What’s it To You

It’s 8:58 pm.  My time is finally my own. I literally had ten minutes today without needing to be somewhere, or without having to make a meal, clean up after a meal, wipe a nose, change a diaper, clean up a room, drive to an activity, participate in an activity, have someone on my lap, give a bath, or put a child to sleep.  It’s all good.  I actually had a productive, happy day.  But I always fear those ten minutes.  Because those ten minutes between finishing cooking dinner and Luke waking up from his nap (for instance), I am frozen.

What To Do.

Ten minutes.  I wasn’t sure it was going to be ten.  I thought maybe it could stretch to thirty. What should I do with those minutes?  I fear thinking about it for too long and eating up those precious minutes with thought. I worry I’ll make the wrong choice and regret it later.

Shower? It had been two days since my last one, I could think of a certain someone whose name rhymes with Shtim who would have been happy with that choice.  Two days though, it’s not like four days.  And I definitely would be showering tomorrow since it’s Saturday and a shower two days in a row is kind of overdoing it, don’t you think?

Laundry? Everyone in the house had clean clothes except ME. I deserved a pair of clean, not ripped, not too baggy underwear.  Eh, what’s one more day?  Who was going to see my underwear anyway?  Without a shower, not Tim.

A phonecall? I so rarely pick up the phone to chat with anyone anymore.  I miss chatting.  I miss the easy daily laughter with my friends.  But really, there’s NEVER a good time to chat, and the risk of catching one of my friends at an inopportune time and wasting the phone call hearing a screaming child on their end, outweighed the reward of maybe possibly being able to catch up enough to feel satisfied.  An email would do.  Later.

Read a magazine?  That would require finding a magazine.

Making a dentist, Gyn, eye doctor and physical appointment?  Um, no. Just no.  That would entail booking babysitters for the doctor appointments and dealing with dilated pupils, sore gums, stirrups and getting weighed.  No thanks.

Ten minutes.  Not enough. But just enough. To sit, kick off my fuzzy Merrells and Close My Eyes. Not enough to fall asleep like my body begs to do. But enough to refuel. I think I may have said, “Ahhhhh…” when I laid back and threw my legs up onto the couch. I got a wet lick from my dog on my nose.  I got to BREATHE.  Ten minutes.  Do I wish it was longer?  Yes, every day I do.  But it’s all I got.  And I’ll take it.

So, what’s ten minutes to you?



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20 responses to “What’s it To You

  1. Jen

    I don’t have a dog, and my sweetie’s name isn’t Tim, but other than that I would SWEAR that you are living my life in my house. Good for you and your 10 minutes!

  2. Ambrosia

    Becca, every time you write a post lately I wonder why the heck you have stolen my ideas!! : )

    10 minutes. It means a small break. It means a chance to sit down for a sec. But, it is never enough.
    Perhaps that is why my house is a mess–I crave more than 10 minutes. So, I allow the dishes to pile up, the laundry to pile up, and soon it gets to the point where I want to scream! Then, I have to clean up. Yet, I need my sanity. My time.

    I understand. Completely.

    • i often feel the same way when I read your posts Amber!

      I know, 10 minutes is NEVER enough but when I actually manage to DO something with that short time, I feel so much better! Then again, when I do nothing with that time, it feels good too.

  3. Enjoyed the “bah, why shower” bit. I, too, think it seems gratuitous if it’s been fewer than three days. And the rare, once a month opportunity to shower two days in a row? I usually pass because it feels, well, greedy. And what if I get used to daily showers again? How pre-kid would that be?!

    • Pre-kid… I know. So many things I remember, pre-kid. Most of those things have to do with “bathroom/shower time”. Maybe one day I’ll miss having little visitors every time I’m in the bathroom… or not.

  4. Allison

    Thanks for coming by my blog on my SITS day, I really appreciated it and now I’m here to spread the comment-love!

  5. Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

    I’m looking forward to browsing around your blog! 🙂

  6. I’m sitting here (unshowered) in my fuzzy Merells and smiling.

  7. I usually shower. I hate to be dirty.

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

    • Thanks for coming by Amber. I don’t necessarily LIKE being dirty but sometimes, a quiet, all alone moment on the couch is worth more than being clean!

  8. Becca, thanks for this post, where your stream of consciousness matches mine, except my kids are a little older.

    Bring sullen teenager along to doctor appointments? Trade him Xbox time for chores? Fold the laundry, yes – oh wait, there’s the unmade bed, but there’s the garbage – but the dishes and the dusting. Till I’m spinning, in my slippers, in circles.

    Thanks for a great post!

    • Linda, you’re making me realize that these days of craving “time” are not near over! It’s different as they get older, yet still the same. Sigh. Maybe one day we’ll feel there are enough hours or minutes in the day, right?
      Thanks for coming by!

  9. crnnoel

    Ten minutes can easily be the perfect amount of time 🙂 I honestly love it when you don’t have enough time to get started on something new… and you just sit. And zone out. And do absolutely nothing!

  10. Like so many previous commenters, I read this thinking “yup, yup, yup.” As you so often do, you manage to write about something I didn’t even know I was thinking about. 🙂

  11. I’m a little closer to Linda’s world (sullen teenagers, and still… laundry duty, or as I like to think of it, all heaped an unfolded, laundry “installations” as art form).

    However, 10 minutes = 1 poem. Possibly 2.


    I may have (still) too little time to read as I would like to, but a collection of poems is always nearby. If I do have 10 minutes, I can indulge. There is the pleasure of the poetry, and the satisfaction of actually completing something. Which isn’t always easy in parent-land.

    Very thoughtful post.

    • Poetry. That would be something I’d love to be able to escape to. We all have something that is more meaningful than a shower, laundry, or a phone call. A poem sounds like a perfect escape!

  12. You rock, Becca! The shower thing. The baggy underwear. The phone calls, doctors appointments, busy days. The ten minutes. So long yet so short but SO SWEET and needed and important and, well, just “Ahhhhh!”

    I see you kicking off the shoes and settling in for some peace, however short, so you can feel even a wee bit refueled. Could we perhaps, I don’t know, somehow MANAGE TO FIND THE TIME TO MEET UP THIS WINTER and KICK OFF OUR SHOES TOGETHER! Gah!

    • Send me a note Sarah with some dates and we’ll PICK one and we’ll do it. I might even go and find a few extra minutes to actually shower that day – just for you!

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