mention the errands and volunteer commitments that fill my time while they are in school, my (flexible hours, part-time) job, and exercise when I can squeeze it in. Of course, I do have some fun things - a weekly Bible study or an occasional meeting for coffee or dinner with friends. But, in the midst of all of the responsibilities of being a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, I still end up with little pockets of time that aren't long enough to run "just one more" errand or do "just one more" chore. Or it could be the time spent waiting in the pick-up line at school - you know, before the line starts to move. (Sometimes I get there early - I'm an 'early is on time" kind of girl.) Now sometimes I need those empty minutes to just listen to the radio (adult music!), read an article in a magazine (if I remembered to bring it), or say a few prayers about what's on my heart. And sometimes - like yesterday - I need to clean the windows on the mommy-van. Yes, you read that right - I cleaned the windows on my van in the pick-up line. They were dirty and streaky, and I just couldn't stand it a moment longer. I arrived just a few minutes before the preschoolers came out to the pick-up line, so I jumped out of the mommy-van with a canister of these in hand ...

...and made quick work of the front windshield, and driver's side and front-row passenger windows. I also grabbed a couple of baby wipes and freshened up the dash and console areas. I figure of they can clean my kids' faces, hands, and bottoms, they should be good enough for the dashboard!

Did I look a little out-of-place? Perhaps. Was I embarrassed when I reached over the steering wheel and leaned, just for a moment, into the horn? Absolutely. Was I totally pleased with the clean windows when I was done? Definitely! The dust-free dash and crumb-free cupholders were a bonus!

So, tell me - how do you fill your empty minutes?

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Jane Anne said...

Now that's what I call using your time wisely! I would totally do that. In fact, I may have to pick up some of those wipes.

Chucked a bit about the horn blowing. :)

Heather said...

Love it! Ohh and I am totally an early-is-on-time kinda gal.

Rachel R. said...

Thank you for this post. This is something I've been wanting to work on. My problem is that I usually can't think of anything to do that's quick, when I have those few minutes.

One thing I'm going to try is posting my list of kitchen tasks in the kitchen (inside a cupboard, probably). That way, when I'm waiting for water to boil, I can empty the toaster of crumbs, wipe out the microwave, etc. But I won't think of these things if I don't have them written down. (I have thought about writing similar lists for all of the places I'm likely to be kept waiting.) Even the time spent waiting for webpages to load can be useful sometimes!

RLR said...

Jane Anne - So did the teacher that was walking by at the time.... :)
Rachel R - I like the idea of putting a list inside the cupboard! I think we ladies typically have a lot on our minds, and list-making is a big help for me when it comes to clearing the mental clutter. If it helps me keep my house clean, too, that's a bonus!

Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

I loved this. Just the smile I needed today.