Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ten Minutes at a Time

After a late night last night and a (relatively) early morning commitment ... I wasn't quite ready to leap out of bed when my alarm went off this morning. So I hit my (seldom used) snooze button. Ten more minutes ...

I hit it a few more times, each time relishing every moment of those ten minutes. Ten minutes passed quickly, but it was rather heavenly to give myself the gift of those ten minutes. Three times.

I became more coherent as my snooze time went on and I began to think of life in ten minute increments ...

When life has literally brought me to my knees and I've bowed to the pressures around me, I have let myself feel every ounce of whatever is hitting me ... and cry. I can remember the times. They stand out in my memory because life doesn't hit me with that impact on a regular basis.

As I recollected those moments (in the spirit of my Ten Minutes at a Time line of thought), I believe that it would be safe to say that I let myself go for no more than ten minutes at a time. For no more than ten minutes, I let myself become a vulnerable puddle on the floor. Yes, the residue remained much longer, but the extreme reaction? It hit a crescendo and subsided.

I recently read one cancer survivor's suggestion as to how to live day-to-day with a devastating diagnosis. They said to allow yourself one hour of the day to give in to all of the emotions you were feeling. One hour. A beginning and an end. Then carry on.

I thought of the many ways that life can become 'too much' ... overwhelmed with housework? homework? kids? work? overeating? Fill in the blank with whatever it is that is that is consuming you. Just think in ten minute increments.

Ten minutes of housework or homework. You will get something accomplished. Just take it ten minutes at a time.

A bad moment with the kids? Remember it doesn't last forever. Look at the clock. In ten minutes it will be different.

A bad day at the office? Just get through the next ten minutes. Just ten minutes. Do what you can. Or take a break. Breathe in. Breathe out. Yes ... it will still be there in ten minutes. But maybe if you walk away from the stressor for ten minutes, you will come back with a renewed perspective (or like my snooze button this morning, just hit it a few more times until you are ready).

Overeating? Put off grabbing that snack for ten minutes. Then ten minutes more. And on so on and so forth. If you are like me, you will fall asleep after a few rounds with the Ten Minutes at a Time rule.

Ten Minutes at a Time isn't the end all answer. But a person just has to do what it takes to get through a moment now and again. Most of all, it is a simple reminder that "this too shall pass away ..."

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