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How Long Is a Minute?

  [ 10 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Julie Ryan • • April 16, 2015

How Long Is a Minute?
When we think about a minute we know it's not very long but in our world of instant everything, it's become an eternity. I can remember when it would take several minutes for a single webpage to load, you could bring up a page go to the kitchen and get a drink while you waited. Not anymore.  Recently I was reminded just how long a minute has become.

I use a refillable water bottle that holds 24 oz. (I have another one that holds 36 oz. that I use at bedtime). Every time I fill it up from the refrigerator dispenser (which has an attached filter) or from the faucet (with attached filter) it feels like it's taking a lifetime. As I stand there I am thinking of the million and one other things I could be doing right at the moment. I could be writing a post, I could be doing some research, doing a school assignment, playing Trivia Crack, going to the bathroom (because running water...), there are so many things I think I could be doing in the lifetime it feels like it takes to refill my water bottle.

Then recently I started drinking a cup of hot tea while I take my bath before bed. I use the microwave to heat the water for 90 seconds. This is when I realized just how long a minute really is, and just how short of a time it really takes me to fill my water bottle. I filled up my cup of water and then, while I waited for the microwave to heat it, I filled up my water bottle. I was amazed to find that I still had time left on the timer so I ran to the bathroom. I did all of that in less than 90 seconds! I couldn't believe it. And, that realization made me really stop and think about just how long a minute really is and how many minutes I fail to take advantage of.

Look up from what you're doing and look around for a minute.
See what a beautiful world you're in.
– Ralph Marston

A minute isn't so long really, such a tiny part of our day. In a given day we get 1440 minutes to use as we please. How many of those minutes do we waste? How many of those minutes do we spend thinking about what we could be doing? How many of those minutes could we just stop and breathe?  That was my takeaway from learning how long a minute is. Instead of focusing on all the minutes I feel I'm wasting and all the time I spend doing 10 things at once, I need to slow down and savor the minutes. Instead of thinking it's taking forever to fill my water bottle, I now know that it takes less than a minute and instead of spending that minute thinking I could be doing something else, I stand there and breathe, slowly and easily.  Too often we forget to do just that. We forget to breathe, we forget to be in the moment, whatever that moment may be. Take the time to just BE.

Now that I've discovered how many extra minutes I have in a day I'm realizing that I can do all the things that I thought I didn't have time for. What does an extra minute mean to me now?
  • A minute to stretch my body, decreasing the pain and stiffness from too many minutes spent sitting.

  • A minute to be thankful that my husband took out the trash.

  • A minute to stop and pet my cats and talk to them about why they are being so noisy.

  • A minute to play a quick game of Trivia Crack and remind myself that all my smarts are not gone.

  • A minute to text a friend and let them know that I still care about them.

  • A minute to text my mom and tell her I love her.

  • A minute to stop and look out the window at the squirrels enjoying the sunshine (no matter the temperature).

  • A minute to stop and hug my husband and tell him how much I love him.

  • A minute to pull something out of the freezer for dinner tomorrow.

  • A minute to send a prayer of thankfulness off to the universe for all that I have.

  • A minute to breathe and just be in the moment for a change.

  • A minute to focus on one happy moment in my day.

  • A minute to think about one small thing I can change.

What does a minute mean to you?

About the Author: Julie Ryan is a fellow Fibromyalgia Warrior, freelance writer, and blogger. In addition to Fibromyalgia, Julie is currently diagnosed with Endometriosis, Migraines, Cluster Headaches, and Hypothyroid. She shares her journey, along with inspiration, and information on her blog at

You can follow Julie on Twitter and Facebook.

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