When my parents lived close by, I would often go over to their house and visit. Always being tired, or perhaps after some of mom’s good home cooking, I’d say, “Ma, I just need 15 minutes, and I’ll be good.” Then I’d doze off for about 15 minutes and get up feeling refreshed and good-to-go after the recharge. Mom would always follow-up with, “I don’t know how you do that with just 15 minutes of sleep, that wouldn’t do anything for me.”
But it does a lot for my children.
Now as I continue being tired every day and a house full of children wanting my attention, I’m learning the value of just ’15 minutes’. Perhaps I learned it more because of the child that didn’t live in my house with me.
Whether it’s 15 minutes of basketball with one, 15 minutes of reading with this one, or 15 minutes of hot wheels with that one, 15 minutes is a start to giving them the time they need. In that 15 minute time period, I could’ve taken a quick nap, checked my fantasy football team, or any number of “important” things that seem to need to get done in that time span.
In 15 minutes, my dad took me for a walk to the store on a Thanksgiving day after a huge snow storm. In 15 minutes my dad played catch with me (which ended when I took a ball off my dome from one of his throws) despite the fact that he hates sports and thinks they are a waste of time.
But he knew I loved baseball and still do to this day. Most importantly, I remember the 15 minutes he spent but he probably doesn’t any longer.
Now if my dad did it after working 16 hour shifts, something most of my Gen X friends have never done, then how much more can I…you…we do?
Fellas I know your time is tight. I know the stress of this life wears on you like sandpaper on paint. But your money, presence, and discipline are standard features. It’s the options that make one car more special than any other.
I know you are tired of making a dollar out of 15 cents. But please take the time to also make a man or a woman, by starting at just 15 minutes.