fifteen

19Jul12

it’s only fifteen minutes.

i have a new mantra.

what do you do during your day? work, school, and sleep take up so much of mine. busy parents have to make dinner, run kids to soccer practice, put them in the bath, and to bed, there seems to be no time to breathe, and many of us start to wonder how much sleep we actually need…

i grew up in a home where laundry was done infrequently, where the toilet was stained, and smelled. the kitchen was mopped maybe every six months. you didn’t pick up after yourself as a longlong habit. you would look at the counter, and somehow your eyes would not see the piles of dirty dishes. your brain would not register their existence.

that is setting myself up for failure in a core goal of mine; to not be like my mother. i don’t keep things clean. upkeep is not in my arsenal of skills.

it needs to be, though, failure is not an option.

starting today, i will find fifteen minutes a day to clean. you can do so many things in that time frame. dishes, sweep, vacuum, a load of laundry, and wiping down the bathroom. there are definitely fifteen minutes to spare in my day; i just have to be ambitious enough to find them.

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3 Responses to “fifteen”

  1. 1 cyprineb

    I can’t stress how important this skill is. Granted I don’t always do this myself BUT I want to recount a story that happened today that illustrates how important this is.

    My husband’s office is notoriously messy. It’s the place where he unwinds, surfs the internet and explores his hobbies. Some of these hobbies include tinkering with small electronics and fly tying for fishing. These two hobbies alone usually results in a variety of small bits like screws, electrical wires, connectors, glues and hooks being strewn all over his table, floor, chair, etc.

    Today, I received a text that said, “Omg the dog did something so stupid! I put her on my lap in my office, she reached over and ate a fishing lure-blooody! F*ck me.”

    I panicked and asked if she was okay.

    “She was yelping, headshaking, wouldn’t stay still and panicking. I finally pinned her down and got it out.”

    Whew! In the end, it took her about 30 minutes before the bleeding in her lip slowed down but she stayed in her crate for the new few hours, afraid to come out, traumatized.

    This was an accident that could easily have been avoided if he took 15 minutes a day or at the end of his hobby time to just clean up the immediate area surrounding his keyboard and computer. All that was necessary to avoid today’s accident was about a 6 foot radius of clear, uncluttered space.

    I got a little teary-eyed when I thought about how scared our poor dog must’ve been. She is a dog. She is bound to explore brightly coloured bits lying around. She was just being her carefree self. What if she had swallowed the hook by mistake? Would it be in her stomach now, tearing apart her insides?

    The lesson – when we let ourselves go and allow our bad habits to roam freely, unchecked, it’s’ going to affect others. It isn’t really about ambition to be perfect in everything. It’s more about just putting in enough effort to keep it together so that you don’t unknowingly affect someone else’s life negatively.

    Another quick story, my mom lets her mail pile up, sometimes months at a time. She constantly only looks at “the most urgent” mail. One day in the winter, she drove home and her electronic garage door opener did not work. Guess what? They cut her power because she hadn’t paid the bill in months.

    Take time to do the little important things in life but just remember to take time to rest, even if THAT is also only 15 minutes.

    Cheers!

  2. ‘they’ say you either grow up having the exact same habits or sometimes to the extreme…opposite…You’re right…you have to find a balance that you feel comfortable with..Diane

  3. I just started something called “tiny habits”. Maybe it would be useful for you as well, check it out:
    http://www.slideshare.net/captology/stanford-6401325
    http://3tinyhabits-july23.eventbrite.com/


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