Five minute lessons

There was a proverb that has been around a couple centuries or more that many people today link with Jack Nicholson’s character in the movie The Shining.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

One of the best things about dogs is that they need attention in short bursts, and have an infinite amount of mercy toward me when I am gone ten hours a day during the week.  Both man and dog enjoy a vigorous greeting at the door for about five minutes, getting  biscuit or playing with a squeaky toy.    Then several minutes to greet my wife if she is home from work at the same time, before I hustle out with the dogs for a walk.  Whether it is  a longer or a shorter walk,  giving Dexter in particular a few minutes to get his “sniff” on – seems to make him happiest.  Walk done and mealtime taken in,  Comet thrives on several minutes of focused attention, petting and “good boy!” affirmations.

Time is everything; five minutes make the difference between victory and defeat.
– Horatio Nelson

Time set aside in little bursts during the work week and evenings – to read a book.   I am reading Gary Paulson’s  My Life in Dog Years, one chapter at a time.  A marvelous storyteller, this book was a Christmas gift from friends of ours.  And sometimes in the morning or in the evening, several minutes devoted to scripture reading (particularly to relax my work-mind).   I may also add : John Kerecz “Stress Release in 5 Minutes a Day through American Wisdom” (2016).

A decision to learn to play guitar lead to getting an inexpensive guitar today.   ( I played piano as a child yet never continued music in any other form after that). Reviewing a video on turning a guitar and taking a first basic lesson.   YouTube was very laid back.  I’ll commit to several minutes a day to get the hang of it. and will not get overly stressed trying to do everything.  Build up as you start figuring it out.

Five minutes to meditate. Five minutes directing a garden hose on a particular flower bed or bush in the front or back yard.  A five minute talk with a neighbor.  There are many things that any of us can do – or set out to make the day better.  Five minutes devoted to listening to your spouse – intently.  Five minutes doing a chore that you don’t need to be asked to do – emptying a drier, folding your laundry, or washing some leftover dishes.

In 2017, we started to adjust priorities.  Started taking more trips with the dogs,  longer hikes,  and  casual trips and a real vacation.  I renewed action to be more spiritually-focused.    For 2018, I have engaged these and more.   With five minutes to make an impact,  I delegate more, train more, ask for help more and document more.   And where things once seemed never enough time in a day, I can easily find five minutes.




  1. I love the idea of five minutes being devoted to something. It transforms that window into quality time rather than focusing on great big quantities of time dedicated to a given task.

    Liked by 1 person

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