For Christmas this year I would like an hour’s worth of 5 minutes. That’s 12 gifts. 5 minutes extra each month.
If there is something that I have learned this year, it is that 5 minutes can make a difference. 5 minutes can totally change the path you were on. Just 5 little minutes matter.
I wasn’t very responsible with 5 minutes last year and I can see exactly where I would have put them.
January – I would have taken 5 more minutes right after the clock had signaled it was midnight and the start of a new year to reflect back on the year that been and notice some of the small blessings that had been unseen. I had been too busy to notice and too caught up with the bad things of the previous year to appreciate those gifts.
February – I would have taken 5 more minutes to call my dad on Valentine’s Day. I would have told him how huge his yearly gift of the red cellophane wrapped heart bearing chocolates really was. How it means the world to me that my dad still thinks of me at 35 years old to be his little sweetheart and how it deserved more than a little hug and a flippant thank you.
March – I would have taken 5 more minutes to watch my children play on a tire swing. I wouldn’t have been impatient and hurried them along. To watch them soar higher, dream more and revel in the fact that they were children. I would have used some of those 5 minutes to get on the tire swing myself and dared to get my feet off the ground for a moment; literally and figuratively.
April – I would have taken 5 more minutes to hug my Father-In-Law. Even though the Alzheimer’s was taking him away, I thought I would always have another day to tell him how much his kindness and gentle nature meant to me. I would tell him how much my children loved that he always took time to play with him. I would tell him how much I cherished the stagecoach he handmade us. I knew he was old, I knew he was sick; I didn’t know he would go to be with The Father this year. I need 5 minutes back so I can love on him.
May – I would have taken 5 more minutes on my road trip to East Tennessee. Although it was beautiful outside and I had my camera with me; I was focused on the destination and not the journey. I did notice the beauty around me, but I didn’t allow myself to be immersed in it and carry it along with me.
June – I would have taken 5 more minutes with my kids in the pool teaching them to swim. I got frustrated at the sheer effort of keeping all three from drowning and gave up on teaching. I surrendered, bought floaties and limited time in the pool. In those 5 minutes I would have told them they are worth the effort and my patience.
July – I would have taken 5 more minutes…oh, this is the hardest 5 minutes…I would have taken 5 more minutes to tell Dan that his life was worth living. I would have begged that he consider his children. I would have stopped it. I would have saved a life.
August – I would have taken 5 more minutes to thank God and be a little kinder to myself. I would have used that 5 minutes to remind myself of how I had been blessed with friends and family. I would have taken that 5 minutes to remind myself of all that I had done right; rather than where I had failed. I would allow myself to be comforted; instead of pretending I was strong.
September – I would have taken 5 more minutes to hug my children. I have now learned that strength and resiliency are often smoke and mirrors. Sometimes having someone reach out to you and love on you when you don’t seem to need it; that’s when you need it the most. I would have stopped what I was doing, put down the phone, turned off the tv and just spent those 5 minutes hugging them.
October – I would have taken 5 more minutes taking pictures of the girls celebrating Halloween. I would have been patient with the costumes and more patient with the walk from house to house. I would have soaked up the moment that regardless of what had happened this year; they were happy, celebrating and being normal little children.
November – I would have taken 5 more minutes during the family prayer where everybody recites off what they are thankful for and listed off what I was really thankful for rather than saying the “lame” one word answer. I would have looked back at the amazing things that had happened and all the ways that God had answered every single prayer.
December – I would have taken 5 more minutes to look back at the year and marvel at all the changes. I would take time to grieve what was lost and rejoice in what was found. I would recognize that it doesn’t matter what is gathered underneath the tree, but what is gathered around the tree. The true gifts are what I can do; not what I can give.
I fully recognize the significance of taking advantage of the minutes that I have been given. If you see fit to place an hour’s worth of 5 minutes for me to use throughout the coming year; I promise that I will not waste them, but will pour myself fully into the time.