Saturday, 31 January 2015

Just Ten Minutes

I have enrolled in a course about end of life issues. This is good, but it involves homework. Groan.

Our instructor, however, is a great motivator. And she’s smart. She gave us each a little card which reads, “Can I do this for 10 minutes?” which we are supposed to attach to our workbook.

The theory is, we’re to look at the card and even though we aren’t too excited about doing homework, we tell ourselves we’ll just do ten minutes worth. Surely we can devote 10 minutes of energy to deal with issues of eternity and beyond. 

You can do a lot in ten minutes. Just to satisfy my curiosity, and also for your edification, I decided to take ten minutes to Google what you might be able to do in ten minutes. (For your part, can you spend just 10 minutes reading this info?)

In just 10 minutes a day, your face can look 20 years younger if you use Eva Fraser’s facial exercises. Look at this woman: born in 1928! Can you believe it? I too could look 20 years younger by following her example. The fine print, however, says results will be seen after about 6 months of regular practices, each of which is preceded by warm-ups. That’s a lot of effort I would need to put in so people will think I’m 46. And that’s only my face, mind you. What about the rest of the bod? A 46 year old face on a 66 year old body? No thanks.

Hula-hooping for just ten minutes a day – 5 in the morning, and 5 at night, will shave 2 inches off your waist in just 5 days, says Kelly Osbourne of E! fame. Hmm. If you start with a 26 inch waist (ha ha), and lose 2 inches every 5 days, how long would it take you to disappear altogether? Sounds like math, and it will take me longer than 10 minutes to solve that problem.

On one business website, a keener wanting to get ahead of the crowd asked, “What can I learn in just 10 minutes?” The best answer: “You can learn that you can learn something in ten minutes. Twenty minutes later, you will learn that you just learned that you can learn something in ten minutes. Thirty minutes later...”

“There are just 7 steps to making your own ice cream, and seriously, it only takes ten minutes,” says one website. I stopped reading. If I made ice cream, I’d need to take up the hula-hoop, too, which means 20 minutes of my day would be spoken for. Actually more, since I’d need to take the time to eat the ice cream. I’m sure I could eat lots in ten minutes.

Then there’s how to completely relax in just ten minutes: a meditation exercise. I can’t tell whether it works, however. If I had done this exercise I would not be able to finish this blog.

And just how many hot dogs (including the buns) could you eat in 10 minutes? Sixty-eight if you are competetive eater Joey Chestnut.  And just  how long would that take to work off, afterwards? Well, a hot dog is 450 calories, and 10 minutes of working at the computer, which is what I’m doing now, only burns 17 calories. You do the math. It may take you longer than 10 minutes.

As must be becoming clear to you, it took me way longer than 10 minutes to assemble this information. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, 10 minutes has become 45 minutes.

It took me a little while longer than 10 minutes to figure out that our instructor had tricked us. Each “just 10 minute” session has stretched out way past that, of course. Still, it’s a good trick, and helpful.

For instance, I had a project that I’d been avoiding: making a lap quilt out of my brother-in-law’s shirts. I promised his widow, my sister-in-law, that I’d do that, but I was avoiding it because I didn’t like the shirts, the colours, the smell of them...but with the “Just 10 Minutes” principle in mind, I pulled the box out of the closet. Surely, I could spend just ten minutes cutting them apart and getting started.

And then another ten minutes cutting them into strips. And another ten minutes sewing them into squares. The ten minute increments stretched, but it was no longer a project I avoided.

So I’ll say, “Thanks for the tip, teacher. At least I got my homework done.”  In just ten minutes... and then some.


  1. Jessie: Thank you for helping me begin the day with a smile! :)

  2. Your blogs often make me smile, too. Love that you took 'ten minutes' to get that quilt started. It will be a wonderful thing when it is done.